Perennials are plants that come back every year. Be it for flowers or foliage, a perennial is a plant that will keep on giving in your garden year after year, making them an excellent investment in your landscape. All of the listed perennials are hardy in our local zone (zone 7 here on Long Island), and many are hardy to much colder zones as well.
Below are some regularly stocked perennials at Olsen’s Nurseries. Many other, less common varieties and plants are also available. Please call for current availability. All photographs property of Olsen’s Discount Nurseries
Common Names – Bellflower, Serbian Bellflower, Harebell
Full Sun to Part Shade.
Commonly found as a spreading groundcover, Campanula also come in upright varieties. Profuse, star or cup shaped blossoms in purple, blue or white will delight you all season, from mid spring until midsummer, though this lovely plant sometimes continues blooming even in to early autumn when it’s happy. Trailing varieties will typically reach no more than 8” tall, with a spread of up to 24”, while taller forms form well behaved clumps, 12” to 18” tall.
Common Names – Perennial Bachelor’s Button, Mountain Bluet
Full Sun. Deer Resistant. Drought Resistant
This butterfly magnate is a favorite in cut flower displays. Fringed, cornflower blue blossoms mass in early to mid summer, and if cut back after the first flush of flowers is over, will often rebloom in autumn. Easy to care for, Centaurea will accept poor soils and drier conditions once established. If not dead-headed, Centaurea will self seed, but they are easy to remove if one pops up in an unwanted location. Though typically blue, there are also varieties available in purple, white and near black. Centaurea grow 2 feet tall and 2 and a half feet wide.
Common Names – Plumbago, Leadwort
Full Sun to Partial Shade. Deer resistant.
This lovely ground cover offers landscape interest in autumn. True blue flowers cover this perennial from late summer until mid-autumn. About the time the flowers are past their peak, Ceratostigma offers a second display of deep bronze-red foliage. It is a great addition to a butterfly garden, since it offers attractant blossoms at a time when few other plants are flowering. Ceratostigma tends to come up late in spring, so taking note or leaving a marker where it is planted will prevent accidental damage during spring clean up. Ceratostigma grows 8-10″ tall and 12-16″ wide.
Common Names – Turtlehead
Full Sun to Partial Shade. Moisture Loving.
Attractive to butterflies and people alike, Chelone is a great addition for late season colour in the garden. Tall, sturdy spikes of rosy-pink flowers are accented by deep green, glossy foliage in late summer through early autumn. At a height of 36” to 40”, these make a fantastic backdrop to shorter autumn blooming perennials. Chelone do best in moister soil, and will tolerate fairly wet conditions.
Common Names – Tickseed
Full Sun. Deer and Rabbit Resistant.
Coreopsis comes in many varieties, in shades of yellow, gold, pink and red. A cheerful, profuse bloomer, these sun loving perennials will draw the eye as well as butterflies to your garden. Typically beginning to bloom in late spring, they will go through midsummer without trouble, and will continue blooming past then if deadheaded. Typically reaching about 18” in height, there are also shorter varieties available.
Common Names – Corydalis
Partial Shade. Rabbit Resistant. Moisture Loving.
Corydalis is an uncommon perennial that is invaluable for the moist shade garden. Delicate, lacy foliage offers a soft bed for arching stems of blue, purple or yellow flowers. Fragrant, Corydalis blooms strongest in late spring, but will continue blooming lightly until autumn if kept moist. Corydalis prefers alkaline soil, so in areas of acidic soils (like here on Long Island) it is best to add some lime annually to the soil. Mulching in winter also improves its performance. Corydalis usually grow up to 24″ tall and 16″ wide.