16 Best Flowering Perennials For All Occasions in 2021

When setting up your flower garden you need to mix in some flowering perennials. The reason for this is simple. First, flowering perennials look great. And second, they keep the cost of replanting your garden each year down!

But just because they’re supposed to come back each year doesn’t mean there’s nothing you need to do to help them grow. That’s why we decided to break down the five best flowering perennial plant foods available, before diving into some of the most common flowering perennials you can add to your garden!


5 Best Flowering Perennial Fertilizers

While getting the best flowering perennial is a critical part of the process, you also need to give them all the nutrients they need to get the results you want.

That’s why we decided to highlight the five best flower perennial fertilizers you can use on your plants, before diving into all the different flower varieties!

OUR FAVORITES

  • Larger application area
  • Needs to be applied less often
  • Produces outstanding blooms
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  • Organic product
  • Produces outstanding blooms
  • Works on all types of flowers
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  • Easy to apply
  • You need to apply it less often
  • Comes in multiple sizes
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1. Espoma Flower-Tone Plant Food – Top Pick

Top Pick
Espoma Flower-Tone Plant Food

Easy to use, effective, organic, and with consistent coverage, there’s a reason that this is our top choice. If you want the best of the best then you should purchase this flower food and never look back.

Size: 4 pounds

Application Frequency: 3 weeks

Coverage Area: 80 square feet

Style: Granules

If you’re looking for the best fertilizer for your perennials then look no further than the Espoma Flower-Tone Plant Food. It’s a completely organic product that does a phenomenal job at producing blooms for your perennials.

It works on all types of flowers, and since it’s organic you don’t need to worry about using it too close to a vegetable garden or about what it will do to local wildlife. But the best part about this plant food is its slow-release formula.

This slow-release formula ensures your plants get consistent nutrition throughout the entire 3-week application cycle, not just an overload right at the beginning. However, you do need to apply it every three weeks, and it has a smaller coverage area.

But when you want the best results for smaller perennial flowers, this is the flower fertilizer you want.

Pros

  • Organic product
  • Produces outstanding blooms
  • Works on all types of flowers
  • Outstanding slow-release formula

Cons

  • Smaller coverage area
  • More frequent application schedule

2. Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food – Runner Up

Runner Up
Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food

It’s a super-effective plant food, but keep in mind that it’s not organic and is slightly more expensive. Still, it has an extremely large coverage area, and it’s easy to use. It’s not hard to see why it’s higher up on our list.

Size: 1, 2, 4.5, and 8 pounds

Application Frequency: 4 months

Coverage Area: 40 square feet per pound

Style: Granules

While Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food might not have our top spot, it’s a real close second. This plant food works on all types of plants from vegetable gardens to perennial plants. And if you do choose to use it on a flowering plant, it magnifies the blooms and gives you more of them!

And since you only need to apply it once every four months it means less work for you! However, while this product is safe to use around vegetables and other plants, keep in mind that it’s not an organic option.

Moreover, it’s a bit more expensive, although it does have a larger application area that helps offset the cost. So, if you want outstanding blooms with a little less work, Osmoctoe Smart-Release Plant Food is exactly what you want – just keep in mind that it’s going to cost you a little more upfront.

Pros

  • Larger application area
  • Needs to be applied less often
  • Works on vegetables, perennials, and annuals
  • Produces outstanding blooms

Cons

  • More expensive option
  • Not an organic product

3. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Continuous Release All Purpose Plant Food – Easiest to Apply

Easiest to Apply
Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Continuous Release

It comes in a ready-to-use container and works wonders on flowering perennials. When ease of use is what you’re looking for, then this is the best flower food out there.

Size: 1.8, 4.5, and 8 pounds

Application Frequency: 3 months

Coverage Area: 20 square feet per pound

Style: Granules

If you’re looking for the easiest plant food to apply, then Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Continuous Release All Purpose Plant food is definitely the way to go. It comes in a container that allows you to directly apply the plant food to your garden, and it comes in various sizes.

So, no matter the size of your garden you can choose a flower food product that has enough product to cover your garden. This plant food works on both indoor and outdoor plants, and with a 3-month effectiveness window you don’t need to apply it very often.

However, it is a bit more expensive, and it doesn’t cover a very large area per pound of product. The smaller application area and the higher price tag means that this is one of the most expensive plant foods on our list. And while it might do a great job, this higher price tag keeps it off the top of our list.

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Works on both indoor and outdoor plants
  • You need to apply it less often
  • Comes in multiple sizes

Cons

  • More expensive option
  • Smaller coverage area per pound

4. Schultz SPF45180 All Purpose Liquid Plant Food – Best Liquid Fertilizer

Best Liquid Fertilizer
Schultz SPF45180 All Purpose Liquid Plant Food

It’s an extremely effective liquid fertilizer, but you’ll need to apply it every day to get the best results. But without any pesky granules it limits the chances of anything happening around your flower garden.

Size: 2 pounds

Application Frequency: Daily

Coverage Area: ½ cup per 2 gallons of water

Style: Liquid

There are plenty of reasons that you might not want to put granules in your flower garden, and if that’s the case for you then Shultz’s SPF45180 All Purpose Liquid Plant Food is an outstanding choice. It works on both indoor and outdoor plants, and the concentrate formula ensures that you won’t need to replace it any time soon.

Moreover, it comes with an easy-to-measure dropper to help you get the exact mixture right, but you’ll still need to take the time to mix it before each application. And since you need to apply it every day for the best results, it can quickly add up to a lot of extra work.

Still, it gives you plants consistent nutrients for some of the best possible blooms, and you don’t have to worry about any granules hanging out where kids, pets, or wildlife can find it!

Pros

  • Concentrate formula lasts a long time
  • Works on all indoor and outdoor plants
  • Comes with an easy to measure dropper
  • Provides consistent nutrients for your plants

Cons

  • You need to apply it every time
  • You need to mix it yourself

5. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Bloom Booster – Best for Blooms

Runner Up
Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Bloom Booster

If you're looking to save a little money and still get beautiful blooms, then this is what you want. Sure, you need to apply it every week or so, but it's so easy to do and works so well that it's well worth the effort.

Size: 1.5, 4, and 5.5 pounds

Application Frequency: 2 weeks

Coverage Area: 400 square feet per pound

Style: Water soluble

We couldn’t round out our list without including the ultra-effective Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Bloom Booster. It does a phenomenal job of producing outstanding blooms, and it starts to go to work as soon as you apply it.

But while it has a large coverage area, and you can get it for a great price, it’s not the easiest product to use. You’ll need to mix the formula up yourself, and it has a relatively frequent application schedule.

You’ll need to use it every two weeks, and when you combine that with the mixing, it’s far more work than our other choices. Still, it’s affordable and does a great job, and that alone warrants it a spot on our list!

Pros

  • Very large coverage area
  • Produces outstanding blooms
  • Starts feeding plants instantly
  • Affordably priced

Cons

  • You need to mix it yourself
  • More frequent application schedule

The 20 Best Flowering Perennial Varieties

Now that you know what you need to take care of your flowering perennials, it’s time to dive into some of the most common options out there!

1. Catmint

Catmint is a flowering perennial that blooms in late spring, but its early bloom means that you’ll often get more than one bloom a year! It reappears in midsummer or fall, and this gives your garden a splash of color several times throughout the year.

It’s an excellent edging choice, as it doesn’t spread out of control and is extremely hardy! Whether you’re an expert or a novice, catmint is a great way to add a splash of color to your garden.

Catmint perennial

2. Cranesbill

Cranesbill is a taller flowering perennial variety, but this height is also what makes it an excellent choice for the rear of flower gardens. Cranesbill can reach three feet in height, and it does great in full sunlight.

Even better for those that don’t have a green thumb, it’s a hardy plant that can handle most ecosystems. But the best part might be that it blooms continuously from spring until the first frost.

It gives you a splash of color throughout the entire growing season, and you don’t need to worry about adding any new plants to get it!

Cranesbill perennial

3. Blazing Star

While blazing star might not be what everyone is looking to add to their garden, if you know how to mix its unique appearance with your other plants then you really set yourself apart. Blazing star reaches up to four feet in height, and it typically blooms from July to September.

Just know that blazing star will spread if you don’t tend to it, and this is an extra step that you don’t have to deal with when you have many other flowering perennial varieties.

Blazing Star Perennial

4. Daylily

While daylily has the shortest blooming season of any of the flowering perennials on our list, it’s this fleeting beauty that makes it a favorite for many. The flower only blooms for a single day, which means you’ll need to work hard to notice it.

Daylily does great in full sun, and there are tons of colors for you to choose from. Daylilies can reach four feet in height. Keep in mind that daylilies can bloom anywhere from spring to fall, so if you plant them throughout your garden, you can have a nonstop blooming season despite their short flowering period!

Daylily Perennial

5. Siberian Iris

Siberian Iris is another four-foot flowering perennial that you can add to your garden. You can find this plant with blue, pink, purple, yellow, or white flowers, and this gives you the option to add tons of color to your garden.

Just keep in mind that the flowers bloom in the spring and don’t come back, although many people enjoy the look of the long stems even when they don’t have the flowers!

Siberian Iris Flowering Perennial

6. Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susans are among the most well-known and popular flowering perennials out there, so it’s no surprise to find them on our list. They’re a natural wildflower, so you need to keep in mind that they’re going to spread and it’s up to keep them from taking over your garden.

Still, they’re extremely easy to care for, although they do best in full sun. These plants can reach three feet in height, so they’re not quite as tall as many of the flowering perennials on our list.

Black-Eyed Susan Flowering Perennial

7. Amsonia

If you’re looking for a shorter flowering perennial, then amsonia is a plant you need to take a look at. They only have a maximum height of ten inches, which makes them a great choice to mix in with shorter flower varieties.

Even better, if you do have taller plants around, amsonia does best in partial or light shade. This means the taller plants can take the bulk of the direct sunlight and the amsonia will still thrive.

The flowers themselves bloom in the spring into the summer, but by late summer they generally don’t flower.

Amsonia Flowering Perennial

8. Baptisia

Baptisia, also known as false indigo, is a tremendous flowering perennial option you have for your garden. They get the name false indigo for a reason, as it looks extremely similar to an actual indigo plant.

Baptisia is relatively easy to grow, and it’s a hardy plant with thick foliage that can withstand harsher conditions. But the best part of baptisia is that it’s close to a maintenance-free plant.

So if you tend to forget about caring for your garden, then baptisia can help you add some color without a ton of care!

Baptisia Flowering Perennial

9. Astrantia

With shades of purple and beautiful white flowers, Astrantia is an outstanding choice to give your garden a different spark. Because while Astrantia is a beautiful flower, it’s not as common as many other varieties.

This gives you the chance to add something new to your garden while getting a signature look that you love. And for those that are looking to help the bees, Astrantia is an outstanding pollinator that attracts them from all around!

Astrantia Flowering Perennial

10. Old-Fashioned Bleeding Heart

If you’re looking for something unique to add to your garden, then you should strongly consider the old-fashioned bleeding-heart flowering perennial. This unique plant produces vines that flower down instead of up, and this adds more color to every aspect of your garden.

These plants love shade, and they bloom in both spring and fall! They have a pink hue with a white underbelly on the flowers, and it’s truly a stunning flower through and through.

Old-Fashioned Bleeding Heart

11. Intersectional Peony

While peonies are an extremely common flowering perennial, one subvariety that you need to look at is the intersectional peony. They produce beautiful large blossoms with a sweet aroma, and come in all sorts of different colors.

Moreover, they have sturdy stems to hold up the flowers, and their green foliage holds up well all the way to the winter months. Intersectional peonies prefer lots of sun, so try to find a spot in your garden where they have access to plenty of sunlight.

Also, keep in mind that they don’t do well with tons of root competition, so they might need a little space apart from the other flowers in your garden.

12. Lavender

Not only does lavender have a signature appearance of beautiful purple flowers, but it also has a signature scent that many people love. And when you’re looking to build up your flower garden, part of the reason you want to do so is the scent.

To maximize the scent, plant lavender near the edge of your garden, as rubbing up against it will release even more fragrance to enjoy!

13. New England Aster

One of the larger flowering perennials out there, New England aster can reach an impressive height of six feet! It produces bright purple plants that attract pollinators by the drove, and it brings in a great splash of color in August and September.

It’s known to spread though, so keep that mind if you don’t want these flowers to take over your garden!

14. Hellebore

The best thing about hellebore is that it will bring a splash of color to your garden long before any other plant. These flowering perennials can start to blossom as early as January!

They come in colors of green, pink, yellow, and red, and they have outstanding green foliage throughout the entire year. While they might not be the tallest plants, standing at only 1-foot tall, that can help you hide them when they’re not flowering in the late spring and summer months!

15. Creeping Thyme

Creeping thyme is an extremely short flowering perennial that you can use in a wide variety of spaces. It only stands three inches tall, but it can also withstand light foot traffic from time to time.

And since stepping on creeping thyme releases a sweet aroma, it’s the perfect choice for adding around garden paths and other low-lying plants!

16. Sedum

Sedum is a flowering perennial that looks great even when the flowers aren’t in bloom. They have thick leaves that help retain water, and the flowers can come in both a bright red and pink color.

It’s a hardy plant that makes it easy to care for, and it also means that there’s less maintenance for you!

sedum perennial


FAQ

If you still have a few questions after reading through the guide then don’t worry, you’re not alone. That’s why we came up with this comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything you need to know to grow your own flowering perennials and set up the perfect garden!

What Is the Longest Blooming Perennial?

While there’s no clear-cut answer here because it depends on your conditions, one of the longest blooming perennials you can have in your garden is catmint. Not only does it have a fairly long bloom, but it blooms twice a year to give you even more time to enjoy the colors!

What Is the Most Popular Perennial Flower?

It’s a subjective answer, but one of the most well-known perennial flowers is the black-eyed Susan. It’s a beautiful perennial flower that can spruce up any garden with its bright and vibrant colors!

Are There Any Perennials That Bloom All Summer?

Absolutely! One perennial that blooms all summer is lavender. Of course, it depends on how hot your climate is, but with enough water and care you can keep lavender blooming all summer!

When Should I Plant Perennials?

Just like with most other flowers, you should plant perennials in the spring. This gives them the most possible time to establish roots and develop before winter comes. By planting in the spring, you drastically increase the chances of your perennials coming back next year!

Can You Plant Perennials Anytime?

While you can plant perennials anytime, it’s best to plant them in the spring. This gives them the most possible time to establish their roots and develop before the winter comes. It also increases their chances of coming back the next year.

How Deep Should Perennials Be Planted?

It depends on the variety of plants, but you should plant most perennials between 1 and 1.5 inches down. This gives the roots a chance to start, but it doesn’t bury the plant too deep so the leaves can still get sunlight.

Keep in mind that you should plant most smaller plants closer to the surface. Try to leave as much of the leaves and the rest of the plant above the surface as possible while covering the roots completely.

Will Bare Root Perennials Bloom First Year?

While bare root perennials can bloom a few flowers the first year, this usually doesn’t happen. Instead, these flowers take the first year to establish themselves before flowering a ton in the second year.

Also, keep in mind that even if the plant does flower the first year, it will produce far fewer flowers than it will the second year!


Final Thoughts

There’s nothing like having a beautiful flower garden to help add some color to your yard and attract pollinators. But while having a colorful and stunning yard is great, you don’t want to spend a ton of money doing it.

That’s where flowering perennials can help put you a step ahead. They can save you money, and as we’ve shown here, there’s plenty of options to add some variety to your garden. So, what are you waiting for?

Pick out the perfect flowering perennials and stock up on flower food to get your flower garden kickstarted today!

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