Long Blooming Perennials

by David Salman

Lacy Blue Russian Sage
Lacy Blue Russian Sage

Unlike most annual bedding plants that bloom continuously, many perennials plants have a shorter season of flowering, typically showing color for 3 to 6 weeks during the growing season. Gardeners will want to remember to select groups of perennials for their plantings that bloom in early spring, late spring, summer and early fall. This provides a changing tapestry of colors as one plant goes out of flower and another comes into flower.

However, there are a select group of perennials that flower for an extended length of time, often 2 to 3 months at a time. Here are three new varieties featured by High Country Gardens this spring that are outstanding long bloomers.

Perovskia ‘Lacy Blue’ is a new true dwarf variety of Russian Sage. This is great news for those of us with small gardens or flower beds where Perovskia ‘Blue Spires’ would be much too large. ‘Lacy Blue’ reaches a height of 18-24” and spreads to about 3 ft. in width. And like its other Perovskia cousins, ‘Lacy Blue’ blooms for 2 to 3 months, from mid-summer into the fall. Perovskia will grow in any soil from sand to heavy clay and looks its best growing in full sun with only occasional deep watering once established.

Salvia 'Burgundy Seduction'
Salvia 'Burgundy Seduction'

Salvia ‘Burgundy Seduction’ is a new hybrid bush sage that appeared in my garden as a seedling of ‘Raspberry Delight’ and an unknown pollen parent. The deep burgundy-red color of the flowers is truly outstanding. ‘Burgundy Seduction’ is the most darkly colored of the cold hardy bush sages. The foliage is especially aromatic, with a pleasing sweet herbal scent that keeps hungry deer and rabbits from eating the leaves.

From the mountains of South Africa, comes the delightfully cheerful Osteospermum Avalanche (Avalanche White Sun Daisy). ‘Avalanche’ is a new release from the Colorado State University/Denver Botanic Gardens Plant Select® program. And what a great plant it is! Completely cold hardy to USDA zone 5, ‘Avalanche’ is as easy to grow as a Shasta Daisy, but much more exotic with its bright white petals and silvery-blue sheen on their undersides. Attractive semi-evergreen foliage and a nice mounding habit make this beauty a “must have” ever-blooming perennial. It is outstanding for attracting bees and butterflies too. It fares best in average compost-enriched garden soil with moderate amounts of water once established.

Here are a few more of my favorite long blooming perennials: Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’, Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’, Salvia ‘Maraschino’, Delosperma ashtonii ‘Blut’, Phlox nana ‘Perfect Pink’, Aquilegia chrysantha, Diascia integerrima ‘Coral Canyon’ and Nepeta faassenii ‘Select Blue’, Callirhoe involucrata and Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’.

  1. Salvia sylvestris May Night, May Night Meadow Sage, Purple Salvia sylvestris May Night

    Salvia sylvestris ‘May Night’ (May Night Sage) blooms prolifically with deep purple-blue flowers. It is an outstanding perennial with excellent cold hardiness, vigor, and toleran...

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    May Night Salvia May Night Meadow Sage Salvia sylvestris May Night
    As low as $9.49 Sale $9.02
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Salvia sylvestris ‘May Night’ (May Night Sage) blooms prolifically with deep purple-blue flowers. It is an outstanding perennial with excellent cold hardiness, vigor, and tolerance of heavy clay soils. Blooming in late spring with a profusion of flower spikes, it reblooms later in the summer when deadheaded.
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  2. Salvia sylvestris Marcus Photo courtesy of Emmis Oure

    ‘Marcus’ is a tidy, dwarf selection that blooms all summer with deeply colored violet-purple flowers. It is extremely cold hardy, browse resistant to deer and a lover of clay soi...

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    Marcus Dwarf Blue Salvia Marcus Dwarf Blue Sage Salvia nemorosa Marcus
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $9.99 Sale $9.49
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    ‘Marcus’ is a tidy, dwarf selection that blooms all summer with deeply colored violet-purple flowers. It is extremely cold hardy, browse resistant to deer and a lover of clay soils.
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  3. FlowerKisser™ Royal Rose Salvia with rose pink flowers, FlowerKisser™ Royal Rose Sage

    A new native hybrid sage, FlowerKisser™ ‘Royal Rose’ is enjoyed for its sumptuous deep rose pink flowers. This Salvia is an exceptionally long bloomer, attracting pollinating h...

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    FlowerKisser™ Royal Rose Salvia FlowerKisser™ Royal Rose Sage Salvia Royal Rose (WW04 FlowerKisser™)
    Sale Price I Save 10%
    $11.99 Sale $10.79
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    A new native hybrid sage, FlowerKisser™ ‘Royal Rose’ is enjoyed for its sumptuous deep rose pink flowers. This Salvia is an exceptionally long bloomer, attracting pollinating hummingbirds and bumblebees from late spring through early fall. The foliage is delightfully aromatic, releasing a pleasing sweet herbal scent when brushed or touched. Discovered by HCG Chief Horticulturist David Salman, and available exclusively from High Country Gardens.
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  4. Red Salvia greggii Furman's Red, Salvia greggii Furman's Red, Furman's Red Texas Sage

    2005 Plant Select Winner. 24-36" tall x 18" wide. Furman's Red is one of the most cold hardy of the native Salvia greggii family. Blooming in late spring and again in the fall, the p...

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    Furman's Red Texas Salvia Furman's Red Texas Sage Salvia greggii Furman's Red
    Sale Price I Save 5%
    $10.99 Sale $10.44
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    2005 Plant Select Winner. 24-36" tall x 18" wide. Furman's Red is one of the most cold hardy of the native Salvia greggii family. Blooming in late spring and again in the fall, the plant covers itself with bright red flowers that attract the hummingbirds from miles around. Sweetly aromatic foliage too. A 2005 Plant Select winner. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
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