Long-Blooming Perennials

List of Perennial Flowers That Bloom All Summer Long

Long-blooming perennials make life easy for gardeners who crave color all summer. To be sure, through careful selection and planning, continuous sequence of bloom can be achieved using a multitude of plants that flower for but a brief time. But having perennial flowers that bloom all summer gives us more room for error. Just plant these workhorses in a place where they will be happy and let them do the work for you.

Of course, as with all plants, some work is still required on your part; for...MORE example:

  1. Weed control
  2. Deadheading
  3. Dividing perennials

But long-blooming perennials are well worth the work; here are some kinds to look for:

  • 01 of 17
    Phlox picture.
    Phlox blooms for a number of weeks during the summertime. Getty Images

    Come July, garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) is a staple of the garden. This long-blooming perennial flowers all summer and can continue its display into fall. But if you grow a traditional type of garden phlox, perhaps you have had to tolerate the presence of powdery mildew disease on your foliage for years. That is too bad, because that white film definitely detracts from the overall look of a plant. Newer types like 'David' garden phlox, however, are mildew-resistant, which keeps the...MORE foliage nice and healthy-looking all summer.

  • 02 of 17
    Stella de Oro (image) daylily is popular. Some think it's overused.
    'Stella de Oro' daylily gives you no-fuss color for a good portion of the summer. David Beaulieu

    Stella de Oro is a kind of daylily. Valued as a compact plant, Stella de Oro, like yarrow (see below), requires little care. This daylily flowers early (in the context of this list of long-blooming perennials) and thereby complements other entries on my list.

  • 03 of 17
    Image of Shasta daisy flower.
    Shasta daisy flower provides cheer on the dreariest of days. David Beaulieu

    If we travel back through the mists of history, we find that "daisy" was once spelled "day's eye." It was a sun metaphor, and very much reflective of the ambiance created by this plant: it is difficult to contemplate a daisy and not come away with a sunny outlook on life. But this classic flower is more than just eye candy. Becky Shasta daisies are tough plants and display an endurance that belies their delicate appearance.

  • 04 of 17
    Perennial Salvia
    skhoward/Getty Images

    I deadhead my salvias regularly, and these perennials bloom all summer for me. Victoria blue salvia is treated as an annual where I live but is still well worth growing. 'Blue Hill,' 'May Night' and 'Caradonna' salvias have good cold-hardiness and the flowers bloom all summer.

    Continue to 5 of 17 below.
  • 05 of 17
    Blue spire Russian sage
    Image Source / Getty Images

    For a tall plant, Russian sage has rather small blossoms. But what they lack in size, they make up for in numbers. This long-blooming perennial is showy -- but in the most tasteful way possible.

  • 06 of 17
    Paprika (image) is a red type of yarrow. The plant is also known as Achillea.
    'Paprika' is a red cultivar of yarrow, which comes more commonly in yellow. David Beaulieu

    Along with lavender (below), yarrow is one of the "herb" plants on this list of perennial flowers that bloom all summer. Yarrow plants were widely used medicinally prior to modern times to staunch blood. In fact, this medicinal use for yarrow is responsible for the plant's scientific name, Achillea. Today, most of us are more interested in the beauty and low maintenance of yarrow than in its herbal use.

  • 07 of 17
    Lavender flowers (image) are used in sachets. The herb is primarily non-culinary.
    Lavender is one of the better-known herbs whose uses are primarily non-culinary. David Beaulieu

    When you encounter lavender-scented linens, sachets and potpourris, you can't help but think "class." They provide a nice touch in a home and are ridiculously easy to acquire. But even people with no interest in such domesticity grow lavender plants. Why? Because these herb plants bring a touch of class to the landscape, too.

  • 08 of 17
    Ice Plant
    Art Poskanzer/flickr/CC By 2.0

    Technically, ice plant is hardy to zone 5. In reality, at the northern end of its range, it is not the easiest plant to grow. Winter hardiness simply is not a given in zone 5. But if ice plant survives the winter where you live, by all means take advantage and grow it! This ground cover boasts both vividly-colored flowers and unusual leaves.

    Continue to 9 of 17 below.
  • 09 of 17
    Randy Robertson/flickr/CC By 2.0

    Like several of the flowers on this list of long-blooming perennials, coneflower is drought-tolerant. Plant it in a hot, sunny location and it will bloom all summer with minimal irrigation. As a bonus, this plant even tolerates poor soil.

  • 10 of 17
    Moonbeam Coreopsis
    F. D. Richards/flickr/CC By 2.0

    There is a lot to like about Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam', including its:

    • "Threadleaf" foliage
    • Drought-tolerance
    • Bushy growth habit

    But first and foremost, Moonbeam coreopsis is a long-blooming perennial with brightly colored flowers that can't help but cheer you up.

  • 11 of 17
    Butterfly bush (image) is pretty, a butterfly magnet - and invasive in many areas. It's perennial.
    Butterfly bush is lovely and draws butterflies, but the species plant is invasive in many areas. David Beaulieu

    Many people, when they hear "butterfly bush," will immediately object: "But that is an invasive plant!" And, indeed, traditionally, that has been the wrap against Buddleia in various regions. However, a new Buddleia has been developed, called "'Blue Chip' butterfly bush; and it is supposed to be non-invasive. It has not been invasive for me, but if you have any reports to issue to the contrary, please let us know.

  • 12 of 17
    Black-eyed susan flower (image) is known for its cheer. It is a drought-tolerant perennial.
    If summer cheer came to earth as a flower, it would be a black-eyed Susan. David Beaulieu

    Like daisies, it is easy to underrate this popular, long-blooming perennial simply because it is so common. But there is often a good reason why a plant achieves widespread popularity. Garden snobs may cling to their hard-to-grow novelties, but it takes true maturity as a gardener to grant a plant like Rudbeckia its due: it is popular because it blooms all summer, warms the yard with its cheerful color, and requires minimal care. This last point is an important consideration for those who want a...MORE nice-looking yard but have no desire to spend hours on perennial care. If, on the other hand, you enjoy puttering around in the garden, you might want to bone up on the information provided in Caring for Perennials (a book that I review here).

    Continue to 13 of 17 below.
  • 13 of 17
    Autumn Joy flowers
    Ron Sutherland/Getty Images

    Autumn Joy sedum flowers are massed together in flower heads that are 3 inches or more across. The flowers of this long-blooming perennial can be yellow, orange, red, or pink. The plant technically comes into flower in late summer and is most valued for the autumn interest it provides (thus the name). Nevertheless, thanks to its showy buds, Autumn Joy merits grouping with the perennials that bloom all summer: its summer flower buds catch the eye long before they open.

  • 14 of 17
    Catmint Plants
    Neil Holmes/Getty Images

    Do not confuse "catnip"—the herb famous for driving felines into a frenzy—with "catmint." While catnip is a type of catmint, it is not the plant to which we refer when we discuss growing ornamental varieties. Weedy, aggressively-spreading, and bearing an unimpressive flower, catnip is grown purely for entertainment value: if you own a cat, their reaction to the herb can be highly amusing.

    But there are other types of catmint (Nepeta) for use in flower beds—long-blooming perennials...MORE that can function as ground covers. Click the link to learn about two examples.

  • 15 of 17
    Veronica Spicata in the counter-light
    Willi Schmitz / Getty Images

    There are many kinds of speedwell, including creeping types. The kind to which I refer in this list of long-blooming perennials is Veronica spicata 'Royal Candles', which bears blue flower spikes. This compact plant would work well in the front row of a flower bed, in some cases. If you like spiky blue flowers but a salvia would be a bit too rambunctious for a tight spot in the garden, this speedwell might be just the plant for you. The key to extending its flowering season is to shear...MORE it, as I describe in this article.

  • 16 of 17
    Red Hot Poker plant
    Kerry Garratt/flickr/CC By 2.0

    I grow red hot poker plants from the "Popsicle" series, specifically, 'Mango Popsicle,' 'Pineapple Popsicle,' and 'Redhot Popsicle.' Of the three, the pineapple has so far proven to be superior as a long-blooming perennial. The form of the flowers readily invites you to surround them with other plants with which they will contrast strikingly. The grass-like leaves of red hot poker plants hold out a similar invitation, even when the plant is not in bloom.

    Continue to 17 of 17 below.
  • 17 of 17
    Campanula portenschlagiana (image) is one of several plants called bellflowers. It is floriferous.
    Campanula portenschlagiana is one of the bellflowers. David Beaulieu

    Dalmatian bellflower goes by the rather oafish botanical moniker of Campanula portenschlagiana. But do not let that put you off: in the blooming game, this plant has no quit in it. Besides, if you enjoy growing a genus of solid pedigree, it is hard to beat Campanula. A member of this genus appears in a famous fairy tale, as I relate in my article. To access the article, just click on the picture.

    As I mentioned on Page 1, it is, doubtlessly, possible to attain a continuous sequence of bloom...MORE without relying on long-blooming perennials. That is, if you are very diligent in doing your homework, you can plant your beds in such a way that, as soon as one ephemeral bloomer peters out, another comes into bloom to take its place. Do you have that kind of diligence in you? Even if you do, understand that matters become even dicier when you attempt to achieve particular color combos in your perennial beds. I have reviewed a book that is very helpful in this regard, as it does a lot of the planning for you: the Encyclopedia of Planting Combinations.