Perennials and Shrubs

Learn about 15 plants and the planting information for specific zones.

compact burning bush foliage turns crimson red

The foliage of the Compact Burning Bush turns crimson red in the fall.

Compact Burning Bush

Euonymus alatus 'Compactus'--Compact Burning Bush

Gardener's Note: Burning bush can be invasive in the South, Midwest and Northeast. For more information, peruse the following links:

  • Deciduous shrub grown for its foliage that turns crimson red in the fall
  • Plant in average garden soil that is well-drained
  • Plant in full sun
  • Invasive
  • Height: 6-8 feet
  • Width: 6-8 feet
  • Hardy in USDA zones 4-9

Zones 4-6: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; mulch after first frost; pull back mulch in spring.

Zone 7: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun; mulch after first frost; pull back mulch in spring.

Zones 8-9: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall; pull back mulch in spring.

Goldflame Spirea

goldflame spirea is noted for blue green foliage

The Goldflame Spirea needs to be planted in a rich, well-drained soil.

Spiraea x bumalda 'Goldflame'--Goldflame Spirea

  • Deciduous shrub noted for its dark, blue-green foliage and pink flowers in early summer
  • Plant in full sun to partial shade
  • Plant in rich, but well-drained soil
  • Water regularly until established; fertilize in spring; prune ½ to 1/3 when dormant
  • Height: 2-4 feet
  • Width: 2-4 feet
  • Hardy in USDA zones 4-9

Zones 4-5: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost to prevent winter heaving; avoid contact with salt.

Zone 6: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun to light shade; mulch after first hard frost.

Zone 7: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun to light shade; mulch in fall.

Zones 8-9: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun to partial shade; mulch in fall; gold foliage may fade and defoliate early in hot, dry weather.

Filigran Russian Sage

filigran russian sage has finely dissected foliage

The Filigran Russian Sage has silver foliage and violet-blue flowers.

Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Filigran'--Filigran Russian Sage

  • Deciduous shrub with finely dissected silver foliage and showy violet-blue flowers in late summer and early fall
  • Plant in poor to average garden soil that is well-drained
  • Plant in full sun; prune severely when dormant
  • Height: 3-4 feet
  • Width: 2-4 feet
  • Hardy in USDA zones 5-9

Zone 5: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; avoid exposure to salt; prune back to 12 inches and mulch heavily after first frost; pull back mulch in spring.

Zone 6: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; prune back to 12 inches and mulch after first frost; pull back mulch in spring.

Zone 7: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun; prune back to 12 inches and mulch after first frost; pull back mulch in spring.

Zones 8-9: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun; prune back to 12 inches and mulch in fall; pull back mulch in spring.

Ruby Star Purple Coneflower

Ruby Star Purple Coneflower has daisy like blooms

The Ruby Star Purple Coneflower has sturdy stems.

Echinacea purpurea 'Ruby Star'--Ruby Star Purple Coneflower

  • Perennial with red daisy-like flowers in summer on sturdy stems
  • Plant in average, but well-drained soil
  • Plant in full sun
  • Deadhead to promote more blooming
  • Height: 30-36 inches
  • Width: 12-24 inches
  • Hardy in USDA zones 3-8

Zones 3-5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.

Zones 6-7: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost.

Zone 8: Plant in spring; plant in full sun.

Silver Scrolls Coral Bells

Heuchera 'Silver Scrolls'--Silver Scrolls Coral Bells

silver scrolls coral bell is a spreading perennial

The Silver Scrolls Coral Bells should be planted in organic, well-drained soil.

  • Herbaceous evergreen perennial with light pink-purple leaves and green-silver veins
  • White stalks of flowers in spring
  • Plant in partial shade in organic, well-drained soil
  • Fertilize in spring; divide in spring, if needed, when new foliage appears
  • Height: 9-12 inches
  • Width: 9-12 inches, slowly spreading
  • Hardy in USDA zones 4-9

Zones 4-4: Plant in spring to avoid winter heaving; plant in partial shade; avoid exposure to salt; mulch heavily after first frost; pull back mulch in spring.

Zones 6-8: Plant in spring; plant in partial shade; mulch after first frost; pull back mulch in spring.

Zone 9: Plant in spring; plant in partial shade; mulch in fall; pull back mulch in spring.

May Night Salvia

Salvia nemorosa 'May Night'--May Night Salvia

may night salvia atracts butterflies

The May Night Salvia has dark blue flowers that attract butterflies.

  • Perennial grown for its dark blue flowers from summer to fall that attract butterflies
  • Plant in full sun
  • Plant in average, but sharply drained soil
  • Divide every few years in early spring; deadhead to encourage blooming
  • Height: 18-24 inchesWidth: 12-18 inches
  • Hardy in USDA zones 3-8

Zone 3: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; water when dry; mulch in fall; avoid exposure to salt; may be marginally hardy in this zone.

Zones 4-5: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; water when dry; mulch in fall; avoid exposure to salt.

Zones 6-7: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; water when dry; mulch in fall.

Zone 8: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; water when dry; mulch in fall; may be short-lived in this warmer zone.

Purple Dragon Spotted Deadnettle

Lamium maculatum 'Purple Dragon'--Purple Dragon Spotted Deadnettle

purple dragon spotted deadnettle is deer resistant

The Purple Dragon Spotted Deadnettle can be invasive and is deer resistant.

  • Perennial evergreen groundcover with silver variegated leaves and deep purple flowers
  • Deer Resistant
  • Can be invasive
  • Prune after flowering; fertilize regularly during growing season
  • Plant in moist, organic, but well-drained soil; tolerates a wide range of soils
  • Plant in partial to full shade
  • Height: 4-8 inches
  • Width: 18-36 inches, spreading
  • Hardy in USDA zones 3-8

Zone 3: Plant in spring to avoid frost heaving; plant in partial shade; mulch after first hard frost; pull back mulch in spring; avoid exposure to salt; may suffer frost damage unless mulched or covered by snow.

Zones 4-5: Plant in spring to avoid frost heaving; plant in partial shade; mulch after first hard frost; pull back mulch in spring; avoid exposure to salt.

Zones 6-8: Plant in spring; plant in partial to full shade; mulch after first hard frost; pull back mulch in spring.

Burgundy Glow Ajuga (Bugleweed)

Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow'--Burgundy Glow Ajuga (Bugleweed)

burgandy glow ajuga or bungleweed can be invasive

The Burgundy Glow Ajuga (Bugleweed) has white and light purple leaves.

Gardener's Note: Ajuga is on the watch list for invasiveness in states such as Virginia. A sensible native alternative is Lyre-leaf Sage--Salvia lyrata, i.e. Purple Knockout.

  • Deciduous to evergreen groundcover perennial with variegated green, white and light purple leaves with blue flowers in spring
  • Plant in rich, but well-drained soil
  • Plant in full sun to full shade; light to partial shade is best
  • Invasive
  • Height: 3-6 inches
  • Width: to 24 inches, spreading
  • Hardy in USDA zones 3-10

Zones 3-5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun to partial shade; mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; pull back mulch in spring.

Zone 6: Plant in spring; plant in light to partial shade; mulch in fall; pull back mulch in spring.

Zones 7-10: Plant in spring; plant in light to full shade; mulch in fall; pull back mulch in spring.

Mahogany Ajuga (Bugleweed)

Ajuga reptans 'Mahogany'--Mahogany Ajuga (Bugleweed)

mahogany ajuga,or bugleweed, is a groundcover

Partial shade is best for the Mahogany Ajuga (Bugleweed).

  • Deciduous to evergreen groundcover perennial with dark purple leaves and blue flowers in spring
  • Plant in rich, but well-drained soil
  • Plant in full sun to full shade; light to partial shade is best
  • Invasive
  • Height: 3-6 inches
  • Width: to 24 inches, spreading
  • Hardy in USDA zones 3-10

Zones 3-5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun to partial shade; mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; pull back mulch in spring.

Zone 6: Plant in spring; plant in light to partial shade; mulch in fall; pull back mulch in spring.

Zones 7-10: Plant in spring; plant in light to full shade; mulch in fall; pull back mulch in spring.

Golden Glow Ajuga (Bugleweed)

Ajuga reptans 'Golden Glow'--Golden Glow Ajuga (Bugleweed)

golden glow ajuga is a fast growing groundcover

The Golden Glow Ajuga (Bugleweed) needs to be planted in rich, well-drained soil.

  • Deciduous to evergreen groundcover perennial with variegated leaves of golden green, white and pale purple and blue flowers in spring
  • Plant in rich, but well-drained soil
  • Plant in full sun to full shade; light to partial shade is best
  • Invasive
  • Height: 3-6 inches
  • Width: to 24 inches, spreading
  • Hardy in USDA zones 3-10

Zones 3-5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun to partial shade; mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; pull back mulch in spring.

Zone 6: Plant in spring; plant in light to partial shade; mulch in fall; pull back mulch in spring.

Zones 7-10: Plant in spring; plant in light to full shade; mulch in fall; pull back mulch in spring.

False Cypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Lemon Thread'--Lemon Thread Chamaecyparis (False Cypress)

lemon thread chamaecyparis has drooping foliage

The False Cypress holds its golden color well year round.

  • Upright, conical evergreen conifer with drooping bright golden foliage that holds color well year round
  • Slow growing; unusual texture
  • Plant in organic, but well drained soil; water when dry
  • Plant in full sun
  • Height: 10-12 feet
  • Width: 5-8 feet
  • Hardy in USDA zones (3)4-8

Zone 3: Plant in spring to avoid winter heaving; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; fertilize in spring with balanced fertilizer; water during dry spells; may be marginally hardy in this zone.

Zones 4-5: Plant in spring to avoid winter heaving; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; fertilize in spring with balanced fertilizer; water during dry spells.

Zone 6: Plant in early spring or early fall; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost; fertilize in spring with balanced fertilizer; water during dry spells.

Zones 7-8: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost; fertilize in spring with balanced fertilizer; water during dry spells.

Lemon Thyme

Thymus pulegioides--Lemon Thyme

lemon thyme has lemon scented leaves for cooking

The lemon-scented leaves of the Lemon Thyme can be used for cooking.

  • Evergreen perennial with bright pink flowers in summer
  • Lemon-scented leaves can be used for cooking
  • Plant in full sun
  • Plant in coarse, sharply drained soil
  • Height: 8-12 inches
  • Width: 8-12 inches
  • Hardy in zones 5-9

Zones 5-9: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; lightly mulch in fall.

Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine

Ipomoea batatas 'Autumn Medley'--Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine

ornamental sweet potato vine is bold trailing vine

The Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine can be planted in full sunlight because it tolerates heat.

  • Vigorous trailing vine grown for its bold heart-shaped foliage
  • Usually grown as an annual in all zones
  • Plant in moist, but well-drained soil; water when dry
  • Tolerates heat
  • Plant in full sun
  • Height: 6 inches
  • Length: to 48 inches or more
  • Annual in USDA zones 2-9
  • Hardy in USDA zones 10-11

Zones 2-9: Plant in spring after danger of frost has passed; fertilize with water-based fertilizer twice monthly during growing season; cut back foliage and dig tubers for indoors before frost or discard plants after killing frost.

Zones 10-11: Plant in spring; mulch in fall; prune away old foliage in early spring; fertilize twice monthly during spring and summer.

Festival Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera jamesonii 'Festival Light Mix'--Festival Gerbera Daisy

festival gerbera daisy has large colorful blooms

The Festival Gerbera Daisy is susceptible to root rot.

  • Tender perennial grown as an annual for its large 3-5 inch daisy-like double flowers in a variety of colors
  • Plant in full sun; fertilize regularly
  • Plant in coarse, sharply drained soil; plant slightly high; susceptible to root rot
  • Height: 10-12 inches
  • Width: 8-12 inches
  • Hardy in zones 9-11

Zones 2-8: Plant in spring after danger of frost has passed; plant in full sun; water when dry, but don't over water; discard plants after first hard frost.

Zones 9-11: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; water when dry, but don't over water; cut back and mulch in fall.

Palace Purple Coral Bells

Heuchera micrantha 'Palace Purple'--Palace Purple Coral Bells

palace purple coral bells can be divided if needed

The Palace Purple Coral Bells is an evergreen perennial that is fertilized in spring.

  • Herbaceous evergreen perennial with purple leaves and veins
  • Plant in partial shade
  • Fertilize in spring; divide in spring, if needed, when new foliage appears
  • Height: 9-12 inches
  • Width: 9-12 inches, slowly spreading
  • Hardy in USDA zones 4-9

Zones 4-5: Plant in spring to avoid winter heaving; plant in partial shade; avoid exposure to salt; mulch heavily after first frost; pull back mulch in spring.

Zones 6-8: Plant in spring; plant in partial shade; mulch after first frost; pull back mulch in spring.

Zone 9: Plant in spring; plant in partial shade; mulch in fall; pull back mulch in spring.

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