Perennials are plants that come back year after year. Though their flowers tend not to be as showy as annuals, they make up for it by their reliability and the fact that many of them are easy to care for. Hardy perennials are plants that can tolerate conditions of drought, heat, frost, poor soil, less than ideal light and other conditions that might shorten the lives of plants that are more tender. They’re just the thing for beginning gardeners!
Black Eyed Susan
The black eyed Susan is a member of the coneflower family. It flourishes in hardiness zones 4 to 9 and flowers throughout the summer and fall. It’s notable for its rayed, orange or yellow petals and the prominent, dark center that gives the flower its name. It can grow well in both full sun and light shade and does best in average loam. The black eyed Susan tolerates both heat and drought well. It can grow from 18 inches to six feet high. It’s also excellent when it comes to attracting birds, bees and butterflies.
This graceful plant with its beautiful blossoms surrounded by colorful spurs blooms from spring to early summer and is best grown in zones 3 to 8. The flowers come in a riot of colors, including white, pink, yellow, red, violet and blue.
The columbine can grow from one and a half to three feet tall and prefers well-drained, loamy soil that’s a bit acidic. It can do well in full sun to light shade and should be planted about one and a half feet apart.
Synomymous with spring, freshness and beauty, the familiar daisy with its pure white petals and sunny yellow centers can grow in full sun and partial shade. It can grow from half a foot to three feet tall and does best in soil that’s both well-drained and moist. Daisies also bloom best in zones 4 to 8.
This pretty plant is also used in herbal medicine. It’s a hardy but deciduous perennial that has a striking yellow rhizome and roots. The leaves are large, handshaped, deeply toothed and grow between five and eight inches long. In spring, the plant brings forth tiny flowers that are followed in the fall by red fruit. It grows best in zones 4 to 8.