When it comes to planning out your plot, perennials should definitely be in the mix. First, let’s just admit it, perennials are so much fun! I love that they come back every year, whereas annuals you need to reseed or replant anew each spring. Many species also multiply, so that a few years down the road you can divide and replant throughout your yard or gift them to friends and family.
Perennials are plants that come back year after year; annuals complete their life cycle, from germination to the production of seeds, within one growing season.
Perennials are often low-maintenance and many are native plant species, which generally do well in the rich soil that Syracuse and Upstate New York are known for. Also, being native to the area means that many perennials have a longer growing and flowering season than their tropical counterparts.
While these seven points are all great reasons to plant perennials in your garden, let me be a little more specific with seven more reasons to plant perennials:
- Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra)
- Sea Holly (Eryngium)
- Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)
- Coral Bells (Heuchera)
- Hellebores (Lenten Rose)
- Coreopsis (Tickseed)
- Leucanthemum (Shasta Daisy)
1. Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra)
I love all forms of Bleeding Hearts, the white ones, the chartreuse foliage ones, the miniatures and the good old Fashioned Bleeding Heart, so many to choose from! I love that they arrive early in the season and put on a show when many other perennials are still dormant. The larger Bleeding Heart varieties also bring an architectural interest to the garden in both height and width when grown in. The foliage can be left up after bloom time if it looks healthy and the interesting foliage plays a role all season long.
2. Sea Holly (Eryngium)
So fun and so blue!!! These plants add great color in the garden, and the spiny toothed leaves are interesting in the garden and they are a gorgeous cut flower. Sea Holly grows well in the sun and can tolerate poor soil. There are many varieties of Sea Holly around, and we typically carry at least 2 different ones every year. Flowers mid summer to fall.
3. Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)
There are so many varieties of Rudbeckia out there, and they have a nice bloom time. Rudbeckia bloom in summer for roughly 2 months and the greenery provides structure to your garden yearround. The birds love the seeds if you keep the stems up in the winter! Reliable, bright and good middle to back of the garden plant. Rudbeckia have been my favorite perennial since way back before I even started this business and I feel every garden should sport a couple different varieties.
4. Coral Bells (Heuchera)
What can I say? There are so many lovely colors and variations of Coral Bells on the market nowadays! These are definitely in front of the garden plants. Their interest really lies in their foliage. We use Coral Bells in our annual containers as well. A very versatile plant, most Coral Bells can go from part sun to sun, although there are some that definitely prefer more shade. The flowers are adorable but it’s the foliage that is the rock star here!
5. Hellebores (Lenten Rose)
This plant is amazing! Hellebores bloom in very early spring, even with snow on the ground. Their evergreen leathery foliage lends interest to the garden the whole year round. Hellebores are also shade plants. The flowers are different shades of pinks, whites, blushes, and reds. Hellebores have an 8-10 week bloom time.
6. Coreopsis (Tickseed)
This plant is a workhorse in the perennial garden! Coreopsis comes in many different colors, some have a threadleaf foliage. The bloom time is roughly late June-Fall and they require at least 6-8 hours of sunlight. Deadheading is recommended for Coreopsis. They spread nicely and play well with others, what’s not to like?!
7. Leucanthemum (Shasta Daisy)
You didn’t think I forgot, did you?? For me, the Daisy represents so many different aspects. There are many different varieties, sizes and flower shapes. The Crazy Daisy is my favorite (of course!). We carry it every year. It is a shorter, frilly petaled beauty. Shasta Daisies have an early summer bloom time, benefit from deadheading and are an amazing cut flower as well. There are so many fun cultivars, what are you waiting for, let’s get Shasta Daisies for the garden!
Planting perennials in your garden is justified by each bloom’s beauty and resilience.
Yes, these seven additional reasons to plant perennials are all my garden favorites. The beauty and resilience of each is a reason within itself!
As I was writing this I realized this list could probably be my favorite 35 perennials and it still wouldn’t be enough!!
What’s your favorite perennial and why? Tag us on social media with a photo of your perennial favorite!