5 Favorite Perennials: Foolproof Stunners for the Garden

I know there are other lists of favorite perennials out there, but I must share this list with you. If there are any other gardeners out there whose plants must thrive on neglect to survive, then this list is for you. If a plant needs to be coddled and pampered, it does not do well in our garden. What are the best hardy perennials? Here are five reliable returning perennials that need very little care. They are also well-behaved, meaning they don’t spread out of control and have to be cut back or divided each year. Read on, low-maintenance gardeners!

5 amazing Perennials foolproof stunners for the novice gardener

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Bleeding Heart

What is the longest blooming perennial? At our place, it’s the bleeding heart plants. They are so delicate-looking, and the heart-shaped blossoms are fascinating to observe. It’s fun for kids to see in such an obvious way how the plant came by its name. Around our house, we have the wild variety growing in the woods. We also have a gorgeous, reliable spring bloomer growing in our backyard. Purchased from a nursery, our backyard plant is taller than its wild cousins. Also, it fits in perfectly with the purple, blue and pink color scheme I am so fond of. I never give a thought to this easy-care plant. It’s located in a mostly sunny location. If we have a long dry spell, I give it some water, but that’s about it. It’s definitely a favorite perennial in my book!

favorite perennials bleeding heart

Bluebells

I always wanted some bluebells, then my husband rescued some unwanted bluebell plants from an improvement project where he worked. Hooray! They have done well in their partial shade location in our backyard. I welcome them back each year, just like old friends. Bluebells are easy to divide and spread around, but they aren’t invasive. Bonus!

favorite perennials bluebells

Chives

Maybe it seems weird to include chives in a list with favorite perennials, but our chives serve both ornamental and culinary purposes. I love the cute pom-pom blooms atop the slender stalks. I consider it a bonus that I am able to nip outside to snip some chives to use in recipes during the spring and summer months.

favorite perennials chives

Hosta

Perfect for shady garden areas, hostas have beautiful foliage that is prized as much, if not more than, their blooms. The only challenge we have had was keeping the deer from nibbling on the tender hosta shoots in early spring. Ever since we moved the hostas to a more sheltered location in our backyard, the deer haven’t been able to find them (yet).

favorite perennials hosta

Pulmonaria

Also known as lungwort, because the leaves are shaped like lungs, I prefer the name pulmonaria. I can’t even remember how we acquired our first plant, but after the first one, I was hooked. We planted our first one in a mainly shady location, and it thrived. We liked it so well, we divided it, and it thrived. The delicate purplish-pink blossoms make a show in the spring, and the rest of the growing season we enjoy the spotted foliage. The plants are very low-maintenance, and add interest to our perennial garden for many months of the year. I think in this list of favorite perennials, this one is my very favorite. It never spreads too much, the deer seem to avoid it, and I don’t have to do anything to it. A definite winner!

favorite perennial pulmonaria

Some Which Did Not Make the Cut

Some of you may be wondering why I left irises off of the list. We do have a lovely row of irises, and they bloom beautifully each year. However, weeding around the tubers is a pain. Also, they do need to be divided every so often. That’s on my to-do list for the fall. I love the way they look, but irises were not low-maintenance enough to make the final five on my list of favorite perennials.

favorite perennials iris

Another reliable, beautiful variety of perennial we have in our yard is the peony. Peonies are fragrant, bloom profusely, and return every year for a wonderful show of blossoms in late spring/early summer. Why didn’t they make the list of favorite perennials? They need to be staked. Someone in my household did a wonderful job of staking our peonies. I’ll give you a hint: It wasn’t me! So, the staking was a deal-breaker as far as being easy-care, but I still think peonies are terrific.

favorite perennials peony

Easily Design Your Own Perennial Garden Layout

Part of the fun of planting perennials is deciding how to arrange them. Create an easy, free, online garden layout plan using Google Slides. You can save multiple designs and print your favorite, if you wish.

What Are Your Favorites?

What are the best perennial flowers? Your list of favorite perennials may be entirely different from mine. I enjoy reading about favorite plants from folks in different geographic areas than where I live, which is the Pacific Northwest of the United States. What are your favorite perennials? I’d love to learn about them.

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More Planting Ideas

Columbine are reliable bloomers if you are looking for a taller perennial. Check out the tips for the best companion plants for eggplant to learn what to grow with those beauties. Get tips for growing stunning dahlias. Are you a beginning gardener? Try planting some old garden roses. There are so many exciting plants to grow!

Need to Organize Your Gardening Tasks?

Since many garden tasks only get done once a year, I often forget the details when it comes time to do the task again. To save time, I need to be better organized. How will I do that? With a garden planner notebook! If a garden planner notebook seems like a good idea to you, good news! I’m adding the 16 master pages to the free resource library for subscribers to the Fluxing Well blog. You can get it here!

sunflower garden planner printable

Get the garden planner!

Thanks for visiting the Fluxing Well site. I hope all of your gardening efforts meet with great success!

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Lisa Mitchell is a wife, mom, and school librarian who likes to grow fruit, vegetables, and flowers on her family’s small Pacific Northwest farm. To learn more about what this website has to offer gardeners, click on over to the Garden page.

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26 thoughts on “5 Favorite Perennials: Foolproof Stunners for the Garden”

  1. Bluebells are so pretty. One of my favorite flowers 💐

    Reply
    • Jen,

      I’m so glad! I always wanted to have some in our yard, and I’m happy they have thrived. Thanks for your comment!

      Lisa

      Reply
  2. These are some refreshing edits. I love chives and hosta. Thanks for sharing an exuberant post 😊😊

    Reply
    • Madiha,

      I’m so glad you liked my post, and I hope it gave you some good ideas. Thanks for the positive words, and happy gardening!

      Lisa

      Reply
  3. Chives ! I always said when I buy my first house I want a garden a mixture of veggies and flowers these look beautiful I also like the ones they also call lungwort I think because they’re big ! Lol.

    Reply
    • Adrienne,

      Yes, I love that the chives are so multi-functional, both as an edible and a decorative plant. I’m glad you like the lungwort/pulmonaria. It is so easy to care for and useful for filling in areas that have few plants. Thanks so much for your comment, and good luck with all of your gardening endeavors!

      Lisa

      Reply
  4. Gorgeous perennials! I just scooped up some new bleeding hearts to add to our front garden bed and a few others as well. I absolutely love hostas but the past few years have lost so many. I’m down to one small hosta now but they truly are my favourite addition so I’m keeping my eye out for a good deal. I also really love lilies and now have quite the assortment that I can . not wait to see bloom this year! I have irises too and I agree they can be such a pain to weed but I love the deep purple mine offer to our flower bed.

    Reply
    • Jenn,

      Thanks so much for sharing some of your garden favorites. Are the deer and/or slugs eating your hostas? Is that why they have been lost? Our used to get eaten, by deer I believe. To prevent this, we planted them in our backyard, where deer are less likely to venture, and blended them in closely with other plants. Do you have an area of your garden where you might try to “hide” your hosta in amongst other plants? I appreciate your comments, and I hope your hosta survives!

      Lisa

      Reply
  5. These are so pretty! Some I have never seen before. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Amanda,

      I’m glad you like the plants I showcased. They truly are easy to grow!

      Lisa

      Reply
  6. I love that chives are dual purpose – that gives them an edge up in my book!
    We didn’t do a flower garden this year, just vegetables and herbs.

    Reply
    • Britt,

      Yes, I love the versatility of chives! Vegetables and other edibles which are also decorative have an edge up in my book as well. Thanks for commenting, and good luck with your vegetables and herbs.

      Lisa

      Reply
  7. Thanks for your post on all these flowers. I’m love flowers in my backyard but never show what I should really plant, so thanks for the ideas, I’m going to try planting a few!

    Reply
    • Kathy,

      I’m so glad you found my post helpful. Thanks so much for your comment, and if you use any of the ideas, I’d love to know how it turns out.

      Lisa

      Reply
  8. We just bought a house where the previous owner loved plants a little too much and now I’m pruning and trimming and taking so many dead things out. I have so much to learn! Keep writing posts like this!!

    Reply
    • Jaimi,

      I still have a lot to learn as well, and as I learn, I’ll certainly pass the lessons along. Thanks so much for your comment, and good luck with all of the trimming and pruning!

      Lisa

      Reply
  9. I love perennials because they grow back stronger and multiply each year. My favorites are the Blue Bells and Mexican Petunias. We live in the south and it’s very hot so some don’t do as well as others but our roses our to die for!

    Reply
    • Martha,

      I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Mexican petunias. I’m jealous of your ability to grow roses! I can’t grow a hybrid tea rose to save my life. If fact, one of my upcoming posts is going to be about the old fashioned heirloom roses we replaced the hybrid teas with. Thanks for your comment, and best wishes with all of your gardening endeavors!

      Lisa

      Reply
  10. How beautiful! I will have to try some of these..I have chives but never have let them flower!! Thank you for the great ideas!!

    Reply
    • Holly,

      Yes, chives are useful for much more than just topping a baked potato! I’m a big fan of them in the garden. I’m glad you liked the ideas. Happy gardening!

      Lisa

      Reply
  11. You have some beautiful plants!

    Reply
    • Tina,

      Thank you! I’ll admit, we don’t go out and buy many. Many have been given to us by friends who were dividing theirs, or have been rescued from somewhere. Thanks for your positive affirmation!

      Lisa

      Reply
  12. Brilliant! I had no idea chives were so pretty, would they grown in a tub? Thanks for this

    Reply
    • Kim,

      Yes, in my experience, the chives do well just about anywhere. We needed some more plants in our back perennial garden, so divided the chives from the herb garden, and voila! Instant filler for the perennial garden. If you try yours in a tub, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks for commenting, and happy planting!

      Lisa

      Reply
  13. I’m so glad to have come across this post today. I’m always looking for new perennials to add to my gardens. I totally forgot about bleeding hearts! My mother had some in the garden when I was growing up – having some in my own will bring back fond memories. I will definitely be adding some as soon as I can get to the garden shop. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Joan Senio
    My Best Friend Adeline
    https://kindness-compassion-and-coaching.com

    Reply
    • Joan,

      I’m so glad you are going to plant some bleeding heart. I love the uniquely-shaped blossoms, and ours comes back faithfully every year. Thanks so much for the positive comment. Have fun shopping for some bleeding heart!

      Lisa

      Reply

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