The 12 longest living perennial flowers

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This week, Lisa Watters-Lain of the Arizona Garden Gal of Watters Garden Center (Prescott, AZ) discusses which flowers have the longest lifespan, which perennials open all summer, and which Prescott’s best perennials.

It’s annoying to design a new flower bed around your favorite perennial flowers, such as delphinium, shasta daisies, and pillow flowers, but they die after three to four years. Here is a list of perennial flowers that are notorious for their longevity. These are the flowerers we can see in the old parts of the city when the house was first built and it is still flourishing decades later. Plant them in June and use the money saved to make lush hanging baskets and container gardens for the next growing seasons. Here are the “Top 12” perennials that live the longest at the Watters Garden Center, or links to buying them online.

Balloon flowers give a coveted shade of blue that goes well with any garden without exhibiting fancy blue flowers. These flowers can withstand a wide variety of temperatures and conditions in full sun or partially shaded gardens. Once established, balloon flowers rarely need to be separated and do not need to be destroyed. However, pruning can result in a second flowering in late summer.

Susan with black eyes

Black-eyed Susan – These plants develop in sunny pots and beds. Their yellow or rusty red flowers open in the middle from summer to autumn and attract birds, butterflies and useful insects.

Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Weed – If you are interested in the future of Monarch butterflies, plant this in your garden. The desirable properties of this butterfly weed were awarded the Plant of the Year award in 2017. The bright orange flowers are drought tolerant, disease and pest free.


Daylily – Have you noticed that wild knots still grow on old homesteads? This gives a boost to the toughness of the versatile daytime lily. If you like shades of orange, try a hybrid like the more civilized “Orange Crush”. Or branch out into many shades of the rainbow. Drought tolerant and almost pest free, some consider sunflowers an essential part of any landscape.


Geranium – Unlike the annual geraniums at the Watters Garden Center, perennial geraniums are hard and return to the relentless climate of Alaska and Siberia. In addition to delicate flowers, gardeners will also appreciate the ornamental foliage, which shows leaves divided by dark colored stripes.


The hazel or Lenten rose fills two heavy booths: it blooms in shady places for a year and blooms long before the last frost kisses the landscape. The newer varieties in the horticultural center are larger and brighter. ‘Pink Frost’ is famous for its large and upward-facing flowers.


Iris – Pick these simple perennials into your deer-resistant garden for late spring and early summer flowering. Although not invasive, the iris must divide every few years to maintain its vitality. Share some rhizomes with your friends so they can enjoy the same knee-length flower spikes in their garden.


Liatris – You may have noticed the fluffy stem of the Liatris in its cut flower arrangements and wondered where this exotic flower came from. This North American wildflower grows in grassy areas, feeding butterflies and bees with its nectar-rich flowers that open from top to bottom.

Medical lungwort

Pulmonaria often blooms before other perennials emerge from the garden. The thin white, pink and blue flowers complement the highly decorative foliage with interesting white freckles. Give it enough moisture, rich soil, and watch as some plants multiply a dozen times over the seasons in your forest garden.


Peony – Your grandmother would fall in love with these bigger, more colorful varieties. Ask any bride who pays a premium to put these softball-sized, fragrant flowers in the bouquet. These hardy mountain varieties enjoy the brutal sunshine, the wind for decades to come. The deer Javelina ignores these blooming beauties.


Sedums are so hard that they survive insults like when they are roughly pulled out of the garden and replanted by a small child with a shovel. The rounded, succulent foliage helps to increase the vigor of the germs, retaining moisture during drought periods. Sedos like the popular “Autumn Joy” or the dramatic “bronze rug” attract pollinators and feel good in the mountain clay.

Blanket Flower

Sunset Blossom – Eternal, bright red flowers don’t fade in the summer heat. It blooms from late spring until frost if the worn flowers are beheaded regularly. It is a showy and easy-to-grow accessory for sunny beds, curbs and container gardens that are also deer and javelin resistant.

Until next week, I will help gardeners choose the most beautiful flowers at the Watters Garden Center.

This article was written by Lisa Watters-Lain. It’s available all week at the Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd, Prescott, or you can contact it through the website at or

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