24 Best perennial plants that bloom in Australia

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Let’s face it: One of the reasons why most people get into gardening is that they want to have the most beautiful flowers! Also, frequent exposure to Mother Nature can have positive effects on one’s mental health. 

If you’re just starting out and are wondering which seeds to invest in, here’s a list of perennial plants for your home garden

a young man watering potted plants

What is a perennial plant? 

Perennials are plants that live for three or more years without needing to be replanted. They are different from annuals and biennials in the sense that they have different life cycles. Annuals last for only one year, while biennials live for two years. There is also such a thing as hardy annuals, which can survive mild winter climates and last longer than most annual plants. Despite being slightly more expensive, many professional gardeners and gardening enthusiasts prefer perennial flowers because they last for a very long time!

See also: Perennial, annual, and perennial plants: How are they different?

Should I plant annuals or perennials?

There is no “best” category when it comes to plants, but here’s a helpful tip: Plant annuals if you want “instant” growth and flowers in your garden, and invest in perennials if you’re thinking more long-term. Here are 24 of the best perennial plants for your garden: 

Best perennial flowering plants 

Aiming to plant the longest blooming perennial plants to make sure your hard work pays off? Look no further! Below are some of the most beautiful and colourful perennials in the market: 

1. Daylily 

daylily blossoms

Individual daylily flowers only last for a day or so, but their blooms are produced in rapid succession that you won’t even notice some flowers are gone! 

2. Yarrow 

yarrow flowers on a grassy field

Yarrows attract butterflies and have clusters of flowers that come in a variety of colours. They resist extreme temperatures and poor soil, blooming in sunny areas. Their tall stems, colourful blossoms, and fern-like foliage make them perfect for cottage or wildflower gardens.

3. Spiderwort

a spiderwort plant

Spiderworts bloom in the summer until autumn and are relatively easy to care for. The most common variety of this plant used in home gardens is the tradescantia spiderwort, which has the prettiest three-petalled flowers. 

4. Bellflower 

purple bellflowers

Just like its name suggests, bellflowers produce bell-shaped blooms! Sometimes the flowers grow to be star-shaped, too. If you're unsure where to plant your bellflowers, remember that most of them thrive in sunny places with well-drained soil. 

See also: Potting soil or potting mix: Which is better for your plants?

5. Masterwort

pink masterwort blossoms

Speaking of star-shaped flowers, why not try growing masterwort? They flourish during the summer and come in shades of greenish-white, pink, or maroon. 

6. Black-eyed susan

black-eyed susan blossoms

These flowers will certainly brighten your garden because of their deep yellow colour! They bloom for weeks, too. You could also try the deadheading process for your black-eyed susan to flower repeatedly. 

7. Penstemon

pink and red penstemon flowers

Its flowers could be described as having a “thimble-like” shape. Penstemons also benefit from deadheading (this method actually works for most perennial flowers)!

8. Coneflower

pink coneflowers

Are you looking for a certified tough plant? Coneflowers are here for you! They attract bees and butterflies and come in white, pink, red, or orange flowers. 

9. Valerian 

Flowering pink valerian plant

Valerians come in pink or white flowers that grow in clusters. They flourish in moist soil under full sun. Interestingly, valerian blossoms were once used to make perfume. Also, they have catnip-like properties. Cats like valerian plants, sometimes rubbing against the foliage.

Best perennial border plants 

Do your garden borders need a bit of a *transformation*? Perennials make awesome border plants because they come back year after year. Below is a list of plants that will give your garden that much-needed upgrade (you could actually buy a lot of plants online!): 

10. Shasta daisy 

white shasta daisies

These clump-forming perennials are best for cottage and informal gardens! When fully grown, shasta daisies have the prettiest white-petaled flowers with yellow centres. 

11. Lambs’ ear

a flower bed with lamb's ears

These are carpeting and evergreen perennials that grow best in sunny places. Their silvery foliage also provides an excellent backdrop for your other flowering plants. The soft hairs on lambs' ear plants prevent moisture loss, resulting in drought tolerance.

12. Stokes’ aster

purple stokes’ aster blossoms

This plant has a long-flowering season, which makes it perfect as a border plant. It blooms from mid-summer until mid-autumn. Stokes’ asters need good drainage and lots of sunlight to grow well. 

13. Lungwort

bright blue lungwort flowers

The common lungwort produces flowers that start out as pink and then turn blue come spring. In the past, people thought that this plant's lung-looking leaves could address respiratory diseases. Despite its name, lungwort doesn't have medicinal properties.

14. Astilbe

pink astilbes in a garden

Another perennial for your garden border is astilbe, which has flower spikes that range from red, pink, or white. These plants thrive in damp soil and shady locations, so try not to plant them during extremely sunny weather. 

15. Heucherella

maroon heucherella plants

If you’re looking for plants that are easy to grow and generally low maintenance, you’ve found them! Heucherellas are perfect as garden borders because they can serve as ground cover or as a filler in gaps between taller plants. 

16. Catmint

blooming catmint in spring

Are you a fan of lavender colours? Let us introduce you to catmints! They also come in white or yellow flowers. Like heucherellas, they’re pretty low-maintenance. Finally, catmint blossoms are a great source of nectar for pollinators, like bees and butterflies.

17. Anemone

snowdrop anemone blossoms

These can be grown as borders, as well as in containers. Anemones produce cup-like flowers with colours that include white, pink, magenta, red, or blue. You have many good options! 

Best perennial plants for hanging baskets 

Sure, plants look amazing on the ground, but what if you take your gardening game up a notch and install hanging baskets for your flowers? These baskets bring your blooms up to eye level, and you’ll get to appreciate them even more. Baskets are also ideal when you’re working with limited space or when you have a vertical garden

18. Hardy fuchsia

red and purple bells of fuchsia flowers

You’ll definitely love this plant that resembles ballerinas in tutus! Fuschias range from shades of pink, red, and purple. Since they're normally “dangling” plants, they can be a great addition to your garden’s hanging basket section. 

See also: Fall in love with these 17 fancy garden wall ideas

19. Viola 

viola blossoms in a garden

This evergreen perennial, also known as heartsease, has flowers that come in three colours: dark purple upper petals, pale purple or pale yellow middle petals, and a dark yellow lower petal. 

20. Clove pink dianthus

Also known as cottaged pink, feathered pink, or garden pink dianthus, these flowers are herbaceous perennials that smell like – you guessed it – cloves! You can eat some kinds of dianthus, and they might taste a bit spicy. However, before tasting them, research and be sure that they're safe to eat.

21. Geranium

red geranium flowers in pots

There are many types of geraniums to choose from. You’ve got your geranium rozanne, geranium renardii, geranium orion, and geranium dilys. You can grow them in flower beds, borders, and small containers to complement your interior or exterior space.

22. Crocus

white crocus in a ceramic pot

Crocus flowers come in shades of white, yellow, lilac, and purple! They're versatile and can grow in a variety of environments, but they'll look even more enticing in hanging baskets, don’t you think? 

23. Algerian iris 

Algerian iris blossoms

Another herbaceous perennial, the Algerian iris typically has a deep purple colour that will bring you joy during cold winter days. Remember to wear gloves when handling this plant and wash your hands afterwards, as it can be poisonous

24. Petunia

blooming petunias in trays

Although petunias are technically perennials, they are grown as annuals in certain areas. Petunias are colourful flowers! They come in shades of white, pink, blue, yellow, red, and purple, so you’ll have a lot of options when planning for your hanging baskets.  

best perennial plants that bloom in Australia

☞ Learn more: Gardening basics

Simplifying your perennial garden project

Overall, careful planning will help you achieve your ideal garden. If you need some help with manual labour, consider lightening the load by hiring a Tasker to plant your perennials. You can also have plants delivered directly to your doorstep and ask another professional to bring you materials or seeds from a nearby garden centre. Happy gardening!  

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