A short list of our favorite tried-and-true indestructible perennials

Here at Annie’s we have a special classification of plants that are not only beautiful, but so hearty that they are hard to kill even if you try! If you or someone you know is affectionately known as a “plant murderer” take note of these tried-and-true can't-kill-'em favorites that are also all perennials, perfect for planting now, and sure to reward you for years to come.

For beginner gardeners, these easy to grow indestructible perennials are a great place to start. They're guaranteed to boost your confidence and help you hone your skills! Our Indestructibles ask for very little, but starting with these three steps will help get you, and your new best friend plants, off to a great start.

  1. 1) Regular water to get them started. Planting them now gives them plenty of time to get established before things get really hot and heavy next Summer.
  2. 2) Decent soil so they can spread their roots out and prosper (turn over the soil and add some quality compost from an independent garden center).
  3. 3) Good drainage. Some of our extra toughies don't need perfect drainage, but if you go the extra mile and add a little lava rock or pumice, you – and your plants – will be so much happier.
Explore our full list of Indestructibles HERE!
Basil herbalea 'Wild Magic'
Osteospermum 'Zion Copper Amethyst'
Hibiscus cisplatinus “Rosa del Rio”

Need a gorgeous, long blooming, easy and fast shrub to fill in a large space? I’ve had this Hibiscus in our gardens for 3 years and I am now probably its #1 fan! Fast growing to 5’ x 5’ in YEAR ONE, it never shows any sign of chlorosis here in the fog-belt. Evergreen, lobed foliage, vigorous and super bloomiferous, the 4” cotton candy flowers appear on showy red stems JUNE - NOVEMBER! Prominent, velvety anthers and a deep cherry throat take its beauty to a whole ’nother level! Well drained soil with an annual boost of compost. I cut mine to 2’ tall each Fall and it bounces right back. Hummers freak out! In its native, South American habitat, it’s found growing by stream banks, so do grow in rich soil with adequate moisture.

Perennial USDA zones 9-10

Osteospermum '3D Double Purple'

This showy “African Daisy” offers double the appeal, each bloom adding a raised center rosette of smaller quilled petals to the outer ring of oblong two-tone maroon petals. The darker-toned vertical quills hold nectar popular with bees and butterflies. And unlike regular “African Daisies”, this long blooming perennial’s 3” flowers are open for business 24 hours a day! Flowers arrive in late Winter and bloom continuously until the hot weather arrives. Lanceolate dark green leaves to 2” flush out on 12-20” tall plants. Use as a high ground cover. Plants are drought tolerant once established and will spread. Likes fertile well-drained soil, though it can tough out less friendly conditions. Let soil dry out between waterings.

Perennial USDA zones 10-11
(Annual Elsewhere)
Geum coccineum ‘Totally Tangerine’ Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’
Buddleja lindleyana

Graceful, arching and pendulous racemes of violet-purple flowers just keep coming and growing, eventually reaching 1’ or more in length! A prolific bloomer and butterfly magnet, this easy and fast “Butterfly Bush” displays a dense, weeping habit with glossy, deep evergreen foliage and an attractive cinnamon trunk. Does not require hard pruning. Long-blooming and long-lasting cut flowers!

Perennial USDA zones 5-10a

Trachelium caeruleum 'Hamer Pandora'

The darker variety of “Blue Lace Flower”, big fluffy dark purple landing pads to 5” across are favorite rest stops and a sweet nectar source for neighborhood but­terflies. Fluffiness is provided by tiny white “pins” emerging from each little flower. Fast and easy, with loads of blooms atop 2-3’ branching stems and gorgeous dark purple-black foliage. To-die-for cut flowers. Deadhead for Summer-Fall bloom. Rich soil.

Perennial USDA zones 7-10

Echeveria 'Lady Aquarius' Callistemon 'Cane’s Hybrid'
Dicliptera suberecta
“Uruguayan Firecracker Plant”

An ultimate hummingbird magnet and“must have” Summer thru Fall bloomer! From Uruguay comes this amazingly durable and long blooming HEAT, HUMIDITY and DROUGHT TOLERANT perennial that we grow in one of the most neglected spots in our nursery. To 2’ tall and 3’ across with refined, velvety, bluish-grey leaves and stems, it makes a great textural and foliar addition to your garden even before the show begins. Starting in mid-Summer, tons of long-lasting, rich coral, tubular flower clusters burst out all over, tempting hummers from near and far. Dormant in Winter but returns with added vigor!

Perennial USDA Zones 7-10

Gomphrena decumbens
“Airy Bachelor Buttons”

One of the coolest plants I’ve grown. It creates the typical papery “Bachelor Button” flowers but they are tiny and form by the thousands on each plant. The cute magenta-purple balls occur on wiry chalk white stems and create an airy puff all around the plant. This Gomphrena is a perennial here in the Bay Area unlike other annual “Bachelor Buttons”. To 3’ tall by 8’ wide, it blooms Summer thru Fall. Cut it back to the ground in Winter for fresh growth the following year. Reseeds gently and the airy flowers look great mixing in between other plants. Makes a very cool cut and dried flower too.

Perennial USDA Zones 9b-11

Echeveria 'Lady Aquarius' Callistemon 'Cane’s Hybrid'
Pelargonium ‘Veronica Contreras’

When we saw this bloomiferous “Pansy Faced Pelargonium” winding its way through Restios and Proteas at Strybing, we were sold. It’s plenty bold, but the charm factor is super high! The flowers appear in clusters of 2” wide, rosy plum purple bordered in light lilac blooms and almost completely smother the lemon-scented, evergreen leaves. Shockingly easy to grow – it’s tolerant of low-water, deer, and neglect! The habit can be either shrubby or trailing, depending on how you coach its growth. The plants at Strybing were low and wide growing about 1.5’ high and 2-3’ wide, but if you keep it hedged it can attain shrubbiness!

Perennial USDA Zones 9-10

Lantana camara ‘Irene’

No need to choose just one color as this compact 2-3’ high and 4-5' wide selection showcases yellows, pinks and reds all on the same plant throughout the Summer and Fall blooming period. Prized for its heat and drought tolerance and low maintenance, it forms an attractive compact mound of dark EVERGREEN foliage, making it ideal for tucking into smaller spaces or for use in a decorative container. It’s tough enough to use as a low border and its lightly fragrant flowers not only reward bees, butters and hummingbirds with nectar but small berries cling to the plant, providing Winter nutrition for local birds.

Perennial USDA Zones 8-9
(Annual Elsewhere)
Echeveria 'Lady Aquarius' Callistemon 'Cane’s Hybrid'
Sisyrinchium hyb. ‘Devon Skies’

Oh lordy, we are ever-so-impressed with this amazing hybrid! With flowers like our native “Blue Eyed Grass” but LARGER, this baby bloomed Spring till end of Summer and spread to at least 1’ across. Only 6” tall, it’s EASY and perfect for edging. Doesn’t make seed, so it’s non-invasive, but can be divided to share with friends. Cut back to 2” to refresh. Deer, heat, humidity and drought resistant!

Perennial USDA Zones 5-10

Libertia chilensis "Satin Flower"

Orchid-like 3-petalled flowers held aloft on stiff stems look much like butterflies on this tough, long-lived, fast and EASY member of the Iris family. Though usually described as a Spring bloomer ours bloomed from Spring thru Fall and beyond here at the nursery in compost enriched soil. Creating a dense 30” x 30” clump, the evergreen, strappy, radiating leaves offer textural and foliar interest in the garden.

Perennial USDA Zones 8-10

For more fun fall gardening tips, check out our
Fall Planting Gardening Guide

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Annie's Annuals & Perennials
Nursery: 740 Market Ave. Richmond, CA 94801
Business Office: 801 Chesley Ave. Richmond, CA, 94801
(888) 266-4370