25 Frost Proof Perennials That Can Survive Winter Outdoors

Are you looking to add some frost-friendly perennial plants to your garden this season? Believe it or not, there are plenty of cold hardy perennials that can survive in areas that get a bit more cold weather. In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen walks through her favorite frost proof perennials to add to your garden this season.

Perennial Blooming After Frost with Deep Purple Bloom

There are many creative ways you can incorporate perennials into your garden or home landscape. Some perennials are well suited for shade gardens, while others thrive in full sun. There are some that more water, pruning, or other maintenance, while others can be planted and almost completely neglected. Many are even tolerant of frost and long, cold winters.

If you live in a hardiness zone that gets a little cooler in the wintertime, it doesn’t mean you are out of luck when it comes to choosing garden perennials. In fact, some perennials will not only survive colder climates, but thrive in them.

If you are looking for some frost-hardy perennials that you can plant this season, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading as we dig deeper into some of our favorite frost-friendly perennials that will come back each year, even after going dormant in colder winters.

Astilbe

Close-up of a flowering Astilbe plant with white fluffy inflorescences against the backdrop of a blurry blooming garden. Erect, feather-like flower clusters of white, rising above tufts of fern-like green leaves.
Astilbe is a gorgeous perennial that produces showy fluffy flowers that attract a lot of pollinators to your garden.
Scientific Name: Astilbe spp.
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Asia, North American
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade to shade
  • Plant Height: 1-2 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-8

This low-maintenance perennial grows best with a bit of shade. Plant it in a shade garden garden with rich, moist soil. Leaves may die back in the summer months if they receive too much sun, but as long as the roots are kept moist, they should regrow again the following spring. There are several Astilbe cultivars, all with similar growing requirements, and all resistant to rabbits and deer.

Astilbe have both attractive foliage and showy flowers. Blooming in the summer months, flowers are typically pink, with a soft, feathery appearance. They attract a variety of pollinators and make a good plant for a woodland garden, cottage garden, or along a border.

Bearded Iris

Close-up of a blooming large white-blue bearded iris flower in a garden against a green background. The flower has white vertical slightly wavy petals called "standards" and cascading blue wavy petals called "waterfalls".
Bearded Iris blooms with large fragrant flowers of various colors.
Scientific Name: Iris germanica
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Southern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Height: 2-3 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-10

Bearded Iris are popular and easily recognized. Iris rhizomes are readily available for planting in the spring or fall, and once established, require very little maintenance. They are resistant to deer and rabbits.

Iris flowers come in a wide variety of colors and bloom in the spring. The flowers are large, showy, fragrant, and make excellent cut flowers. Iris will spread over time and can be divided every few years to prevent overcrowding. Each cultivar has a unique name and flower color, but all have similar growth habits and requirements.

Blanket Flower

Close-up of Gaillardia 'Arizona Sun' blooming colorful flowers in a sunny garden. Yellow-orange-red disc flowers with three or more teeth on each petal surrounding a bright red-yellow center. Gray-green leaves are soft, hairy, and strap-shaped.
Blanket Flowers are gorgeous perennials with deep red-orange flowers that make a great bright accent in your flower garden.
Scientific Name: Gaillardia ‘Arizona Sun’
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North and South America
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Height: 6”-12”
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-10

There are several species of Gaillardia, each with variations in blooms and growing requirements. ‘Arizona Sun’ Blanket Flowers are low-maintenance perennials that grow well in average, well-drained soil and full sun.

They may need a bit of watering until they get established in a new location, but after that will tolerate some dry soil and drought.

Blanket Flowers bloom throughout the summer months and attract butterflies and other pollinators. Flowers are very showy with dark red-orange centers, surrounded by bicolor orange and yellow petals. In ideal growing conditions, plants will stay fairly compact and moundlike and will burst into full bloom each summer.

Blazing Star

Close-up of tall, upright Blazing Star perennials with thin leaves rising up the stem and ending in a distinct spike of showy pinnate purple flowers. The flowers bloom from top to bottom along the stalks. It has grass-like leaves. The background of the garden is blurred.
Blazing Star prefers to grow in well-drained, moist soils in full sun.
Scientific Name: Liatris spicata
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Eastern United States
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Height: 2-4 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-8

This native wildflower is a winner for a wildlife garden, butterfly garden, or prairie landscape. Blazing Star is a tall, upright perennial with thin leaves that extend up the stem, ending in a distinct spike of showy, feathery, purple blooms. Flowers bloom from mid to late summer and attract butterflies and other pollinators, as well as birds.

Blazing Star grows well in moist, well-drained, fertile soils. They need full sun in order to reliably bloom. Because they are tall, erect plants, the full blooms may cause them to become top heavy. If the plants are leaning or falling over, stake them upright during the blooming period.

Blue Oat Grass

Close-up of a growing Blue Oat Grass in a garden. The grass forms clusters of steel blue long foliage that is yellow at the base.
This incredibly beautiful ornamental grass produces tufts of silvery blue-green foliage.
Scientific Name: Helictotrichon sempervirens
  • Plant Type: Ornamental grass
  • Geographic Origin: Europe
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Height: 2-3 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 4-8

Ornamental grasses can add a nice contrast to the perennial garden, rock garden, or home landscape. Blue Oat Grass is an attractive ornamental grass that grows into large clumps of graceful silvery blue-green foliage. Grow it in clusters for a noteworthy display, or pair it with showy perennial flowers for a dramatic contrast.

Blue Oat Grass blooms in mid-summer but it’s the clump of grassy leaves that are the main attraction. This plant is low-maintenance and not bothered by deer or rabbits. It prefers dry to medium-moisture average soils and full sun.

Bugleweed

Close-up of a Bugleweed ground cover plant in full sun in a garden. The plant forms colonies of rosettes of dark green oval leaves and short spikes of blue tubular flowers on stems up to 12 inches long.
Bugleweed is a groundcover that produces tubular blue-green flowers in late spring.
Scientific Name: Ajuga reptans
  • Plant Type:  Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Europe, Northern Africa, Southwestern Asia
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Plant Height: 6”-9”
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-10

Bugleweed makes an excellent low-maintenance ground cover. Ground-hugging leafy rosettes spread by above-ground stolons and will gradually fill in areas of exposed soil. Bugleweed is resistant to deer and rabbits and prefers a sunny location with average, medium-moisture soil.

Bugleweed blooms in late spring and early summer. Spikes of small, tubelike (bugle-like) blue-green flowers provide a showy display and contrast nicely with the surrounding vegetation. These plants work well as borders and edging, along walkways, or as a lower layer in front of taller perennials.

Butterfly Milkweed

Close-up of Butterfly Milkweed blooming with gorgeous orange flowers against a blurred green background. Large clusters of bright orange flowers with a flat top. The leaves of Butterfly Milkweed are tough, long, dark green and lanceolate.
Butterfly Milkweed is an incredibly colorful and attractive host plant for the monarch butterfly caterpillar.
Scientific Name: Asclepias tuberosa
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Height: 1-2 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-9

Anyone wanting to attract butterflies to their garden should have Butterfly Milkweed. Milkweed is the host plant for the Monarch Butterfly caterpillar, and the flowers attract many other butterflies, bees, and dragonflies.

Flowers are showy orange clusters and bloom throughout the summer. After flowering, pointed, oblong seed pods develop, opening in the fall to release an abundance of white seed fluff.

Butterfly Milkweed looks great in a pollinator garden, perennial garden, cottage garden, or prairie landscape. It prefers rich, moist soils, but will tolerate some drought. For best blooming results, grow it in a location with full sun.

Common Sage

Close-up of a sage blossom in a garden in full sun. The oval leaves are rough or wrinkled, pubescent gray-green. The flowers are bluish-lavender in whorls on short erect peduncles. Each flower has two lips.
Common Sage is a herbaceous plant with fragrant leaves and pale lavender flowers that bloom in late spring.
Scientific Name: Salvia officinalis
  • Plant Type:  Semi-woody perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Northern Africa and Mediterranean
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Height: 2-2.5 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 4-8

Common Sage is one of those plants you can grow in average, dry soil, in full sun. It is intolerant of wet soils. Grow Sage in an herb garden, vegetable garden, or perennial garden. The aromatic leaves are a common kitchen herb. Sage is resistant to deer and rabbits.

Young Sage plants have softer, herbaceous stems, but older plants develop woody stems. Depending on the variety and the climate, some Sages may lose their leaves in the winter, while other will stay evergreen throughout the winter.

The flowers of Common Sage are pale lavender-blue and appear in the late spring and early summer. They grow on tall spikes and attract bees and butterflies.

Coral Bells

Close-up of a flowering coral bells inflorescence against a green garden. The inflorescence consists of many panicles of small bell-shaped bright red flowers.
Coral Bells is a low-growing groundcover that produces attractive, bell-shaped red flowers.
Scientific Name: Heuchera americana
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Plant Height: 1-2 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 4-9

There are a number of cultivars of Coral Bells, with different flower colors, leaf colors, and sizes. These plants make an attractive low-growing perennial in a cottage garden or perennial garden, and look nice in a partially shaded area or along a border. These plants will eventually form a large cluster and make an excellent ground cover.

Tall spikes of small flowers bloom in the summer and attract an assortment of small insects. The flowers are attractive but not especially large or showy. The leaves, however, are quite beautiful in the garden and compliment other perennials nicely.

Common Coreopsis

Close-up of blooming bright yellow flowers of Coreopsis grandiflora against a blurred background of blooming yellow flowers surrounded by green foliage. Disc flowers, similar to daisies with yellow elongated petals with wavy edges arranged around a yellow center.
This incredibly sunny wildflower prefers full sun and is resistant to rabbits and deer.
Scientific Name: Coreopsis grandiflora
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Height: 1.5-2.5 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 4-9

The Common Coreopsis is a low-maintenance wildflower native to the central and eastern United States. It grows well in medium-moisture, average, well-drained soil, and full sun. This cheery plant is tolerant of both rabbits and deer and also attracts butterflies and other pollinators.

Coreopsis flowers are bright yellow. They bloom throughout the summer and self-seed readily. Pull out extra unwanted seedlings each spring or use the seeds to grow these as annuals in pots or large containers. This plant works well in a meadow garden or large sunny naturalized area.

Creeping Phlox

Close-up of blooming flowers of Phlox repens groundcover. Erect racemes of large pale lilac flowers, consisting of five petals that are forked at the tips, with a purple-red eye in the center. The leaves are thin and elongated, reminiscent of needles.
Creeping Phlox is a groundcover that blooms with pinkish-purple flowers from late spring to early summer.
Scientific Name: Phlox stolonifera
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Plant Height: 6”-12”
  • USDA Plant Zone: 5-9

Creeping Phlox grows into large masses and makes a good ground cover. This plant is native to the southeastern United States. It would look nice planted along a border of a perennial garden, in a cottage garden, or in a rock garden.

Dense masses of pinkish-purple flowers cover the plant in late spring through early summer. The plants are resistant to deer and rabbits, and attract butterflies and other pollinators. Plant Creeping Phlox anywhere in the garden that you need a low-growing plant with early-season color.

Candytuft

Close-up of blooming white flowers of Candytufts in a sunny garden. There are many flowers blooming on the top of one plant with green foliage at the base.
Candytuft produces white flowers formed in dense, round clusters that attract many insects to your garden.
Scientific Name: Iberis sempervirens
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Southern Europe
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Height: 6”-12”
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-8

Candytuft is a low-growing ground cover suitable for a rock garden, cottage garden, or along borders and edges. It also grows well in containers. It needs well-drained soil and benefits from some annual trimming to remove scraggly growth and keep a compact form. This plant is tolerant of both rabbits and deer.

Candytuft blooms in springtime. The white flowers form in dense, round clusters that attract butterflies and other insects. Leaves are small, oblong, and evergreen, maintaining interest throughout the winter months.

Dianthus

A close-up of a low shrub of blooming bright pink Dianthus flowers against grey-green foliage. The flowers are small, simple, with fringed petals at the tips. Stamens protrude from the center.
Dianthus blooms with bright pink disc-shaped flowers from late spring to early summer.
Scientific Name: Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Grandiflorus’
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Europe, Asia
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Height: 6”-12”
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-8

Dianthus, also sometimes called “Cheddar Pink” is an attractive little plant that works well as a ground cover or edging plant. It prefers well-drained soil in full sun, and is prone to root rot in wet soils.

Dianthus is fairly low maintenance and not generally bothered by deer or rabbits. It blooms reliably each year, from late spring to early summer.

Dianthus ‘Grandiflorus’ leaves are thin and lancelike, growing in a silvery-green cluster. Flowers are bright pink and disklike. A plant in full bloom will appear as a small pink mat of blooms across the top of the entire plant. While flowers are relatively small, they are very showy and make an eye-catching display.

Hosta

Close-up of large bright green hosta leaves with a dark green edge. The leaves are heart-shaped, large, textured on thick stems.
Hosta is a gorgeous and attractive plant for your shady garden that has showy large green leaves.
Scientific Name: Hosta spp.
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Sun Exposure: Shade to partial shade
  • Plant Height: 12”-18”
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-8

If you are looking for an excellent shade garden plant, look no farther. Hostas are attractive and hardy plants with large green leaves. They grow best in shaded areas with rich, moist soils. Unfortunately, Hosta leaves are a favorite food for browsing deer, so be sure to grow them in a protected, deer-free area.

Hostas bloom from late summer into early fall. Tall flower spikes are graced with attractive pale purple bell-like flowers that attract hummingbirds. Plants can grow quite large and will gradually spread, so be sure to give them plenty of space to grow. Plants can be divided every few years to replant or give away.

Lenten Rose

Close-up of flowering Lenten Rose surrounded by dark green oblong oval leaves slightly serrated at the edges. The medium-sized cupped flowers consist of 5-6 pale pink-green petals. In the center of the flower is a pale green carpel with stamens.
This perennial grows well in a shady garden and is easy to care for.
Scientific Name: Helleborus spp.
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Europe
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade to full shade
  • Plant Height: 1.5-2 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 6-9

The Lenten Rose is a hardy, low-maintenance plant that is ideal for a shade garden with moist soil. It prefers warmer climate zones, but will perform well as a perennial in zones 6-8.

It is resistant to both deer and rabbits and tolerant of poor soils. In ideal conditions, Lenten Rose will self seed and spread into large clumps, but it grows rather slowly and is easy to manage. It can be divided every few years if necessary.

Foliage is tough and leathery and will often stay evergreen throughout the winter, adding interest to the winter garden. Flowers appear early in the spring. The flowers are showy, in shades of white and pink, and droop gracefully downwards.

Lily of the Valley

Close-up of blooming lilies of the valley against the background of large green leaves. Lily of the valley has nodding white bell-shaped flowers that are clustered on one side of a leafless stem. Glossy leaves are located at the base of the plant.
Lily of the valley is considered an invasive plant, grows well in shade, and is tolerant of poor soils.
Scientific Name: Convallaria majalis
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Central Asia, Europe
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade to full shade
  • Plant Height: 6”-12”
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-8

Lily of the valley is a spring-blooming plant that grows well in the shade. In ideal conditions, it grows and spreads readily by underground rhizomes. This plant is considered invasive in some areas, so be sure to check its status in your area before choosing to plant it.

Lily of the Valley is tolerant of poor soils, heavy shade, deer, and rabbits, making it a good plant for difficult gardening areas. It makes an effective ground cover or for filling in contained areas. Leaves are broad and grow singly, directly from the ground. Flower talks appear in the spring, lined with small, white, bell-like flowers.

Maidenhair Fern

Top view of Maidenhair Fern growing in autumn garden. The fern has thin, fan-shaped leaf segments clustered on wiry black stems. Orange dry leaves fallen from trees lie on fern leaves.
Maidenhair Ferns are indispensable plants in every garden, with frilly green leaves on long stems.
Scientific Name: Adiantum pedatum
  • Plant Type: Fern
  • Geographic Origin: North America, Asia
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade to full shade
  • Plant Height: 1-2 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-8

Ferns are graceful and attractive with beautiful foliage that adds variety to the shade garden. The Maidenhair Fern grows into clumps of frilly fronds atop a relatively long stem.

New fronds emerge from the ground each spring. Ferns are non-flowering plants which are typically not bothered by deer or rabbits.

When grown in shady conditions, with rich, moist soil, ferns are quite hardy. Ferns generally don’t have issues with insects or diseases, but can be harmed by too much heat, dry soil, and sun. Maidenhair Ferns are native plants that grow naturally in moist, heavily-wooded valleys and ravines.

Mother of Thyme

Close-up of a blooming Mother of Thyme in a sunny garden. Leaves lanceolate, dark green. The flowers are small, tubular, pinkish-violet collected in oblong inflorescences.
This fragrant ground cover prefers full sun and is tolerant of poor soils.
Scientific Name: Thymus serpyllum
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Northern Europe
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Height: 3-6”
  • USDA Plant Zone: 4-8

Mother of Thyme, also called Wild Thyme or Creeping Thyme, is an aromatic perennial ground cover. It grows well in poor soils and full sun, and is an excellent plant for an herb garden or rock garden.

In locations with mild winters, it may stay evergreen, but loses its leaves and goes dormant in colder winter climates.

Mother of Thyme has showy flowers that bloom in early to mid summer. Flowers are small pink clusters that are pinkish-purple. The plant is resistant to deer and rabbits, while the flowers attract butterflies and other insects.

New England Aster

Close-up of many blooming purple New England Aster flowers in an autumn garden. Showy, bright, pink-purple flowers with orange-yellow centers bloom in abundance at the tips of leafy branches. Oblong, lanceolate in shape, wrapping leaves are densely arranged on its thick stems.
New England Aster blooms with showy purple flowers that attract butterflies and other pollinators to your garden.
Scientific Name: Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Eastern North America
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Height: 3-6 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 4-8

New England Aster is a tall, fall-blooming perennial. This plant waits until many others are finished blooming, and then bursts into full bloom from early fall until frost. Flowers are showy and purple, attracting late-season butterflies and a host of other insects. Asters are not generally bothered by deer or rabbits, nor do they have many problems with other pests or diseases.

Grow New England Asters in a naturalized prairie or meadow garden, or in the perennial garden where they have plenty of room to grow. New England Asters do best in full sun.

Plant them in an area with rich, well-drained soil and be prepared to stake them upright if they sprawl too much. These plants can grow quite tall and will gradually spread outward over time.

Ostrich Fern

Close-up of bright green Ostrich Fern leaves in the garden. Individual leaflets up to 6 inches long, linear-oblong in outline, deeply pinnately incised. These lobes are short-oblong to ovoid in shape, their edges are smooth and curved down.
Ostrich Fern prefers to grow in rich moist soils in shady places.
Scientific Name: Matteuccia struthiopteris
  • Plant Type: Fern
  • Geographic Origin: Europe, Eastern Asia, Eastern North America
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade to full shade
  • Plant Height: 3-5 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-7

Ostrich Ferns are stunning additions to the shade garden. Grow them in rich, moist soil, under trees, or other areas with plenty of shade. These ferns generally prefer cooler climates and may not perform well in areas with long, hot summers, nor do they like areas that are sunny or dry. Ferns grown in ideal conditions are quite hardy, resistant to rabbits and deer, and uniquely attractive.

Grow Ostrich Ferns in a cluster for a dramatic display, or group them with other shade-loving perennials as companion plants. Ostrich Fern has large fronds that remain green throughout the growing season. New fronds appear in the spring, emerging as fiddleheads, and unfurling from the ground up.

Purple Coneflower

Close-up of Purple Coneflower in bloom against green foliage in a garden. The leaves are bright green and lanceolate. Echinacea violet has large lavender flowers with a spiky domed orange, almost brown center cone.
Purple Coneflower produces large showy purple flowers with golden buds that attract butterflies.
Scientific Name: Echinacea purpurea
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Height: 2.5-3 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-8

Purple Coneflowers are at home in many landscapes: cottage gardens, perennial gardens, native wildflower gardens, and pollinator and wildlife gardens.

The flowers bloom throughout the summer months and attract many butterflies and other pollinators, as well as seed-eating birds. Deer and rabbits may browse on young plants, but don’t generally bother the larger plants later in the season.

Coneflowers grow best in full sun. Plant them in an area with rich, well-drained soil. Plants will spread slowly over time, either by underground rhizomes or by self-seeding. You can divide the plants every few years to spread them out or give some away.

Stonecrop ‘Autumn Joy’

Top view, close-up of Stonecrop 'Autumn Joy' blooming flowers against green leaves. Beautiful small salmon-pink flowers collected in inflorescences. The leaves are rounded, juicy light green.
Stonecrop ‘Autumn Joy’ is a perennial that blooms in clusters of small, feathery, pale pink flowers that attract butterflies.
Scientific Name: Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Height: 1.5-2 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-9

This is a classic perennial flower that is at home in the perennial garden, rock garden, or cottage garden. The thick succulent leaves of Autumn Joy are interesting throughout the growing season, contrasting nicely with other garden perennials. Grow it in full sun with well-drained soil.

In the early fall, Autumn Joy blooms with clusters of small, feathery, pale pink flowers. The flowers attract late-season butterflies and other pollinators. This plant can be easily propagated from leaf cuttings and stem cuttings, as well as dividing larger clumps. If it grows a bit too large and leggy, it can be cut back to a more manageable size.

Solitary Clematis

Close-up of blooming purple Solitary Clematis flowers
against the background of green leaves. This is a low growing clematis with small blue bell-shaped flowers with twisted sepals and cream anthers. The medium green leaves are entire, ovate-lanceolate, conspicuously veined and sessile, forming a dense clump of foliage.
This herbaceous perennial plant produces purple flowers and grows well in moist soils.
Scientific Name: Clematis integrifolia
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Asia, Europe
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Plant Height: 1.5-3 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-7

Solitary Clematis in a non-vining variety of Clematis. Instead, it grows as an herbaceous perennial with upright stems that die back to the ground each winter. Plants grow well with moist soil and a bit of afternoon shade.

The flowers of this unusual Clematis are purple and grow on single stems above the leaf mass, drooping gracefully downwards. These plants are deer resistant and look wonderful when grown in a group. Add them to a cottage garden, perennial garden, or rock garden.

Spiderwort

Close-up of blooming purple Spiderwort flowers against bright green leaves. The flowers are in rounded clusters at the apex of the shoot and have three bright purple petals that surround a dark purple hairy center with six conspicuous bright yellow stamens.
Spiderwort blooms from late spring to mid-summer with spectacular purple flowers consisting of three petals.
Scientific Name: Tradescantia virginiana
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Eastern United States
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to shade
  • Plant Height: 1-3 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 4-9

Spiderwort is a versatile plant that will grow in many conditions. It tolerates both full sun and full shade, and it will tolerate a range of soil conditions.

This plant will tend to grow into a cluster and can be divided every few years, if necessary, to control growth. Spiderwort is an interesting and attractive plant that would look nice in a natural cottage garden setting, or in a shade garden.

Spiderworts bloom from late spring through mid summer. The flowers each have three petals and are showy and purple. They grow in small clusters at the tops of the main stems. Leaves are long and thin, and resemble a thick, juicy grass.

This plant looks its best in the spring and early summer months. By mid to late summer, the leaves may start to look brown and bedraggled, so plant it among other plants that thrive later in the growing season.

Yarrow

Close-up of a flowering yarrow on a green blurred background. Flat clusters of small white flowers with yellow centres. Dark green, thin, feathery leaves give the plant a fern-like appearance.
Yarrow grows well in full sun and tolerates drought well.
Scientific Name: Achillea millefolium
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Europe, Asia, North America
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Plant Height: 2-3 feet
  • USDA Plant Zone: 3-9

Yarrow is an attractive plant with feathery pale green foliage. It grows well in dry to medium-moisture, well-drained soils. It is tolerant of deer and rabbits, occasional drought, and poor soil conditions.

Yarrow prefers a location with full sun and will grow vigorously, spreading outwards by underground rhizomes. Control growth and spread by removing any unwanted rhizomes from around the edges.

Yarrow flowers attract butterflies and other insects. Depending on the variety, Yarrow flowers may be white, yellow, or various shades of pink. This would be a good plant for filling in challenging garden corners and edges, or for a more wild-looking perennial garden.

Final Thoughts

There are a tremendous number of frost-tolerant perennials available to the home gardener. If you live in an area that experiences winter, you have plenty of beautiful perennial options to choose from. Understand your hardiness zone so you can choose the plants most suited for that climate.

Evaluate your garden space; look at the sunlight, soil quality, and soil moisture. Do you want plants to bloom throughout the growing season? Do you have a large area to fill or just an isolated corner? Perhaps you’d like some flowers that attract butterflies?

These are all things to consider as you create your own hardy perennial flower garden. Once planted and established, you can enjoy your perennials for many years.

SHARE THIS POST
A close up image of a plant growing on the water. Blooming with a flower that has pink petals and some white on the interior of the flower. The stamen in the middle is yellow.

Plants

21 Water Friendly Plants For Indoor and Outdoor Ponds

Are you looking for some plants that can grow in an indoor or outdoor pond? Finding the right types of floating plants for pond gardens can be a bit of a challenge! Luckily, there are many different options you can choose from. In this article, we take a look at our favorite plants that can thrive in outdoor or indoor ponds!

drought tolerant lavender

Plants

21 Drought Tolerant Lavender Varieties For Arid Desert Climates

If you are looking for some lavender that can tolerate both heat and drought, you've come to the right place! There are many different desert friendly types of lavender you can plant, depending on your location. In this article gardening expert and former lavender farmer Logan Hailey examines her favorite varieties of lavender for hot and dry desert climates.

budget friendly perennials

Plants

23 Perennial Plants For Gardeners on a Budget

Are you looking to start a perennial garden, but want to stay within a certain budget? There are many different perennial plants that you can grow, without breaking the bank. In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen lists out her favorite budget-friendly perennials, with names and pictures of each!

plants for under trees

Plants

49 Plants That Will Grow Underneath Almost Any Tree

Are you trying to find the perfect plants to grow under the trees in your yard or garden? Finding the right plant that can tolerate a little shade and not compete with your trees for nutrients can be difficult. In this article, we look at our favorite plants that can grow quite well under just about any type of tree in your yard or garden!

low maintenance perennials

Plants

31 Low Maintenance Perennials That Require Minimal Upkeep

Are you looking for some low-maintenance perennials that you can add to your garden? There are many different perennials that require very little care from their owners. In this article, we take a look at our favorites that you can plant, and practically ignore once they mature.

perennial groundcover

Plants

17 Perennial Ground Cover Plants That Will Come Back Every Year

Are you looking for some perennial ground cover plants that will come back each season? There are many different ground covers you can choose from, but the key is finding the right plant. In this article, we take a look at our favorite perennial ground cover plants, with names and pictures of each!