Learn about the best zone 8 perennials for an easy-care garden. This list includes zone 8 perennials for full sun, part shade, and shade. What do they all have in common? These low-maintenance zone 8 plants return every year to grace your garden space. Whether you have a small zone 8 perennial garden bed, a large perennial space you need to fill, or are looking for perennial zone 8 border plants, this list is for you. As a Pacific Northwest gardener with decades of experience learning from trial and error (and error, and error), I am eager to share my favorites with you. Hoping for some inspiration about zone 8 landscaping ideas or ideas for Zone 8 flowers? You’re in the right place. Let’s get started!
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My Zone 8 Foolproof Perennials Backstory
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 for zone 8? Here are 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!
***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.*** Already know what you’d like to get from Amazon? Here’s a handy way to get to the website, linked to one of my favorite garden tools when I need to make a bouquet. Just click on the link, then browse around and do your shopping.
What Plants Are Best for Zone 8?
Zone 8 includes regions with mild winters and hot summers, with an average minimum temperature of 15-20°F (-9 to -7°C). There are many perennial plants that thrive in these growing conditions. If you are not sure whether you are in a zone 8 area, you can check out the free tool for finding your plant hardiness zone on the USDA website. Just enter in your zip code for the result. This list includes the best zone 8 low-maintenance perennial plants that will do well in full sun, part shade, or shade.
What is the Easiest Perennial to Plant?
There are many perennials that are relatively easy to plant and care for, making them a great choice for beginner gardeners or those who are looking for low-maintenance plants. Here are some easy-to-grow perennials that require little maintenance beyond watering and occasional fertilization. As a bonus, many of these zone 8 perennial plants can be divided to make more plants, making these choices not only easy to grow but also easy on your wallet.
Zone 8 Perennials for Full Sun
There are many perennials that thrive in zone 8 and can handle full sun. Here are some fabulous options for sun loving perennials for zone 8:
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) – This perennial produces bright yellow flowers with dark centers and can grow up to 3 feet tall.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) – 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.
Coneflower (Echinacea) – Coneflowers are a popular choice for their showy, daisy-like blooms in shades of pink, purple, and white. We planted our coneflowers from seed, and now they return reliably every year in a sunny spot on the south side of our house.
Coreopsis (Coreopsis spp.) – Coreopsis is a bright and cheerful perennial that produces masses of yellow or red flowers. It prefers full sun and well-draining soil and requires moderate watering. One favorite variety is called Moonbeam.
Daylily (Hemerocallis) – Daylilies are known for their large, trumpet-shaped blooms that come in a variety of colors and can last for several weeks.
Lavender (Lavandula) – This is one of the best fragrant perennials for zone 8. It produces spikes of purple flowers and is often used for its aromatic oils.
Lupine (Lupinus spp.) – Lupine are a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, Fabaceae. They are known for their distinctive, colorful spikes of pea-like flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer.
Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia uvaria) – This plant produces tall spikes of flowers in shades of red, orange, and yellow during the summer months. Red Hot Poker is native to South Africa and is well-suited to warm, sunny locations with well-draining soil.
Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) – If you have a large perennial space, rhubarb can be a good way to fill it up. Although generally thought of as a vegetable garden plant, rhubarb can be a colorful part of a large full sun perennial garden with its red stems and large green leaves. I am a huge fan of it, and use it in many recipes.
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) – This perennial produces tall spikes of lavender-blue flowers and has silver-gray foliage.
Salvia (Salvia spp.) – Salvia is a genus of perennials with a wide variety of colors and shapes of flowers, including blue, purple, pink, and red.
Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) – This classic perennial produces large, white, daisy-like flowers with yellow centers. If you are looking for tall perennial flowers or border plants for zone 8, these would be a good option. We have a nice cluster growing in a perennial border with our irises.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) – Yarrow is a tough perennial with fern-like foliage and flat-topped clusters of flowers in shades of pink, yellow, and white.
These perennials are all reliable performers in zone 8 and can add a lot of color and interest to a full sun garden.
Zone 8 Perennials for Part Shade
There are many perennials that can thrive in zone 8 with part shade. Our main perennial garden is located in a partially-shaded area of our backyard, and these are some of the plants that are ideally suited for it:
Columbine (Aquilegia spp.) – Columbine produces unique, spurred flowers in shades of red, pink, blue, and yellow. Delicate and lovely columbine flowers are an easy-care plant that returns each year to our perennial garden.
Foxglove (Digitalis spp.) – This biennial produces tall spikes of bell-shaped flowers in shades of pink, purple, and white and prefers part shade. Foxgloves reseed themselves, so we use them sparingly in the domesticated perennial areas. We prefer them in the more wild areas of our property, along our driveway and near our seasonal creek.
Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) – This perennial produces delicate, blue or purple flowers in late spring and has attractive foliage.
Lenten Rose (Helleborus spp.) – This perennial produces large, cup-shaped flowers in shades of pink, purple, green, and white in late winter or early spring.
Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum spp.) – This perennial produces delicate, bell-shaped flowers and has attractive arching stems and foliage.
Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) – This groundcover produces fragrant, white flowers in the spring and has attractive, star-shaped foliage.
Toad Lily (Tricyrtis spp.) – This perennial produces unique, orchid-like flowers in shades of pink, purple, and white and prefers part shade.
If you have a zone 8 perennial garden area that is in partial shade, the plants listed above are great choices.
Zone 8 Perennials for Shade
There are many perennials that can thrive in zone 8 with shade. Here are some of the best options:
Astilbe (Astilbe spp.) – This perennial produces feathery plumes of flowers in shades of pink, red, and white and is a great choice for adding texture to a shade garden.
Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spp.) – 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. This reliable zone 8 perennial produces heart-shaped flowers in shades of pink and white that hang from arching stems. It’s definitely a favorite shade-loving perennial in my book!
Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) – 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 shady 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!
Coral Bells (Heuchera spp.) – Coral bells are known for their attractive foliage in a variety of colors, including purple, green, and bronze.
Foamflower (Tiarella spp.) – This perennial produces spikes of white or pink flowers in the spring and has attractive, deeply-lobed foliage.
Hosta (Hosta spp.) – Hostas are a classic shade-loving perennial that come in a wide variety of leaf shapes, sizes, and colors. 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).
Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium niponicum) – This fern has silvery-blue fronds and adds a delicate, lacy texture to a shade garden.
Lungwort (Pulmonaria spp.) – I prefer the name pulmonaria. This low-growing perennial produces clusters of pink, blue, or white flowers in early spring and has attractive silver-spotted foliage. The variegated foliage offers interest even when the plant is not in bloom. 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. It never spreads too much, the deer seem to avoid it, and I don’t have to do anything to it. A definite winner! One of my favorite, well-behaved, low-maintenance plants of all time.
Lamium (Lamium maculatum) – This groundcover produces silver or variegated leaves and small pink, purple, or white flowers in the spring.
Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) – Trillium plants have three broad, lance-shaped leaves that are arranged in a whorl at the top of a single stem. At the center of the leaves, the plant produces a solitary, three-petaled flower that can be white, pink, red, or yellow depending on the species. They are shade-loving perennials that typically grow in woodland or forest environments with moist, well-draining soil.
These perennials are all reliable performers in a shady zone 8 area and can add a lot of color and interest to a shade garden.
Best Tall Perennial Flowers for Zone 8
If you are looking for some plants to be in the back of a perennial garden, perhaps against a fence, you can choose from the following plants. Some are from the list of full sun perennials, some are from the part shade perennials list, and some are from the list of shade perennials. The best tall perennial flowers for zone 8 that are low-maintenance plants include Russian sage, coneflowers, black-eyed Susan, foxglove, and columbine.
Best Zone 8 Border Plants
Planting an easy-care perennial border? There are many great border plants that can thrive in Zone 8. Great options include lavender, Russian sage, coreopsis, salvia, and daylilies. You can mix annuals, perennials, and shrubs in a border for year-round interest.
Some Which Did Not Make the Cut
There are some lovely plants that we have in our yard that return every year, but I would not call them low-maintenance plants for zone 8. Although they are reliable bloomers, they do take some effort. If you do not mind spending some extra time with these plants, they might be great zone 8 perennial choices for you.
Oh, how I love dahlias. I grow them every year in my vegetable/cutting garden, but dahlias are technically considered to be tender perennials, which means that they are perennials in warmer climates but are usually grown as annuals in colder climates. In areas with mild winters, dahlias can be left in the ground over the winter and will regrow in the spring from the existing roots. However, in areas with freezing temperatures, dahlias will not survive the winter outdoors and need to be dug up and stored indoors. I do leave a few dahlias in the ground to overwinter in a sunny location near our orchard, but they do not bloom as vigorously as the dahlias that I dig up and replant. I enjoy using dahlias in cut flower bouquets during the late summer and early fall, but I would not classify them as low-maintenance.
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.
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.
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 in zone 8b, which is the Pacific Northwest of the United States. What are your favorite perennials? I’d love to learn about them.
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!
Free Online Garden Planner Layout Template
Now that you know which are the best companion plants for rhubarb, you might need a way to plan your garden layout. Whether you are planting vegetables, flowers, or herbs near your rhubarb plant, this online garden planner can help you visualize your design and bring it to life. With garden tasks that need your attention, this is one way to save time.
It’s fully customizable when you make your own copy and includes two editable chart pages for noting planting specifications.
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!
Thanks for visiting the Fluxing Well site. I hope all of your gardening efforts meet with great success!
- Flower Container Ideas for the Artistically Challenged
- Dividing Dahlia Tubers With Confidence
- How to Plant Dahlias
- Making an Easy DIY Pole Bean Tower
- Growing Old Garden Roses
- Fabulous Flowering Shrubs
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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