Hey everyone, I hope you're all doing well today. I wanted to discuss 15 different types of perennials, specifically those that are reliable workhorses in the garden, requiring minimal care. In my opinion, every garden should include these perennials. I've personally grown all the varieties I'm about to share, and they're relatively easy to find.
I've categorized them into three groups: five for full sun, five for shade, and five for areas with partial sun or shade. Let's start with the full sun perennials.
Sedums: If you desire a low-maintenance perennial, sedums are at the top of my list. They thrive in challenging conditions, such as poor soil and minimal water. Sedums come in various forms, including ground covers and upright varieties, with diverse leaf colors and bloom shades. They don't require deadheading, are deer-resistant, drought-tolerant, and generally hassle-free.
Russian Sage: Similar to sedums, Russian sage thrives in full sun and tolerates poor soil and minimal water once established. A compact variety I recommend is Denim and Lace, which grows to about 28-32 inches tall and has deep blue blooms from mid-summer to fall.
Lavender: Lavender is another low-maintenance favorite for sunny spots. Plant it in well-drained soil with full sun, and it will reward you with fragrant blooms. Varieties like Sweet Romance and Munstead are reliable choices.
Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susans): These perennials are known for their bright yellow or orange blooms that last from mid-summer until a hard frost. They're deer-resistant and even tolerate black walnut trees in the vicinity. Goldsturm is a traditional and readily available variety to consider.
Echinaceas (Coneflowers): Coneflowers come in various sizes, colors, and growth habits. They're generally low-maintenance, and their blooms attract pollinators. Look for varieties like Echinacea purpurea, Double Scoop Cranberry, or Green Envy.
Now, let's move on to shade-loving perennials:
Hostas: These shade-loving perennials offer a wide range of leaf sizes, shapes, and colors. They are some of the first plants to emerge in spring, covering fading bulb foliage. Varieties like Coast to Coast, Empress Wu, and Ann Folkard provide options for different garden settings.
Brunnera (Siberian Bugloss): With heart-shaped leaves and small blue forget-me-not-like blooms, brunnera adds beauty to shaded areas. Varieties like Jack of Diamonds and Silver Hearts are popular choices.
Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa): This grass adds a graceful touch to shade gardens. Varieties like Ariola and All Gold offer different leaf colors and variegation patterns.
Lungwort (Pulmonaria): Pulmonaria's green leaves with silver variegation make them stand out. They produce unique pink and blue blooms in the spring and provide interest year-round.
Hellebores: Often called Lenten Roses, hellebores bloom in late winter and continue through spring. They feature semi-evergreen foliage and are available in various colors.
Lastly, here are some perennials that can thrive in both sun and shade:
Hardy Geraniums: These versatile plants come in various colors and forms. They're reliable, drought-tolerant, and deer-resistant. Varieties like Boom Chocolatta, Magnificum, and Johnson's Blue are excellent choices.
Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla mollis): Lady's mantle features attractive, scalloped leaves that catch water droplets. They produce chartreuse blooms in late spring and early summer.
Carex (Sedge): Ornamental sedge grasses like Evergold add texture and color variation to part-sun and part-shade areas.
Penstemon: These native perennials come in a range of colors and bloom from late spring to fall. Consider varieties like Midnight Masquerade for burgundy foliage and pink-lavender blooms.
Japanese Anemones: These elegant perennials feature delicate, swaying blooms in late summer and fall. Fall in Love Sweetly is a more compact variety, while traditional white varieties offer timeless beauty.
These perennials can be versatile additions to your garden, providing interest and beauty in various light conditions. Happy gardening!