10 Types of Easy-Care Perennial Flowers

Enjoy Beautiful Flowers with Little Work

Large flower summer garden
essenin / Getty Images

There are many wonderful perennial plants that can be labeled low maintenance. The two basic tricks are to pick plants that are suited to your site and allow them time to become established. If you do this, you will have at least a few low-maintenance, undemanding plants providing interest and bloom in the perennial border. This is not to say your garden will be no maintenance. Where is the fun in that? But these 10 plants will allow you time to enjoy gardening.

Tip

All of the flowers on this list are easy to grow and care for, but none will thrive in wet soil. Be sure to find locations in your garden where the soil drains well (or amend the soil to improve drainage).

  • 01 of 10

    Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)

    Summer garden with Blazing Star (Liatris) flowers - X
    AlpamayoPhoto / Getty Images

    Although native to marshy areas, Liatris spicata is surprisingly drought tolerant and accepting of all types of soil. It is a tireless bloomer, and the spiky flowers and grassy foliage add definite textural interest to the garden. With its high nectar content and tubular flowers, these plants are also magnets for monarch butterflies during their fall migration. To avoid staking, select a compact or low growing variety.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Color Varieties: Purple, pink, or white
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: All types of soil with good drainage
  • 02 of 10

    Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

    Eastern purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    Frederik / Getty Images

    There was a time not so long ago when coneflowers were called "purple coneflowers." Now this extremely rugged prairie plant can be had in almost any color of the rainbow. The originals are still the hardiest, but as horticulturalists keep refining the breeding of the newer varieties, the varieties keep getting hardier and hardier. Coneflowers will bloom all summer with deadheading. Other than deadheading, coneflowers pretty much take care of themselves.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 10
    • Color Varieties: Purple, white, orange, yellow, pink, or red
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun or part shade
    • Soil Needs: Sandy, rocky, and clay soils with good drainage
  • 03 of 10

    Coral Bells (Heuchera)

    Heuchera (Heuchera) 'Silver Scrolls'
    Anne Green-Armytage / Getty Images

    Heuchera got its common name of coral bells because the original garden plant had dainty coral bell-shaped flowers. The foliage was nice, but it was the froth of flowers that was the main attraction. Now, coral bells are ​more often grown for the colorful and variegated leaves which can be anything from lime green to deep purple with lots of swirls and splotches in the mix. It blooms in late spring or early summer. Despite the small size of the flowers, they are one of the most popular hummingbird plants.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Color Varieties: White, coral, pink, or red
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Any soil with good drainage
  • 04 of 10

    Foam Flower (Tiarella cordifolia)

    A cluster of Foamflowers (tiarella cordifolia)
    Brian Carter / Getty Images

    Foam flower spreads rapidly but accommodates other plants by going around them. It makes an ideal ground cover, giving four seasons of interest when the leaves are still visible above the snow cover. Fuzzy spikes of pink or white flowers shoot out above the maple-shaped leaves. The velvety leaves remain attractive all season. Foam flower will take care of itself if planted in a shady or woodland setting.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Color Varieties: White or pink
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Any soil with good drainage
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)

    A closeup of some echinops-globe-thistle.jpg
    Photo: Beth Duri/Getty Images

    Globe thistle is one thistle that is not weedy or invasive. It does not require division because, with its long taproot, it does not like to be disturbed. Although it stays in bloom for weeks at a time from early summer to early fall, the beauty does not end there. Globe thistle looks attractive even as it fades, and it makes a great dried flower, almost drying itself.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Color Varieties: Blue, purple, and white
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Any soil with good drainage
  • 06 of 10

    Hosta (Hosta)

    A patch of Hosta in a garden
    Gilles Le Scanff & Joëlle-Caroline Mayer / Getty Images

    Hostas are extremely low-care perennials. If deer and slugs did not love them so much, they would be almost perfect. Since they do most of their growing early in the season, a few applications of a systemic deer deterrent can greatly lessen the deer damage, and the thicker leaved varieties are less attractive to slugs. Most do best in partial shade, but the golden leaf varieties can handle a good deal of sun. It grows in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9. Its purple or white flowers bloom generally in mid-summer.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Color Varieties: Blue, white, yellow, gold, or green
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade depending on variety
    • Soil Needs: Any soil with good drainage
  • 07 of 10

    Peonies (Paeonia)

    Peony flowers
    Garden Photo World/Georgianna Lane/ Getty Images

    This favorite, old-fashioned perennial looks best if left alone. The heavy double blossoms may require some staking if they do not have other plants to lean on, but the single-flowered varieties are usually able to stand tall on their own. The bushy foliage looks attractive all season. Peonies prefer to stay put and do not adjust quickly to being divided. They can be prone to gray mold (botrytis), and the foliage should be cut back and disposed of in the fall. There is an incredible number of peony varieties to choose from to suit your garden's look. It grows in USDA hardiness zones 2 through 9 and blooms in late spring or early summer with pink, white, red, or yellow flowers.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 9
    • Color Varieties: Pink, white, red, or yellow flowers
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Any well-drained amended soil
  • 08 of 10

    Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

    A closeup of blue spire Russian sage
    Image Source / Getty Images

    Give Russian sage good drainage and full sun, and you will be rewarded with a haze of blue and purple that gets brighter and more vivid as the blossoms open usually mid-summer or early fall. The plants get woody stems but can die back to the ground in colder climates. Pruning down to 8 to 10 inches in early spring encourages new growth and profuse blooms. It is highly resistant to drought as well. Russian sage has very few pest problems; even deer do not like it.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Color Varieties: Pale blue to azure
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Any well-drained soil
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Sea Thrift (Armeria)

    Sea thrift (Armenia maritima), also known as sea pink
    Gareth Mccormack / Getty Images

    The foliage of sea thrift resembles a tuft of grass, but do not be fooled. The flowers blooming in spring or early summer demand to be noticed by shooting up above the delicate foliage in bold colors: pink, rose, lilac, red, or white. The flower themselves resemble small allium clusters. If deadheaded, you will usually get a repeat bloom, and the whole plant can be refreshed by cutting down to basal growth, but it is not required.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Color Varieties: Pale blue to azure
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Any well-drained soil (salt-tolerant)
  • 10 of 10

    Siberian Iris (Iris siberica)

    A field of Siberian iris
    Konrad Wothe/LOOK-foto/Getty Images

    Siberian iris is one of the most attractive and adaptable of the irises. Siberian iris has the typical iris leaf blades, but unlike many of their cousins, Siberian iris leaves do not flop or scorch after blooming in late spring. The plants remain a contrasting form in the garden long after the blooms have faded. Siberian iris can spread quickly in moist conditions and require division when it gets crowded, or it will produce fewer flowers. In warmer zones, it may even rebloom in the fall.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Color Varieties: Blue, purple, or white
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Rich soil with good drainage