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Longest blooming perennials

Posted by paulsiu (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 24, 11 at 11:17

Suppose you want to make sure that there's always flowers blooming somewhere in your yard with limited space, you can plant at least a few "anchor" perennials that are long blooming.

I was looking through and notice the long blooming plants were:

Corydalis Lutea (yellow Corydalis) - blooms for 20+ weeks from May to October.
Dicentra Luxuriant (Luxuriant bleeding hearts) - bloom for 17 weeks from April to Sep.
Tiarella Iron Butterfly (iron butterfly foamflower) - bloom for 14+ week from May to Aug.
Tradescantia Virginia (Concord grape spiderwort) - bloom for 12+ week from May to Aug
Salvia Superba (meadow sage) - bloom for 12+ weeks from May to Ocxt

Paul


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Very long blooming season is not always a blessing. You will get tired of them . Note, that NONE of the mentioned plants has the 'WOW-factor' that makes you soft in your knees. So to watch a third class plant for 5 months would be a doubtful pleasure. But perhaps others think differently.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

I have to agree with the above, long blooming isn't necessarily a trait I look for. I tend to go for variety and lots of it. Maybe it's my personality or something, but I simply get bored with looking at the same flowers for weeks or months at a time. I love the progression of the seasons and what comes with each one. (Probably he reason I have no interest in reblooming iris)

My main plant addiction is orchids. One of the traits many orchid growers look for is long lasting flowers like Phalenopsis which can blooms for 6 months or more at a time. When I grew Phalenopsis orchids I would always cut the flowers off after 6 weeks or so. I just didn't want to look at them any longer.

Kevin


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

  • Posted by maet z5 NL Canada (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 24, 11 at 16:36

I have Dicentra Luxuriant in my garden for that reason that it is long blooming. I am currently looking for Corydalis Lutea, bought some seed off ebay but they didn't germinate. I like having a few long blooming anchor plants in the garden as well. Going to look at the other ones you listed as well.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Where are you located? What zone?

Unlike some of the other posters, I do go for long blooming and choose most plants for that reason. However, I do weave in plants that have a short bloom time, daylilies for instance, in addition to evergreens. I don't plant extremely poisonous plants either like foxglove which are spectacular.

Longest bloom time plants for me are salvias, lantanas, buddleias, and while not a perennial they are in the middle of my perennial beds, knockout roses.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Great thread.

I planted a small Coreopsis "Cosmic Eye" this past June. By late June it began to flower and it has been a flower machine ever since.

I do hope it comes back next spring. (If it doesnt I will still probably plant it again and just consider it as an annual).


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

...long blooming isn't necessarily a trait I look for. I tend to go for variety and lots of it.

I'd have to agree with Kevin: I strive for continuous bloom in the garden right through the season but try to plant lots of varieties so there are changes & contrasts in texture and color as the weeks go by. I certainly don't have it down to a science yet but I'm keeping a diary of what perennials are in bloom when so once the cold weather starts keeping me indoors for longer periods of time, I can look at my notes and plan which perennials I want to add more of next year.

I'm especially impressed with cardinal flower & blue lobelia, along with rose campion, ladybells, turtlehead and gaura. The turtlehead is just finishing up now but the gaura is still blooming like crazy. Montauk daisies are loaded with fat buds that should open any day, toad lily is covered with buds just starting to open and the black snakeroot won't be far behind them.

My salvia bloomed for a longer period last year when not a drop of rain fell from June-October than it did this year with plentiful rain. Weather variations will nearly always influence perennial performance, either extending or shortening bloom times and duration. I enjoy the garden each year because it's never the same as the previous year. That can be a good thing...or it can make me reach for the sketch pad to re-think, retrench, re-plan.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Penstemon 'Sweet Joanne' blooms constantly from May until frost. I love that one!

Hesperaloe parviflora (Red or Yellow) have very long lasting blooms. I love the red and yellow together.

Helenium 'Double Trouble' and 'Mardi Gras' bloom a very long time.

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' and Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' bloom repeatedly here and have nice foliage as an added bonus.

Coreopsis 'Creme Brulee' blooms a very long time!

My Russian Sage blooms all summer too.

Echinacea 'Fragrant Angel' and Echinacea 'Razzmatazz' rebloom very well if deadheaded.


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I like long-blooming ones. It is one of my criteria for selecting plants. These are the backbones for the gardens and I add others to add variety, texture, etc.
My favorite ever blooming ones

butterfly blue scabiosa (early June - first frost), also the drawf version
Heliopsis false sunflower (mid June - first frost)
Blanket flower arizona sun (mid June - first frost)
Knowckout roses (early June - first frost)
Salvia Royal Crimson (mid-June - mid september)
Salvia Royal Crimson became my favorite salvia since last year. Much better performance than May Night and EastFriesland. Much neater, hot purple, almost ever blooming if deadheaded. Leaf is very attractive, neat and turned to beautiful dark purple when it is getting colder in early September while the other salvia become really bad. So I started with one plant 3 yeays ago, now I have 4 health plants this year by dividing last fall. All nicely bloomed from mid June until now.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Hi Paul, I see you mentioned "Iron Butterfly Foamflower" as a very long bloomer. I was under the impressions that Tiarellas are spring bloomers only.....May or June. Does dead-heading keep yours going?

I recently planted "Sugar and Spice" Foamflower and I am now hoping it behaves like your Tiarella!


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Foamflower

Hi Paul, I see you mentioned "Iron Butterfly Foamflower" as a very long bloomer. I was under the impressions that Tiarellas are spring bloomers only.....May or June. Does dead-heading keep yours going?

I recently planted "Sugar and Spice" Foamflower and I am now hoping it behaves like your Tiarella!


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Geraniums 'Rozanne' and 'Jolly bee' are my longest bloomers. They start in early June and go until frost.


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I agree, geranium 'Jolly Bee' is a great long bloomer. Two more that I never get tired of that are very long blooming for me are Heuchera 'Cherries Jubilee' and a ground cover Persicaria affinis 'Border Jewel'. Dead heading H. Cherries Jubilee keeps it sending up fresh bright bloom stalks sporadically from June to September. Just a few can make a good show. Persicaria Border Jewel, although it can get pretty ratty looking over winter, after raking out the dead leaves in early May, perks up quickly and starts sending up bloom spikes by late May and continues till a freeze in fall. Each spike changes from white to pink to rust as the season progresses showing all colors at the same time. It works well as an edger or ground cover, easily controlled. It truly is a "border jewel". I don't know why it doesn't get more press in the garden world.

Photobucket


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

I don't have the tags handy but I have several Tiarellas that bloomed from early spring to mid summer here in the Pacific Northwest. I did not deadhead. I don't deadhead my Dicentras either and I have some still blooming from spring: King of Hearts and Luxuriant.


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I bet your long blooming tiarellas are in great part due to your balmy, moist z8 climate....lucky you.


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My second year Rozanne Geranium does for sure bloom superbly but it didn't start until about....July 1st...but continues to this day.


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My ice plants bloom from May to frost too. I think they are nice too!


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 25, 11 at 20:52

Aren't 'Rozanne' and 'Jolly Bee' the same plants?

I definitely perfer plants that have repeat "flushes". A constant bloom with a few here and there is ok.

On of my favorites for flushes is Veronica 'Purpleicious'. If I deadhead the spikes I can usually get (3) three week flushes out of it.


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Agastache 'Purple Haze' has been very long blooming for me, or perhaps a superb re-bloomer as I had cut it back a couple of times. Can anyone comment on Agastache in general?


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Well I know that echinaceamaniac sings the praises of Agastache foeniculum 'Golden Jubilee'.


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Agastache

Well I know that echinaceamaniac sings the praises of Agastache foeniculum 'Golden Jubilee'.

(I would plant one except it is too large for any space left in my garden)


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They are large. I keep cutting off some of mine so it's not so wide. Maybe pruning it is why it blooms over and over. I just like the colors of Golden Jubilee and it contrasts nicely with so many other plants.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

If the foliage is interesting - varied shapes, sizes, colors - the flowers are incidental to the overall appearance at any given time. But, of course, the flowers are the high notes in the yard opera.

The same flowers that have been on my Hydrangea since mid-April are still there. They're so cool. They start out white, then turn blue, then pink, then lavender, and now they're a deep dusky rose.

If plumbago is hardy where you are, that's been blooming since April also. I didn't discover it until I moved down here.

Myosotis started from seeds in March have been blooming since May.

Wax begonias, where hardy, put on a 3-season show.

I'll cast another vote for the buddleia (butterfly bush.) This the only one I've mentioned that needs deadheading to bloom profusely until frosts.


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Try buddleia 'Blue Chip'...It doesn't require deadheading at all. Mine was beautiful. It's sterile and it blooms continuously.


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I have a love hate relationship with the butterfly bush. Due to space we have only 'tried' the miniature versions. I say in the past 3 or 4 years I have planted probably 4 of these plants. None ever survive more than 2 seasons. Right now we have none.

What is the secret(s) to having these plants make it through the winter successfully as I may try again next spring.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

rouge21, the one thing everyone agrees on is to wait until spring to prune buddleias for size and shape. Then it can be pruned down as far as the "knob" right above ground, where the branching originates.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Yup. I do know it is well into spring before one sees signs of like in these bushes. But for me they either never show life or show a bit of life than die a few weeks later.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

rouge21, I actually got the list from a book. I haven't yet grown those plants and was getting some ideas. I check out the Iron Butterfly Tiarella in my area, and they actually don't bloom for that long.

Paul


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My rudbeckia hirta (the ones I seem to get from seed because they spring up everywhere) has been in bloom since before the middle of August. I'm amazed - they're only now starting to look a bit ratty.


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heliopsis is a long bloomer for me, rudbeckia subtomentosa starts mid Aug. and goes till hard frost, stachys Hummelo nearly 4 weeks, love sedums and of course grasses. All of these have good foliage all season long even when not in bloom. Another one I grow just for foliage is eupatorium 'Chocolate'


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

In looking for long bloomers, don't forget the many perennials that can be pinched back to delay bloom. By pinching about a third of the stems at 2 or 3 intervals, you can spread the bloom over 5 or 6 weeks on a plant that normally blooms for only 2 weeks. Tall Phlox is one with which this method of extending bloom works well.


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gazania, what kind of light do you have on your 'Persicaria Border Jewel'? That plant looks sweet!


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

linda0210, In that picture the light would be considered full sun. It is on the west side of the house. Morning sun reaches it in mid summer around 10 and the shade of a maple gets to it around 5 pm. In that small bed, it has slowly spread to the center where it gets mostly shade all day from an overhanging shrub. I think it would do well in less sun. A filtered sun situation should keep it happy.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

I love the Border Jewel photos, gazania. I have been having so much trouble finding Persicarias locally, I finally ordered a plant of P. affinis 'Dimity'. I hope I like it as well as Border Jewel. Any comments or comparisons?


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If you want year-round color, you can't beat Yucca 'Color Guard.' No blooms required and it glows all winter.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

hemnancy, GW member sunnyborders has
P. affinis "Dimity" and likes if very much as a spreading, but easily controlled, ground cover. Hopefully he will see this thread so that he can comment further on his positive experiences with this particular persicaria.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

I've tried "Dimity" three different times as a ground cover around shrubs. It looks great, roots easily, flowers are interesting and then - it doesn't survive the winter. I had it with "Quickfire" hydrangea and it was a nice, flower color echo - didn't survive.

At this point I don't know if it's water lack prior to winter, location or general ineptitude. I need to talk to someone that knows more than I do.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Lamium, Orchid Frost; Persicaria, Firetail; Rudbeckia, triloba; garden phlox; Echinaceas; Geranium: Rozanne, Shepherd's Warning, Tiny Monster; hibiscus; buddleia; clematis, Anna Louise; Lobelia, Cardinalis; Agastache, Blue Fortune; Lythrum, Mordan's Pink; Callirhoe, Wine Cups; Boltonia; Nepeta, subsessilis; Ruellia, (native petunia); Knockout roses; a red rugosa; Veronica, icicles; -The winner of these being the Orchid Frost Lamium, April-Nov., with Geranium, Tiny Monster (not tiny...), coming in second, May-Nov.

gc


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

garden_crazy wrote: The winner of these being the Orchid Frost Lamium, April-Nov., with Geranium, Tiny Monster (not tiny...), coming in second, May-Nov.

Thanks for this. I had to look up "Lamium". Web references seem to indicate it can take (a lot?) of shade. Have you had experience with it in good shade?

I also didnt know that TMonster flowers all summer. Too bad (for me) it does get so large.

This post was edited by rouge21 on Fri, Mar 1, 13 at 17:52


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

For those interested in the Persicarias Afinnis ' Border Jewel' and Persicaria Afinnis 'Dimity', check out the site below for a comparison. Looks to me like it is primarily size.

Here is a link that might be useful: Persicarias (formerly polygonum)


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

[UPDATE: I hadn't done my due diligience and re-read all of this great thread prior to my post below. And I see looking more closely that Paul had already responded to a similar comment of mine from 2011. That's embarrassing.]

Paulsiu wrote:

Tiarella Iron Butterfly - bloom for 14+ week from May to Aug.

I love the 3 Tiarella plants that I have ("Sugar and Spice") but they do not bloom anywhere near as long as you are describing. Last season they were in flower for about...4 weeks tops...say late April to late May.

Can you describe the flower cycle of your Tiarella? It can't be one continuous bloom in those 12 weeks...can it? So do you dead head and they reflower? I am curious how you get this to happen.

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sun, Mar 3, 13 at 7:09


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Rouge,
Yes, I have Orchid Frost growing under a cherry tree around other larger perennials where it gets no direct sun. It does just as well as the areas of it that get a few hours of am sun. I grow several varieties of lamium and this is by far the neatest form and best flowering. -Also more heat and drought tolerant than some others.

gc


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

I keep a collection of flowering perennials, foliage plants and small flowering shrubs in the back. When things up the front yard start to look a bit bare of colour, I bring whichever potted plants are showing colour to the front and discretely place them amongst the in-ground plants. The hardest thing about this method is remembering to water them - they are so easily forgotten when their pots are out of sight. I get over this problem by using our automated drip irrigation where-ever I can.


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I forgot about geranium, Orkney Cherry, which does well in sun or nearly total shade for me. Blooms from maybe the end of May until Nov., small but bright and prolific flowers. Much smaller than TMonster at maybe 6-8"tall x 15"w. Leaves are quite dark in more shade - this pic is in full sun.
GC


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Here is Shepherd's Warning. -Can't remember when it starts blooming, Maybe the end of May through Oct or Nov. I have only had it two years. - This is three plants from Bluestone when they were doing the 3-packs. I think this geranium likes full or at least plenty of sun. Sorry I'm still doing pics one at a time.
gc


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Found a pic of Orchid Frost Lamium in probably very early April here in No. IL. Some gets a few hours of sun in midsummer but at the base of the tree and around the hostas, it gets no direct sun after ieverything leafs out.
gc


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Thanks very much 'gc' for that picture of "Orchid Frost". If it can do its stuff in summer shade I will find a place for it...at least as an experiment.

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sun, Mar 3, 13 at 7:44


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Back.

As rouge21 says I've found Persicaria affinis 'Dimity' to be a very useful and attractive ground cover.

Re boday's experience with the plant: I've had it three years in sunny locations in both (upgraded) clay and sandy gardens. I know it's also done well at Merlin's Hollow (a large well-known local garden here). My locations are all probably adequately watered.

Realize how site specific perennials can be. Would be interesting to know the reason for boday's and my different experiences with Dimity's longevity.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Good to see you back "SunnyB".


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

My favorite long-bloomer is 'Max Frei' hardy geranium. They plant is of modest size, tidy habit and its flowers are not annoying despite its very extended bloom period. Just love it!

 photo DSC03150_zpsc390e632.jpg
 photo DSC03147_zpsb05fb80c.jpg

This post was edited by green_go on Sat, Jul 5, 14 at 22:25


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

I have Corydalis Lutea growing as a weed in my yard. Never paid much attention to it but now I'll have to see if it actually blooms 20+ weeks. It has started in May and not stopped since.

It grows in a shady spot underneath a purple rhododendron. I love the colour combination when they both flower.


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

greengo I very much like "Max Frei" also. My 3 plants are winding down in terms of blooms but I do like the tidy habit they exhibit all season and they will give a few more flowers much later in the season. But my plants don't look nearly as good as yours...excellent specimens.
(Btw, how long do yours bloom for...for me it is about...3 weeks or so).

And a thumbs up Hoverfly9 re C.Lutea. I especially like it in deep shade in a more wild area of my garden. Of course it spreads all over but it is trivial to pull them up.

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sun, Jul 6, 14 at 9:36


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RE: Longest blooming perennials

Depends what is meant by long blooming - in my book, I am looking for a good 10-12 weeks, or 2 or 3 good flushes throughout the season (with certain caveats).
Rehmannia alata has been in prolific bloom for 3 months, now, with no signs of slowing down. The shrubby salvias (greggii et al.) can go on for 6 or more months, as can some penstemons, I have a delightful mimulus aurantiacus which will bloom throughout the summer for many weeks, as well as various hardy geraniums, many of which have already been noted. Sterile hybrid digitalis will continue to bloom, as will a sterile polemonium, Lambrooke Mauve. Pelargoniums,, nemesia, diascias and bacopa are long blooming pot/bedding plants,....but I am avoiding getting into either half-hardy perennials (which we regard as annuals) nor do I really want to delve into heavy dead-heading territory. If you are vigilant about this (unlike me), campanulas can be induced to bloom for the entire season, as can some dianthus...in fact, many plants will go on for months if prevented from setting seed. But, for lazy and negligent types who just want a lot of blooming with minimal effort, the amellus asters are easy and failsafe, along with limonium, bupleurum, eryisimum, erodium, callirhoe.


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