21 Longest-Flowering Perennials for Low-Upkeep Backyard Coloration

When it comes to big flower power, annuals usually take the prize for best bloomers. But what if you don’t want to deal with all of the maintenance and preparation that goes along with filling your garden with annual plants? It’s possible to fill your space with flowering perennials that still do the job of providing plenty of blooms.

By planting perennials that have long flowering seasons, you can create a lower-maintenance garden that still looks stunning. You just need to choose the right plants for the job. Perennials that bloom through more than one season, or those that bloom more than once per year are perfect for this task. 

Let’s take a look at some beautiful perennial plants with major blooming habits. Some of these plants bloom nearly year-round in warm climates. Others bloom in flushes with just a bit of pruning. Here are 21 of my favorite perennial plants with long or repeat flowering habits.


This plant blooms repeatedly from late spring until fall.

Topping the list, salvia is one of the most low-maintenance, long-blooming perennials around. This herbaceous plant gets large quickly and blooms from late spring until fall. Some varieties begin blooming even earlier, and some continue until the first frost. These plants bloom repeatedly. If you cut saliva back after the first bloom, the second will be even bigger. 

Perennial salvias come in shades of purple, pink, red, and white. They are favorites among pollinators, especially hummingbirds, which love their tubular flowers. They also have aromatic foliage. My favorite variety, pineapple sage, has foliage that smells like the tangy tropical fruit when you crush it. Once established there is no keeping this plant down. Through the hottest weeks of summer, it’s reliably drought-tolerant and continues to bloom. 

Plant your salvia in a spot with at least six hours of direct sun. It can grow in partial shade but won’t grow as large or flower as much. You can pinch your salvia early in the season to increase branching and flowering. A relative of mint, salvia can be an aggressive spreader, so give it some space in the garden. 


Coreopsis displays delicate, fern-like foliage and abundant, daisy-like flowers in shades of yellow.
Lovely, low-fuss perennial with abundant blooms and frost tolerance.

Tickseed is a lovely, low-fuss perennial that flowers from spring through fall. It can be a chore to deadhead this plant, as it produces an abundance of flowers. However, deadheading will dramatically increase the number of flowers and length of bloom time. You can cut back the entire plant after its first bloom to encourage a bigger bloom later in the season. 

These plants require little, aside from occasional watering. Apply a balanced formula fertilizer when new growth emerges in spring to encourage a robust start to the season. This is one of the earlier bloomers in my yard and is somewhat frost-tolerant. It begins to grow early in the spring and endures into the cooler months.

Make sure you’re planting a perennial type if you want to see your tickseed return next year. It makes a nice container plant and looks great in the flower garden. Leave the seed heads on the plant in the fall to attract overwintering birds. The plants spread by self-seeding. 


Red Achillea millefolium features feathery, finely divided foliage and clusters of small, flat-topped flowers in deep red hues.
Charming umbels and feathery foliage add vintage garden charm.

Sweet yarrow flowers add vintage charm to the garden all summer long. Charming umbels in shades of white, yellow, red, and pink can show up as early as April. The feathery, fernlike foliage adds fine texture to the flowerbed. The flowers grow on slender stems, making them wonderful for the cutting garden. 

Yarrow makes a wonderful dried flower, too. The yellow types, in particular, retain a lot of their color when dried. The plant prefers hot, dry weather. It likes well-drained soil and as much sun as you can give it. If you grow it in the shade, the stems may get leggy and flop over. 

This plant spreads by self-seeding, as well as underground rhizomes. If left unchecked, it can take over a space. To control the spread, simply pull up sprouts that pop up in undesirable places. Deadheading spent blooms will also help to contain the spread. 

Blanket Flower

Gaillardia presents fern-like foliage and vibrant, daisy-like flowers with red and yellow banded petals.
Colorful, drought-tolerant perennial blooms from summer to fall in many zones.

Want a colorful bloomer that will stand up to dry, sandy soil, and hot summer temperatures? Blanket flower checks all the boxes, and it’s a perennial in Zones 3-9! This tough little plant will fill the garden with brilliant, warm shades throughout summer and well into the fall. 

The plants get their name from their spreading habit. They slowly spread across the ground, forming a blanket of blooms. The foliage forms a basal clump with flowers rising above on slim stems. 

Blanket flower plants are usually short-lived because they bloom prolifically. Individual plants may only live for two years. They reproduce easily, though. Leave a few seed heads on in the fall, and you’ll have plenty of plants in the spring. This plant is drought tolerant and likes poor and sandy soil types. 

Russian Sage

Perovskia atriplicifolia exhibits silvery-gray foliage and spikes of small, tubular purple-blue flowers.
Enhance your garden with vibrant, drought-resistant perennial beauties.

Russian sage is an attractive, long-blooming sub-shrub that is perennial in Zones 5-9. The plant blooms and performs best in full sun. It doesn’t mind poor, sandy soil; that is its preference. It’s drought tolerant, making this a great plant for those with hot, dry summers. 

The plant is a mid-sized shrub with soft, grey-green foliage. Long spikes of purple flowers top off the stems for several months in summer and sometimes fall. The airy texture of this plant contrasts nicely with other broad-leafed companions.

Russian sage works very well in a rock garden or any other low-water situation. When newly planted, make sure to water regularly for that first season. Once established, you can’t beat this plant for drought tolerance.  


Nepeta showcases gray-green leaves and spikes of small, lavender-blue flowers.
Enjoy effortless gardening with aromatic, colorful catmint.

Catmint is similar in terms of its needs to Russian sage. It even looks similar! Catmint is an easy plant to cultivate. You can almost plant it and forget it. It’s a good idea to water this plant occasionally. Once established, it is pest, disease, and drought-resistant. Your cat will love it, too!

This small shrub produces cool-toned flowers in shades of pink, purple, blue, and white. The flowers begin to bloom in late spring and can last through the summer to early fall. Some varieties can bloom earlier or longer, leading right up to the first frost. 

Plant catmint in full sun and well-draining soil. It works well in water-wise gardens and makes a nice border. The foliage is aromatic, like other members of the mint family. Some varieties have a pleasant minty scent, while others can smell a bit stinky. 


Echinacea plants feature robust, lance-shaped leaves and striking, daisy-like pink-purple flowers adorned with prominent cone-shaped centers.Bring late-season vibrancy to your garden with colorful, wildlife-friendly blooms.

Add some Echinacea to your garden for later-season flowers. This plant, commonly known as coneflower, is a summer and fall bloomer. Pollinators adore these blooms for their abundance of nectar. Drought tolerant and colorful, these plants prefer full sun except in warm climates. There, they will appreciate some afternoon shade. 

Coneflowers will self-seed, but they don’t spread aggressively. They are a great, low-maintenance flowering addition to the garden. You may have heard of the health benefits of this plant to humans. While we can’t speak to those facts, I can tell you that this plant is a great wildlife supporter. In addition to pollinators, the seed heads feed songbirds in the fall. 

When it comes to all Echinacea species, flowers can be purple, white, yellow, orange, or pink. They are noteworthy for their large, cone-like centers. These spiky centers are eye-catching in the garden. Once established, these plants virtually take care of themselves. 

Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia Black-eyed Susan displays coarse, hairy leaves and bright yellow, daisy-like flowers with dark brown centers.
Illuminate your garden with enduring, vibrant yellow blooms all summer.

This classic roadside wildflower might have a reputation for being basic. I argue that in the perennial garden, Black-eyed Susan is anything but basic. With its bright yellow blooms and deep chocolate centers, these flowers provide some of the best all-summer color. Some species even showcase showier flowers in shades of red and brown. 

Black-eyed Susans are sturdy, drought-tolerant plants. Their soft, fuzzy stems and leaves are charming, and they self-seed well. If you want them to, these plants will pop up around the yard in the coming years. If not, pull them up when they first sprout. Their pubescent leaves are a dead giveaway. 

These plants produce flowers from early spring until the first frost depending on your climate. Here in the South, mine tend to wear out in the August heat. They sure do make the most of spring and early summer though!


Asclepias features slender, lance-shaped leaves and clusters of small, star-shaped flowers in shades of pink.
Attract butterflies and enjoy long-lasting blooms.

You might know this plant as the larval food for the beautiful Monarch butterfly. Milkweed is also a flowering perennial plant with a long flowering period. There are more than 60 species of this plant native to North America. Here, we showcase Asclepias syriaca, also called common milkweed.

There is some debate surrounding the importance of planting native species of the plant. Tropical milkweed, or Asclepias curassavica, can carry a parasite over the winter in warm climates. This parasite is harming the butterfly population. When in doubt, Asclepias syriaca is native to most of the United States.

Milkweed plants bloom from late spring until the end of summer. Some will continue to bloom into the fall months, depending on your climate. Pretty flowers are rich sources of nature, so you get flowers and butterflies along with this plant.  

Anise Hyssop

Agastache foeniculum presents fragrant, licorice-scented foliage and spikes of tubular flowers in shades of purple.
Enjoy the aromatic allure and pollinator magnetism of anise hyssop.

This plant has a deceptive name, as it is not closely related to true anise. The scent of the aromatic leaves has often been likened to anise, however, which is where the common name comes from. Personally, I find that it has an herbal scent similar to tarragon with a bit of mint.

Anise hyssop is a herbaceous perennial that produces purple flower clusters throughout summer. In cooler climates, it will continue to bloom into the fall months. It’s very attractive to pollinators, and bumblebees in particular seem to love it. Deadheading will encourage branching and extra blooms. 

When it comes to invasiveness, anise hyssop isn’t at the bottom of the list. It self-seeds freely and also spreads by rhizome. I find that lots of little seedlings pop up around my plants in the spring. They are easy to pull out, so if you are aware, it’s not difficult to stem the spread. 


Hemerocallis showcases strap-like foliage and large, trumpet-shaped flowers in golden yellow.Experience a kaleidoscope of daily summer blooms with resilient perennials.

Daylilies are another deceptively named flowering perennial. These plants are not lilies at all. They are, however, fast-growing, long flowering, and cold-hardy. The sturdy and substantial plants have strap-like leaves that create a large-scale grassy appearance en masse. 

These plants are great bloomers that provide a ton of color in the garden. Plant bare roots in the spring, and you’ll have new flowers opening daily all summer and into the fall. They can even bloom in late spring in warm climates. Here in Zone 9, they are popping by the first of June. 

Daylilies bloom best in full sun. They can grow in partial shade, but they won’t produce as many flowers. In warmer climates, some afternoon shade will keep them looking perky on those hot, midsummer days. You can plant different varieties for more staggered blooms for a longer period. Be careful not to plant varieties that are invasive to your region.

Garden Phlox

Phlox paniculata exhibits lance-shaped leaves and dense clusters of star-shaped flowers in shades of pink.
Enjoy fragrant, abundant blooms from tall, sun-loving garden phlox.

Phlox produces large clusters of wonderful, sweet-smelling flowers. There are many types of these plants, and we typically characterize them by their height and growth habits. The longest blooming, and tallest, are garden phlox. These plants can be difficult to grow from seeds, so nursery starts are the way to go. 

Plant your phlox in full sun or partial shade in warmer climates. These plants prefer moist, nutrient-rich soil but not wet soil. Make sure to keep these watered in times of little rain. These tall phlox make a nice mid-ground plant in the landscape or backdrop in the flower bed. 

Plant these in the early spring and watch them flourish in the cool weather. They will bloom throughout the summer. Different varieties can bloom as early as June and as late as October. Garden phloxes make excellent cut flowers as they have tall, straight stems. 


Hibiscus features glossy, deep green leaves and a large, showy flower with prominent stamens in shades of pink with a contrasting crimson center.Experience spectacular, oversized blooms from hardy and tropical varieties.

Hardy hibiscus plants are not only big bloomers from a time perspective, but they also boast some of the largest flowers of any perennial. Some tropical varieties produce flowers that are 12 inches in diameter! Hibiscus flowers don’t last long, but the shrubs can produce such a bounty of blooms that they will flower for months. 

Hardy hibiscus plants, like the one pictured above, are perennial in Zones 4-9. Tropical types are best suited to Zones 9-11. These can bloom nearly year-round under the right conditions. Hardy types bloom from spring to fall for several months, depending on the climate. 

Hibiscus shrubs can grow large, although there are dwarf varieties that will fit well in smaller spaces. They like rich, moist soil and do their best blooming when they are well hydrated. Hummingbirds love the flowers. 


Dianthus presents narrow, gray-green foliage and clusters of small, bi-colored pink flowers with jagged white edges.Adorn your garden with vibrant, fragrant flowers that bloom perennially.

For a color that is simultaneously bold and delicate, dianthus is a wonderful plant. These sweet flowers come in bold colors and have lightly ruffled petals. They also have a nice fragrance that is similar to cloves, just a bit spicy. 

Not only are these plants perennial, but in warmer climates, they are evergreen. They bloom predominantly in the spring, but some varieties bloom in summer and fall intermittently or steadily. They are easy to find and easy to care for. Planted in a grouping, they make an impressive splash in the garden.

Plant your dianthus in rich, well-drained soil. They prefer full sun, except in warmer climates where they will benefit from some afternoon shade. Sadly, these plants are susceptible to a large number of pests and diseases, so they tend to be higher-maintenance than some others on the list. 


Clematis displays vigorous vines with palmate leaves and large, star-shaped, showy purple flowers.
Create a stunning display with prolific flowering vines on trellises.

If you want a beautiful flowering vine to cover an arbor or trellis, clematis vines are major bloomers. The attractive green foliage makes a nice backdrop for large, flamboyant flowers. The best part is, that they bloom anywhere from early spring to late fall, depending on the variety and climate! Some early bloomers will flower again in the fall. 

If you plant an early blooming variety, prune it after the first flush. Cutting it back about eight inches past the first healthy node will cause a flush of new growth. This new growth is likely to bloom again later in the season. 

Plant your clematis in the spring. These long-lived perennials don’t like to be transplanted. Make sure they have something adequate to climb, these vines can get large, and long. Water your new plant in times of little rain. It can take two to three years to reach its full blooming potential. 


Lavandula showcases narrow, gray-green foliage and spikes of lavender-blue flowers.
Create a fragrant, low-maintenance garden staple with sun and neglect.

Some say lavender is tricky, but if you consider its needs, it’s a low-maintenance plant. This Mediterranean native thrives on neglect. It likes poor, sandy, or gravely soil to begin with. It doesn’t like fertile soil or fertilizer, as these things can inhibit flowering.

Choose the right type of lavender for your climate, and you will love the way this plant looks and smells all summer long. Depending on your climate and variety, you may see flowers as early as May, and some last well into the fall months. 

Many gardeners kill their lavender with kindness. Don’t feed it. Water it only when the soil is dry, and make sure it gets plenty of sunlight. After your plant finishes blooming, prune it back by about half. 

Shasta Daisy

Leucanthemum x superbum features dark green foliage and large, daisy-like flowers with white petals and yellow centers.
Create a charming, vintage feel with hardy, long-stemmed garden blooms.

Shasta daisies give the garden a sweet, vintage vibe. They have all the classic charm of a cottage garden staple, with the hardiness of a well-bred hybrid. In mild climates, these plants are evergreen, retaining their deep green, toothy foliage. They have long, strong stems, making them wonderful for the cutting garden. 

In terms of care, Shasta daisies are very middle-of-the-road. They like moderately fertile soil with good drainage. Daisies also like regular watering but not soggy feet. They will take an average amount of fertilizer. You can feed a slow-release formula in spring or a weekly liquid fertilizer monthly. 

Shasta daisies are medium-sized, shrubby plants that play well with others visually. Their cheery white flowers have a unique scent that is similar to a chrysanthemum. Flowers are typically white and bloom for several months lasting from late spring to early fall. 


Astilbe presents fern-like foliage and feathery, plume-like clusters of flowers in shades of pink.
Illuminate shaded gardens with vibrant blooms and lush, lacy foliage.

Flowering perennials for shaded spaces can be a challenge to find. Most plants need an abundance of light to produce flowers, so when you come across a plant like astilbe, it seems too good to be true. This plant is an absolute star in the garden. It comes in many colors and sizes and adapts to a range of lighting conditions. Some varieties can flower in nearly full shade.

Astilbes have wonderful, lacy, green foliage and large fluffy flower plumes. These plumes are the stuff of dreams in shades of pink, white, red, and purple. The flowers bloom from late spring through the summer. You can plant different cultivars close together for continuous blooms.

Clumps spread, though not at an unmanageable pace. You can separate them every few years and move them around or increase the size of your bed. The plant spreads by rhizomes and dies back in the winter. 

Perennial Geranium

Geranium bohemicum exhibits lobed, deeply cut leaves and small, cup-shaped flowers in shades of purple.
Add enduring color and resilience with these hardy garden blooms.

Perennial geraniums look a bit different from the annual plants we are used to seeing at every nursery. Don’t get me wrong, those are gorgeous, too. But these will come back year after year, bringing color to your flower beds. 

These plants are tough. They grow well in a wide range of conditions. Not picky about sun exposure, four to six hours daily should keep these blooming. Plants in full sun may bloom more. Their flowers come in shades of purple, pink, blue, red, and white. Their leaves are more finely textured than annual geraniums. 

Rich to moderate, well-draining soil works well for these perennials. The most important factor is drainage, as these plants will not tolerate wet feet. In full sun, these will need more water, afternoon shade will keep them looking perky and make them less work for the gardener. 


Sedum showcases fleshy, succulent foliage and clusters of star-shaped flowers in shades of pink.
Create a vibrant, low-maintenance garden with colorful, drought-tolerant stonecrops.

Stonecrops are ideal, low-maintenance, flowering perennials. These succulent plants thrive in rock gardens and are very drought-tolerant. They require so little maintenance it might be surprising that they are such great bloomers. 

These plants produce lots of flowers in shades of red, pink, white, and yellow. They prefer sandy loam but will grow in just about any soil as long as it’s not soggy. They don’t need much water because they store it in their succulent leaves. 

Hardy in a wide range of climates, stonecrops will begin blooming in early summer and continue into the fall months. Some can bloom from spring through fall in milder climates. You will definitely draw pollinators with this plant. 

Bleeding Heart

Dicentra presents finely divided, fern-like foliage and heart-shaped flowers in shades of pink and white, dangling from arching stems.Adorn your trellis with stunning bleeding heart vines.

Bleeding heart vines are slightly higher maintenance than some others on this list. But I think their unique flowers and attractive form make them worth mentioning. These vining plants look truly stunning on a trellis. They grow well in partial shade and flower for a long period.

The unique flowers are where this plant gets its name. Clusters of calyxes form, and from them descend bright red flowers. The appearance is that of a drop of blood falling from each calyx until the flower opens. These are tropical plants and have a small range, comparatively. They can come indoors for the winter in cooler climates, and they grow well in containers. 

This plant prefers a humid climate and organically rich, moist soil. Different varieties have different blooming habits. Many can bloom year-round in tropical climates. Most bloom from spring to fall. 

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to toil over high-maintenance annuals to keep your garden flowering all season. All you need are sturdy perennials with significant bloom times. Planting these exemplary bloomers will keep your space colorful and floriferous. They will return year after year, and many of them will reproduce, bringing even more flowers to your landscape. 

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