Our Favorite Perennials

Who doesn’t love perennials? They grace your garden with beautiful blooms and foliage and year after year they pop back up adding color, structure and flowers to your garden. We took a poll of our perennial experts and put together a list of their favorite perennials.

Check out what they had to say…

Stephanie Phillips, McDonald Garden Center in Virginia Beach

It’s hard to narrow it down to just one, so I’m giving you my top three!

Purple Heart grows quickly and just one plant will fill a very large space. At the first frost and end of the season it will die back to the ground, so there’s no need to hide unsightly stems, and this allows plenty of room for you pansies. It has great color and can tolerate hot blazing sun.

Gaura, especially the 'Whirling Butterflies' variety because it grows to a good size and it moves beautifully with the breeze.

Black and Blue Salvia, like all salvias, attract hummingbirds like crazy. I like this salvia mostly because of it's intense blue color, which is pretty rare to find in the plant world. It gets taller than most salvias, so its great for the back of a flower bed.

Dana Coulsting, McDonald Garden Center in Chesapeake

My favorite perennial is Gaillardia Moxie. This flower is great because it loves the sun, doesn't require a lot of water and blooms for a long time! This particular gaillardia (sometimes known as blanket flower) is quite showy with very clear yellow frilly outer edges and a bright orange center. They look amazing in the garden or planted in containers. They grow about 18 – 24 inches tall and spread about the same so they definitely mix wonderfully with other flowers. As an extra bonus, this perennial not only attracts butterflies but is also deer resistant, which is a big plus!

Taryn Ruesch, McDonald Garden Center in Hampton

One of my top 10 favorite perennials of all time... the Pineapple Lily. These compliment every landscape with long, strappy leaves in a rich burgundy color. They grow 2-3 inches wide from the base, with the plant reaching a height of around 2-3 feet at maturity. Starting in July and continuing through to September, the Pineapple Lily produces tall racemes of creamy/purple star-shaped flowers densely packed around a thick stem. Each raceme can be around 6 inches in length and is held aloft for long periods of time, which makes it a great addition to a cut flower garden. Pineapple Lilies are well known as sun tolerant, but I also highly recommend them for part shade gardens as the sun will often leach some of the color out of the leaves. The Pineapple Lily grows best in a rich soil with a regular application of a good quality fertilizer. They will tolerate periods of drought once established, however water your lily regularly after first planting to help establish a strong root system.

Andrea Osborne, McDonald Garden Center in Chesapeake

My favorite perennial is Monarda, also known as Bee Balm. I love its unique whimsical flowers that bloom mid-to-late summer growing about of 2-4 feet high. It prefers a sunny spot with moist, but well-drained soil. Bee Balm attracts butterflies and bees and is also a hummingbird favorite. My Bee Balm is always the first stop for the hummingbirds in my yard. Its' height and movement in the breeze makes this perennial a beautiful addition to any sunny garden!

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