I’m kind of a lazy flower gardener. One of those people who have great ideas and expectations when it comes to sprucing up the yard for spring and summer. However, I live in the south and we have months of 90+ degree days and lots of 100+ days once August comes. So my “gardening” kind of sucks when it’s that hot. Thus, my term “lazy gardener”. I need plants that will just magically appear year after year like a fun surprise each spring. Plants like these gorgeous perennial flowers!
What does perennial mean? It means, my friends, that you set it and forget it. Well, not really. You still have to feed it and water it, but it will ideally come back year after year. And all of us lazy gardeners can revel in its beauty without having to actually plant it year after year, unlike its counterpart, the annual.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love beautiful annual flowers too and every year I add some to my yard or planters. But do yourself a favor and invest in some of these perennial flowers and enjoy them with minimal effort each year!
Gorgeous Perennial Flowers
Zinnias are my faves. Not technically perennials (thanks so much to a helpful reader who filled me in). However, they do have the ability to reseed which mine do every year and I never have to replant. I have memories of these in my grandma’s garden every year. She had several rows of perennial flowers to attract the bees and butterflies which are super additions to a veggie garden.
And you cannot mess these up.
Give them water and full sun and done! In my experience, these are super easy to grow either from seed or if you buy plants from the garden store. They come in shades of pink, orange, yellow, and more. And they multiply. One year I literally scattered a pack of seeds in a small plot off our back patio. Every year, they come back and bring some friends!
I happened upon these on a whim at Wal-Mart one year. I thought they looked cool. We had a bare spot in the front row of shrubs so I popped this inexpensive plant in there and it’s one of my favorites year after year. The variety I have is “Paint the Town Fuschia”. I added a second one to the front yard and it’s amazing. Cut it down in the fall or winter when everything is going dormant.
We cut ours all the way to the ground and it’ll come back fuller and prettier every year. The best part – deer resistant! It gets watered and fertilized and that’s it. Mine only gets afternoon sun and they do great! Gorgeous pink flowers year after year.
Black-Eyed Susan is a type of coneflower and comes in perennial and annual varieties so be sure to check you’re getting perennials. Grab several of these and plant them in groups and get ready to be stunned by flowers towards the end of summer. The most popular of course is black and yellow. I love the variety that these add to the pinks and purples of the yard.
Coneflowers are on this list just like it’s “sister” Black-Eyed Susan. I’m sure that’s not the official classification. I am a lazy gardener who plants for looks and ease. They’re in the same family so I’m calling them sisters. The most common variety is purple coneflower or Echinacea. But they also come in green, white, pink, orange, and more. With beautiful, sometimes drooping petals, they resemble daisies a bit. Plant in an area with full sun and enjoy them every year.
These are some of the most impressive to me. With varying bloom sizes and colors like blue, green, white, and pink, hydrangea gives you a lot of bang for your buck. They will grow back fuller and bigger each year. And these make excellent cutting flowers. Snip a few blooms and add to a mason jar and you have a perfect centerpiece.
Make sure they have some partial shade though since they don’t love the blasting sun all day. Find them at any garden store and give it plenty of room to grow.
Peonies are everywhere now. And they are stunning. Huge blooms and beautiful colors like pink, yellow, and fuschia, these are gorgeous for the garden and for cutting. They are a bit more difficult to grow though and you need some patience. It often takes about 3 years for the plants to start producing flowers, but when they do, it’s easy to see why these are crazy popular.
Peonies have pretty specific planting instructions (check out this how-to article for all the tips), but well worth the effort. If you get them started, you can have blooms for decades!
Knock Out Roses
Knock out roses are the lazy gardener’s dream come true when it comes to roses. My grandma always had a beautiful rose garden with stunning varieties in all colors. But it was a lot of work and time to get all that beauty. Enter Knock Out Roses – pretty much you can water and fertilize them and have roses well into the fall. Here in the south, I have roses into December! To me, they aren’t as pretty as traditional roses, but you can’t beat the ease and prolific blooms.
Once you get a full bloom, prune it back for even more growth and blooms. Plant several for a gorgeous privacy hedge. Deer like to snack on these sometimes though, but ours get so many blooms, I don’t mind sharing.
Vinca is a variety of perennial that offers gorgeous dark green foliage and prolific blooms. They come in colors varying from white, pink, purple, red, and lavender. Most varieties of Vinca are perennials, but there are a few that are annuals. Be sure to check before you plant. They prefer partial shade and will thrive in areas that get morning sun and afternoon shade.
Vincas have underground stems or runners that will help the plant spread. It’s very likely that you will plant one or two plants one summer and end up with multiple the next year. They can tolerate the heat and are suitable for zones 4-10 depending on the variety you choose.
Another perennial staple for the garden. Daylilies produce tons of blooms most commonly seen in orange and yellow. And these are super easy to grow. They are hardy plants that can tolerate heat and frost and once established, they can handle droughts. Give them morning sun and plant several of them about 12-18 inches apart and you’ll have lilies for years.
Hyacinths are some of the first gorgeous blooms you’ll see in the spring. Plant the bulbs in the fall and wait for these delicious smelling flowers to pop up. And they are striking – tall, elegant looking blooms in purple, white, pink and more. Give them full sun to partial shade and plant several bulbs in a circle or row.
There are several varieties of phlox. It’s a native American wildflower that has an amazing scent. Tall garden phlox can get around 4 feet tall and would be ideal for the back of your sunny garden or border bed. There’s also a “creeping phlox” that is ideal for a ground cover. Beautiful pink, purple, and white variations will add beautiful colors year-round.
So there you have it – gorgeous perennial flowers that will bring color to your yard or garden year after year!
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