What Flower Comes Back Every Year?

What Flower Comes Back Every Year?

What Flower Comes Back Every Year?
What Flower Comes Back Every Year?
What Flower Comes Back Every Year?
What Flower Comes Back Every Year?
What Flower Comes Back Every Year?
What Flower Comes Back Every Year?
What Flower Comes Back Every Year?
What Flower Comes Back Every Year?
What Flower Comes Back Every Year?
What Flower Comes Back Every Year?
What Flower Comes Back Every Year?
What Flower Comes Back Every Year?

growing bearded iris

QUESTION: What flowers come back every year? I want to put some flowers in my garden that I can count on to return year after year. — Leslie Y.

ANSWER: Plants that return every year are called perennials. (You can learn more in our article What’s the Difference Between Annual and Perennial Flowers.) So you’ll find flowers that come back every year described as “perennial flowers” in seed catalogs, online, or at the nursery. Here are a few of our very favorites so you can get an idea of the perennial flower options available for you to add to your garden.

Bearded Iris (Iris germanica)

Springtime blooms with shapes like frilly dresses open in a wide array of colors from these bulb flowers with lance-shaped leaves. Blooms are available in shades including blue, brown, peach, pink, purple, white, yellow, and lots of double-colored options.

Growing Zones: 3 through 10

Size: 12 inches to 40 inches tall by 1 foot to 2 feet wide

Sun: Full sun

Soil: Average soil that provides a good amount of drainage; performs well in sandy or gravel soil, so heavier soils may be amended with gypsum or well-rotted compost to improve texture

For more information, see our article How to Grow and Divide Bearded Iris.

growing bee balm

Bee Balm (Monarda)

Also called bergamot, horsemint, and Oswego tea, bee balm is a great way to add some color and drama to the garden. Blossoms resemble fireworks atop tall blue-green stems and can be found in shades including pink, purple, red, and white.

Growing Zones: 3 through 9

Size: 1 foot to 8 feet tall by up to 2 feet wide

Sun: Performs at its best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade

Soil: Slightly acidic to neutral soil rich in organic material that provides even moisture

For more information, see our article What You Need to Know About the Bee Balm Plant.

growing butterfly bush

Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)

A shrub may not have been your first thought when you’re looking for perennial flowers, but the butterfly bush produces some serious blooms. The large, attention-grabbing flowering spikes come in shades including blue, pink, red, yellow, and multicolored.

Growing Zones: 5 through 9

Size: 4 feet to 12 feet tall by 3 feet to 8 feet wide

Sun: Full sun

Soil: Slightly acidic to neutral soil with pH level between 6.0 and 7.0 that provides moderate moisture and a good amount of drainage

For more information, see our article How to Grow Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii).

growing coneflower

Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Coneflowers offer long-lasting blooms that resemble mauve daisies for a very minimal investment of time and energy on the part of the gardener. There are varieties in different shades of pink and purple as well as types with droopy, spiky, or ruffled blossoms.

Growing Zones: 3 through 8

Size: 2 feet to 5 feet tall by 18 inches to 2 feet wide

Sun: Full sun to partial shade, but performs at its best in full sun

Soil: Average soil that provides a good amount of drainage and is medium to dry

For more information, see our article How to Grow Echinacea (Coneflowers).

growing daisies

Daisies (Bellis perennis)

The delicate blooms of these English daisies are more lowslung than the more familiar Shasta daisies (which are also a perennial). These plants need moisture and are intolerant of drought conditions.

Growing Zones: 3 through 9

Size: 3 inches to 6 inches tall by 3 inches to 9 inches wide

Sun: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Slightly acidic sandy, loamy, or clay soil with pH level between 5.5 and 6.5 that provides moisture and a good amount of drainage

For more information, see our article How to Grow Daisies.

growing daylily

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

The apricot-colored daylilies are most familiar, and they’re gorgeous to be sure. But did you know there are brighter shades available, including pink, hot pink, and purple? 

Growing Zones: 4 through 9

Size: 10 inches to over 6 feet tall by one to three feet wide

Sun: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Acidic, alkaline, or neutral chalky, clay, or loamy soil that provides a good amount of drainage

For more information, see our article How to Grow Daylily Flowers.

growing foxgloves

Foxgloves (Digitalis)

The tall spires of foxgloves in the garden are stacked with pretty bell-shaped flowers in shades like pink, purple, red, white, or yellow. Do be advised that these garden glories are toxic to people and pets alike, so don’t plant them if children or pets play in your yard.

Growing Zones: 4 through 9

Size: 2 feet to 5 feet tall by 1 foot to 2 feet wide

Sun: Full sun to partial sun

Soil: Slightly acidic loamy soil with a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5 that provides a good amount of drainage

For more information, see our article How to Grow Foxglove (Digitalis).

growing hibiscus

Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos)

The tropical color of a hardy hibiscus plant increases year by year as the small shrub grows into a larger tree. Huge, vivid blooms offer summertime color in shades like blue, pink, red, or white.

Growing Zones: 4 through 11

Size: 3 feet to 7 feet tall by 2 feet to 4 feet wide

Sun: Full sun

Soil: Neutral to acidic soil that is average to rich; does particularly well in moist spots of the garden

For more information, see our article How to Grow and Care for Your Hibiscus Plant.

growing hellebores

Hellebores (Helleborus)

These gorgeous old-fashioned blooms come in shades like fuchsia, cream tinged with green, and a lovely velvety black. Enjoy their blooms in the winter and early spring, and enjoy the chance to plant something really pretty in a shady spot.

Growing Zones: 3 through 9

Size: 1 to 2 feet tall by 1 to 2 feet wide

Sun: Partial sun or shade

Soil: Alkaline or neutral chalky, clay, loamy, or sandy soil that gets a good amount of drainage

For more information, see our article How to Grow Hellebores Flowers.

growing pincushion flowers

Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa)

Scabiosa is made of rumpled tissue-paper petals around a center pincushion-dotted with long needle-like stamens. Their beautiful blossoms stay open from late spring to frost. Flowers come in blue, pink, purple, mauve, and white, with one strain of purple so deep it almost looks black.

Growing Zones: 3 through 7

Size: 1 foot to 2 feet tall by 1 foot to 2 feet wide

Sun: Full sun, but will tolerate partial shade in regions that have hot summers

Soil: Chalky, loam, or sandy soil with average to medium moisture that provides a good amount of drainage

For more information, see our article How to Grow Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa Atropurpurea & Scabiosa Caucasica).

growing sea holly

Sea Holly (Eryngium)

Sea holly’s true blue shade is a rarity in the garden. This plant’s unusual blooms are made up of spiky petals around a stacked center that resembles a blue raspberry.

Growing Zones: 2 through 10

Size: 2 feet to 3 feet tall by 1 foot to 2 feet wide

Sun: Full sun

Soil: Poor and dry to moderately fertile soil that provides a good amount of drainage (except for giant sea holly, Eryngium pandanifolium, which performs at its best in soil with at least a moderate level of moisture)

For more information, see our article How to Grow Sea Holly (Eryngium) Flowers.

Tips for Choosing and Caring for Perennial Flowers

Select the Right Plant for Your Garden

Before you get your heart set on that perfect perennial flower, make sure you’re choosing one that will perform well in the place you have for it. 

Do you know your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone? You must choose a plant that will thrive in your zone if you want it to stay in your garden for years to come. (For more details, see our article A Guide to Planting Zones.)

You’ll also need to make sure you meet the soil and sun needs of the plant you select. Scope out the empty spots in your garden. What kind of sunlight do they get over the course of the day? What is the soil like there? Fit the flower to the spot instead of trying to shoehorn a plant into a place where it won’t really be happy.

Start with Shopping for the Best Plants

When you’re shopping for plants at the nursery or garden center, it’s tempting to choose those with the most beautiful blossoms. But the truth is, those bloom-covered specimens are spending their glory days and may not have more flowers to give once they’ve been installed in your garden. But never fear: We can help you pick out the healthiest plants with the most blooms in their future from the nursery or garden center.

Start by looking for buds, not blossoms. Plants with a healthy amount of buds will be opening their blooms in your garden, even though they may not be as immediately attractive in the store as plants covered with blossoming flowers.

Next, turn your eye away from flowers to foliage. Avoid plants with any signs of damage or disease, including faded leaves, nicks and cuts, and slimy or inexplicably wet areas.

Finally, consider the overall silhouette of the plants on your short list. The best plant to choose is likely not the tallest or largest. Instead, choose a compact plant with a symmetrical shape. 

For more details, see our article How to Choose Healthy Plants at a Nursery or Garden Center: A Checklist.

Keeping Perennials Pruned

Most perennials will benefit from some pruning to help them keep their shape and to promote a good growth habit. You’ll need to do a bit of research into each individual plant variety to find out when to prune and exactly what the pruning instructions are. However, most plants will benefit most from being pruned while they are dormant. Even those perennials that don’t need pruning, like bulb flowers, may need other maintenance. (Bulb flowers do best when divided every couple of years.)

Make sure to use sterilized gardening shears or other tools when you are pruning. You’ll need to clean your gardening tools as you move between plants in the garden. Doing so will help to prevent the transmission of plant diseases.

Prune to remove branches that extend past the overall shape of the plant. Also clip away plant material that shows any signs of damage or disease. When pruning shrubs, you may wish to clip branches back by about a third each year.

Failure to prune results in a shape that is loose, overgrown, or stringy. The overall shape of the plant will also be affected as it overlaps the boundaries of its ideal compact form. And it’s not simply a cosmetic matter. If old growth gets pruned away, new growth can literally be choked out—failure to prune can prevent the plant from putting out new shoots.

Pinching Back Spent Blooms

One way to encourage a plant to keep blooming and blooming is called deadheading. To extend your plant’s blooming period, just remove spent blooms from the plant once they have faded. You can use your (clean) hands, or use a sterile pair of shears or other gardening tool.

Simply make it a part of your gardening routine to walk through the parts of your garden where you’ve planted perennial flowers and deadhead to remove the spent blooms. It’s not hard to keep up with the deadheading when you tackle it on a regular basis this way.

With the information you’ve learned here, you’re well prepared not only to select a flower for your garden that will come back every year but to take good care of it. 

Learn More About Perennial Flower Gardening

https://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/perennials/perennial-flowers-by-season/

https://www.burpee.com/perennials/

https://dcmga.com/north-texas-gardening/perennials/

https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/20-best-perennial-plants/

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/g32673850/best-perennial-flowers-plants/

https://www.skh.com/thedirt/choosing-and-planting-perennial-flowers/

blooming foxgloves with text overlay perennial flowers growing flowers that come back every year

The post What Flower Comes Back Every Year? appeared first on Gardening Channel.

* This article was originally published here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: