15 Best Outdoor Perennial Flowers

Written by Crystal
Updated: September 28, 2022
Image Credit hurricanehank/Shutterstock.com
Share this post on:

When choosing perennial flowers for your garden, it’s important to consider the climate in which you live. Some varieties, like daylilies and peonies, do best in cooler climates, while others, like coneflowers and heucheras, thrive in warmer weather.

No matter what type of climate or gardening conditions you have, there’s sure to be a variety of perennial flowers that will thrive in your garden. Are you ready to get out there and start planting?

Read on to learn about the best outdoor perennial flowers.

5 Colorful Perrenials

large dahlia flowers
Perennials include a wide variety of colors.

What are the most colorful perennial flowers? This is a question that many gardeners ask, and there are a few different answers. Some of the most popular choices include:

  1. Bee Balm-with its bright red, pink, or purple flowers, bee balm, is a favorite among gardeners. This perennial is also known for its attractively scented leaves.
  2. Astilbe- this perennial is perfect for adding color to shady areas of the garden. It produces delicate pink, white or purple flowers.
  3. Coreopsis/Tickseed- this plant is a great choice for adding color to sunny areas of the garden. It produces yellow, orange, or red flowers.
  4. Helenium/Sneezeweed- this perennial is known for its large and showy flowers. The flowers can be yellow, orange, or red and are often used in cut flower arrangements.
  5. Oriental Poppies-these poppies are a popular choice for their large and colorful blooms. The blooms can be red, pink, purple, or white.

5 Spring Favorite Perennials

Texas Wisteria
There are plenty of springtime perennials that are easy to care for.

iStock.com/Steve Shubert

What are the best springtime perennials? There are a lot of them! When you’re looking for the best outdoor perennial flowers for springtime, consider yellow corydalis, astilbe, phlox subulata, columbine, and lamium. They all add a splash of color to the garden and make it look beautiful. Once you start planting these color bombs, you’ll never go back.

  1. Yellow Corydalis- Yellow corydalis is a beautiful perennial that blooms in the spring. It’s a great choice for adding color to your garden, and it’s also quite easy to care for. This plant prefers partial sun and well-drained soil, and it will reach a height of about 18 inches.
  2. Astilbe- Astilbe is another excellent choice for adding color to your spring garden. This perennial comes in a wide range of colors, including pink, purple, red, and white. It prefers shady areas and moist soil.
  3. Phlox subulata- Phlox subulata is a beautiful ground cover that blooms in the spring. It has tiny, needle-like leaves and small, star-shaped flowers. This plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil, and it will spread to a width of about 20 inches.
  4. Columbine- It is a beautiful perennial that blooms in the spring. It has long, curved petals that are typically red and yellow. This plant prefers shady areas and moist soil, and it will reach a height of about 24 inches.
  5. Lamium- Lamium is a beautiful ground cover that blooms in the spring. It has scalloped leaves and small, tubular flowers. This plant prefers partial sun and moist soil, and it will spread to a width of about 24 inches.

5 Perennial Irises

Wild Violets
Irises have petals that are similar to violets.

iStock.com/Iurii Garmash

Grown for their brilliant colors and distinct look, irises form a large genus of perennials. Some of the perennials are bulbous, and others are rhizomatous. They’re definitely some of the best outdoor perennial flowers.

Irises are easy to grow and make excellent cut flowers. They come in a wide range of colors, including blue, purple, pink, white, and yellow. Different varieties bloom at different times throughout the spring, so it is possible to have irises blooming in your garden from early spring right through to summer.

Here’s a list of the best irises to grow outdoors:

  1. Iris germanica- Iris germanica is a beautiful perennial that blooms in the spring. It has large, showy flowers that come in a wide range of colors. This plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil, and it will reach a height of about 36 inches.
  2. Iris setosa- Iris setosa is a beautiful perennial that blooms in the spring. It has small, delicate flowers that come in a wide range of colors. This plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil, and it will reach a height of about 12 inches.
  3. Iris sibirica- Iris sibirica is a beautiful perennial that blooms in the spring. It has large, showy flowers that come in a wide range of colors. This plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil, and it will reach a height of about 24 inches.
  4. Nonbulbous/bulbous Iris- Further details are below.
  5. Rhizomatous/bearded Iris- Further details are below.

Bulbous vs Nonbulbous Irises

Bulbous irises come in a variety of colors.

iStock.com/Ildar Imashev

Bulbous irises are the most common type of iris, and they come in a variety of colors. A bulbous flower is one that stores its energy in an underground bulb, much like an onion. The bulb acts as a food reserve and produces new leaves, flowers, and stems each year. Bulbous irises include the popular Dutch Iris (Iris x hollandica) and the lesser-known Iberian Iris (Iris setosa).

If you are looking for a dramatic, colorful addition to your garden, then consider planting some non-bulbous irises. These beautiful flowers are easy to grow and will provide you with months of joy.

Rhizomatous and Bearded Irises

Bearded irises flower in the early spring and continue until the summer.

iStock.com/Natalya Mamaeva

Rhizomatous irises have an underground stem that grows horizontally, just below or at the soil surface. They make some of the best outdoor perennial flowers because of how hardy they are.

Each year, new leaves, flowers, and stems sprout from this horizontal stem. The leaves are isobilateral. Many of the most popular iris varieties are rhizomatous, including the bearded iris (Iris x gica), Japanese iris (Iris ensata), and Louisiana iris (Iris nelsonii).

Bearded irises flower in the early spring and continue until the summer. They are usually small, reaching a dwarf size of around 8-16 inches and a tall size of 28 inches or more. You should grow bearded irises in well-drained, acidic soil. Put these irises in direct sunlight for the best results.

Up Next

Share this post on:
About the Author

Crystal is a curious writer who's always looking to learn more. When she's not out in nature, she's writing about it. Animals, plants, survival tips, and more. It'll be exciting to watch this author grow and learn with her along the way.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.