Low-Maintenance Perennial Flowers

Published
Low-Maintenance Perennial Flowers

detail shot of asiatic lily blooms

Short Answer: Low-maintenance perennial flowers ideal for beginners include Black-eyed Susans, Daylilies, Coneflowers (Echinacea), Hostas, Lavender, and Sedum. These perennials are hardy, easy to care for, and provide beautiful blooms or foliage, making them perfect for novice gardeners.


With hundreds of species and varieties, picking the most low-maintenance perennial flowers that can thrive without needing much from you can be challenging, especially if you’re a new gardener. To simplify matters, this list of easy-to-grow perennials will point you in the right direction.

Coneflower

Hot, sunny weather won’t stop coneflower from producing armloads of flowers from early summer until fall. This low-maintenance perennial flower is a native plant that’s easy to grow and comes in purple, white, yellow, orange, and red. Most varieties have single flowers, but some newer hybrids sport eye-popping double blooms. The nectar-rich flowers will also attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden.

Name: Echinacea purpurea

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in dry to medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-8

Lanceleaf Coreopsis

Equally at home in containers or the landscape, lanceleaf coreopsis is a must-have perennial for novice and experienced gardeners alike. This tough native plant will thrive in poor soil and doesn’t mind drought or heat while putting on its show of golden daisy-like flowers from late spring into summer.

Name: Coreopsis lanceolata

Growing Conditions: Full sun in dry to medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 2 feet tall and 18 inches wide

Zones: 4-9

Hosta

Brighten shady spots in your garden and landscape with hostas. These super-easy foliage plants come in an almost unlimited selection of shapes, sizes, and colors, from ground-hugging dwarf varieties to giant-sized beauties. Plus, as a bonus, hostas develop graceful spikes of lavender or white blooms that will lure hummingbirds to your garden.

Name: Hosta spp.

Growing Conditions: Full shade to part shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide

Zones: 3-8

How to Turn Your Backyard into a Wildlife Habitat

Peony

Add peonies to your shopping list if you’re looking for reliable, low-maintenance perennial flowers that will bloom every year without fail. These robust plants produce large, fragrant spring blooms in colors that include pink, coral, white, red, cream, and bicolor.

Name: Paeonia spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and wide

Zones: 3-8

Black-Eyed Susan

The more you cut the bold daisylike flowers of black-eyed Susan, the more blooms these prolific perennials will produce. This drought-tolerant plant’s bright yellow summer blooms are a pollinator favorite, and you can also find varieties with orange, cherry, and bicolor flowers.

Name: Rudbeckia spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-7

Garden Phlox

As fragrant as it is colorful, garden phlox is a must-have, low-maintenance perennial flower for your garden. It blooms from midsummer to fall in pink, white, rose, purple, orange, and bicolor. Place garden phlox in a sunny location with plenty of air circulation to help keep plants healthy. This gorgeous, easy-to-grow perennial is also highly attractive to hummingbirds.

Name: Phlox paniculata

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Zones: 4-8

Blazing Star

Commonly called gayfeather or blazing star, this tough-as-nails native plant produces feathery-looking flower heads of pink, white, or purple blooms from midsummer to fall. Not only will these colorful wands look beautiful in your garden, but they’ll also attract butterflies and hummingbirds from miles around.

Name: Liatris spicata

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-8

Helenium

Perk up your late-summer and fall garden with a generous helping of helenium. That’s when these low-maintenance perennial flowers are covered with daisy-like, orange, red, yellow, or bicolor blooms. Helenium makes the perfect companion for New England asters, which bloom around the same time. Plus, both of these sun-loving native plants will attract hordes of butterflies.

Name: Helenium autumnale

Growing Conditions: Full sun in well-drained soil

Size: Up to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Zones: 3-8

Daylily

All you have to do with daylilies is plant them in a sunny spot and add a little mulch around these easy-care perennials to keep weeds at bay. They come in all colors and bloom types, and some varieties will even rebloom after the first flush of flowers appears.

Name: Hemerocallis spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-9

This Daylily-Filled Garden Plan Lets You Flaunt Your Favorites

Hellebore

Commonly called the Lenten rose, the hellebore is a late winter-blooming perennial that can continue to bloom into spring. It features cup-shaped, rose-like flowers with prominent stamens in the center. It thrives in shady spots and tolerates drought well.

Hellebore’s leaves, stems, and roots contain toxic chemicals, so keep it away from pets and small children.

Name: Helleborus spp.

Growing Conditions: Full shade to part shade in well-drained soil

Size: Up to 18 inches tall and wide

Zones: 4-9

Bearded Iris

Crownlike, fragrant flowers in jewel-like colors make the bearded iris a top pick for your spring garden. These easy-care sun-lovers also sport handsome sword-shaped foliage that keeps the plant attractive in the garden even after the flowers fade. Many bearded iris varieties are available, including dwarf and miniature types and plants with variegated foliage.

Name: Iris x germanica

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-10

Catmint

A fast-growing perennial, catmint sports graceful stalks of blue, white, or pink flowers in the spring. It will quickly rebloom if you cut the plants back after the first flush of blooms fades. Catmint also has fragrant foliage that you can dry. Plant this rugged bloomer in large drifts or clumps for the best effect.

Name: Nepeta spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in dry to medium, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and wide

Zones: 4-8

Sedum

Stage a colorful fall finale in your garden with a generous supply of sedum. These drought-tolerant perennials come in an almost unlimited selection of heights and colors, from ground-huggers that barely grow 6 inches tall to stately, upright plants that can reach 3 feet tall. Their showy, nectar-rich flowers will draw hungry pollinators from late summer to fall.

Name: Sedum spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-9

Baptisia

Enjoy pretty spikes of blue, purple, yellow, or white pealike blooms every spring with baptisia. Commonly called false indigo, early American colonists often used this low-maintenance perennial flower to make natural dyes. It’s reliable, often blooming yearly in the same spot for decades. Baptisia grows slowly, so buy the largest plants you can find.

Name: Baptisia australis

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in dry to medium, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 4 feet tall and wide

Zones: 3-9

Heuchera

Turn your shady backyard into a colorful foliage garden with Heuchera. Commonly called coral bells, this clump-forming beauty comes in various leaf colors, including orange, chartreuse, purple, cherry, bronze, red, bright green, and bicolor. The plants also develop stalks of tiny pink or white bell-shaped flowers from early to midsummer. Heuchera makes an excellent ground cover or container plant.

Name: Heuchera spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 4-9

Blanket Flower

Let blanket flowers cover your landscape in vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red. This drought-tolerant sun-lover is a snap to grow, and its cheerful flowers are beautiful to bees and butterflies. Blanket flower isn’t a long-lived perennial, so add new plants every two or three years to keep the color show going.

Name: Gaillardia spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-10

Bee Balm

If you want to create a beautiful pollinator garden, include bee balm. Bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies flock to this vigorous perennial that develops masses of blooms that resemble mopheads. It’s also one of the top rabbit-resistant plant choices for your garden. Select mildew-resistant varieties of this plant if you live in a warm, humid climate.

Name: Monarda spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist to wet, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Zones: 4-9

Chrysanthemum

Whether you plant them in flower beds or containers, chrysanthemums are the rock stars of the fall garden. They offer stunning flowers in different shapes and sizes in a host of colors that include white, yellow, pink, orange, red, lavender, and bicolor. Chrysanthemums are relatively short-lived, so replant every year or two to keep your garden colorful.

Name: Chrysanthemum spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 5-9

Yarrow

You can count on yarrow to thrive in your garden even in drought. The plant’s aromatic, ferny foliage supports a midsummer explosion of gorgeous flowers in yellow, rose, white, pink, or lavender. Its flat-topped flower clusters make excellent cut flowers for those fill-in spots in bouquets.

Name: Achillea spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in dry to medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and wide

Zones: 3-9

Aster

No fall garden is complete without asters. These late-flowering beauties add a much-needed color boost just when the garden starts to fade. They are also prized by migrating Monarch butterflies who dine on the nectar-rich blooms on their long-distance, southward journeys.

Name: Symphyotrichum spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Zones: 4-8

7 Ways to Attract Monarch Butterflies to Your Garden

Salvia

Bursting into bloom in early summer, perennial salvia develops bold spikes of purple, blue, or pink flowers atop pretty gray-green foliage. A sun worshipper, salvia isn’t too fussy about soil type and will bloom again if you shear away the flower spikes after they fade. Perennial salvia attracts hordes of bees and butterflies when in bloom. It pairs beautifully with black-eyed Susan and Coreopsis.

Name: Salvia spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in dry to medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 2 feet tall and wide

Zones: 4-8

Russian Sage

The perfect partner for coneflower and black-eyed Susan, Russian sage produces clouds of bluish flowers in the late summer and fall. This easy-to-grow woody perennial has fragrant gray-green leaves that look terrific even when the plant isn’t blooming. In some regions, this mint-relative can grow too well, spreading itself aggressively by seeds and underground stems, so plant where you can keep it contained.

Name: Perovskia atriplicifolia

Growing Conditions: Full sun in dry to medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide

Zones: 5-9

Joe Pye Weed

A big, bold native perennial, Joe Pye weed will quickly fill sunny spots in your landscape. It thrives in moist soil, so use it in problem wet spots in your landscape. It’s also a reliable fall bloomer, developing rounded heads of pinkish-purple flowers that will attract scores of colorful butterflies. This hardy native tends to spread, so plant it where you can keep it under control.

Name: Eutrochium spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in dry to medium, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide

Zones: 4-9

Asiatic Lily

detail shot of asiatic lily blooms

Asiatic lily’s chalice-shaped, upward-facing flowers are always highlighted in the summer garden. Available in various colors and bi-colors, the Asiatic lily seems to glow when the sun touches its petals. Although Asiatic lily can be planted in the spring, the plants tend to do better when started in August or September.

Name: Lilium spp.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 4-8

Lady’s Mantle

Add a bit of texture to your landscape with a lady’s mantle. This perennial has unique cupped leaves with a velvety texture, on which drops of water remain like tiny gems after rain. It also features dainty yellow flowers held in airy masses above the foliage in summer until the blooms become too heavy and then gracefully droop down. The flowers last several weeks and are excellent for cut and dried arrangements.

Name: Alchemilla mollis

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 18 inches tall and 30 inches wide

Zones: 3-8

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in the USA

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
Northeast (e.g., New York, Massachusetts)Rose, Purple Lilac, Mountain LaurelSugar Maple, American Elm, White Pine
Southeast (e.g., Florida, Georgia)Orange Blossom, Cherokee Rose, Southern MagnoliaLive Oak, Spanish Moss, Saw Palmetto
Midwest (e.g., Ohio, Illinois)Carnation, Violet, Purple ConeflowerBur Oak, Prairie Grasses, Wild Bergamot
Southwest (e.g., Texas, Arizona)Bluebonnet, Saguaro Cactus Flower, Indian PaintbrushJoshua Tree, Agave, Mesquite
West (e.g., California, Washington)California Poppy, Coast Rhododendron, BitterrootGiant Sequoia, Redwood, Manzanita
Rocky Mountain (e.g., Colorado, Montana)Rocky Mountain Columbine, Bitterroot, Indian PaintbrushBlue Spruce, Aspen, Sagebrush
Great Plains (e.g., Kansas, Nebraska)Sunflower, Goldenrod, Purple ConeflowerCottonwood, Bluestem Grasses, Buffalo Grass
Pacific Northwest (e.g., Oregon, Alaska)Oregon Grape, Forget-me-not, Pacific RhododendronDouglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Ferns

This table includes the most popular flowers and plants in the USA by region, which considers a range of botanical species, including native and widely cultivated varieties.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in Australia

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
New South WalesWaratah, Bottlebrush, Flannel FlowerEucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia
VictoriaCommon Heath, Waxflower, Pink HeathMountain Ash, Silver Wattle, Victorian Blue Gum
QueenslandCooktown Orchid, Golden Penda, Umbrella Tree FlowerMoreton Bay Fig, Macadamia Nut, Queensland Bottle Tree
South AustraliaSturt's Desert Pea, Kangaroo Paw, Eucalyptus BlossomAdelaide Blue Gum, South Australian Blue Gum, Saltbush
Western AustraliaRed and Green Kangaroo Paw, Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Swan River DaisyJarrah, Marri, Karri
TasmaniaTasmanian Blue Gum, Leatherwood Flower, Tasmanian WaratahHuon Pine, Tasmanian Oak, Myrtle Beech
Northern TerritorySturt's Desert Rose, Frangipani, Desert RoseBoab, Gidgee, Spinifex
Australian Capital TerritoryRoyal Bluebell, Australian Daisy, CorreaSnow Gum, River Red Gum, Black Mountain

This table offers a basic overview of popular flowers and plants in each Australian region, focusing on a combination of state flowers, native species, and other characteristic plants. It's important to note that specific species' popularity and prevalence can vary. This table is a simplified representation. Consulting local botanical gardens or regional horticultural societies in Australia would be ideal for more detailed and accurate information.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for today.com magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.