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. Pink Salvia Ultra Violet, Salvia Ultra Violet, Ultra Violet Hybrid Sage

    Exclusive. Salvia Ultra Violet is a great new cold-hardy Salvia greggii hybrid with showy violet-pink colored flowers. This Sage selection has demonstrated exceptional cold hardiness...

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    Ultra Violet Salvia Ultra Violet Hybrid Sage Salvia Ultra Violet PP#21,411
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $10.99 Sale $8.79
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Exclusive. Salvia Ultra Violet is a great new cold-hardy Salvia greggii hybrid with showy violet-pink colored flowers. This Sage selection has demonstrated exceptional cold hardiness and blooms all season beginning in early summer. Salvia Ultra Violet thrives in full sun and heat. Drought resistant/drought tolerant perennial plant (xeric). A High Country Gardens introduction. Discovered in the garden of Lauren Springer Ogden.
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  2. 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 $7.59
    Per Plant - 5" Deep 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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  3. Blue and Purple Salvia dorrii Desert Purple Sage, Salvia dorrii Desert Purple Sage, Desert Purple Sage

    Desert Purple Sage is a showy late spring blooming native shrublet with silver foliage and blue flowers pushing out from mid-purple bracts. Impervious to browsing deer and rabbits, ...

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    Desert Purple Salvia Desert Purple Sage Salvia dorrii Desert Purple Sage
    As low as $8.99 Sale $7.19
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Desert Purple Sage is a showy late spring blooming native shrublet with silver foliage and blue flowers pushing out from mid-purple bracts. Impervious to browsing deer and rabbits, it is a pollinator's delight attracting all types of bees. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
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  4. 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 20%
    $9.99 Sale $7.99
    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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