Easy Peasy Perennials

Who doesn’t love a plant that you plant once, it lasts for years, blooms prolifically, and requires little but a bit of deadheading and seasonal pruning to refresh and keep it the shape and size you desire? We definitely do! We’ve got loads of EASY PEASY PERENNIALS to suit all those spaces where you need a workhorse plant, be it a shrub, groundcover or vine. Many have the added bonus of being beautifully scented and making excellent cut flowers. Try a few of these star performers. We’re sure they’ll be standouts in your garden for years to come.

'Lord Bute'

Perhaps the most lusted after Regal Pelargonium of all! Scrumptious purple-maroon – almost black – 2.5” blooms with bright cerise edging bloom bountifully late spring thru fall. A great LOW MAINTENANCE patio, window-box or container plant. To 12-18” tall and wide. Best in rich, well drained soil. Remove spent blooms and fertilize a couple of times for best show.

Perennial USDA Zones 9-11

'Veronica Contreras'

We first discovered this bloomiferous “Pansy Faced Pelargonium” at Strybing Arboretum and had to have it. So very charming, the flowers appear in 2” wide rosy plum purple bordered clusters 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.

Perennial USDA Zones 9-10

'Grand Cascade'

Sporting possibly the largest flowering panicles of any Butterfly bush, Grand Cascade is simply stunning when in full bloom. Unlike most Buddlejas, this variety has pronounced arching branches, so heavy when in bloom that they nearly touch the ground. Panicles are 12-14” long and a hefty 4” wide, giving hummers and butterflies an endless supply of yummy nectar. Add in the intense fragrance of the light purple flowers and you have quite possibly the showiest flowering shrub you will ever grow! To 6'H x 8'W, it’s fast growing and prefers full sun. Prune in late winter to maintain a symmetrical look. Excellent cut flower.

Perennial USDA Zones 5-11

Buddleja davidii
'White Profusion'

One of the most prolific “Butterfly Bushes, ‘White Profusion’ explodes into an extravagance of fragrant, clear white panicles up to 12” long from early summer - fall. So simple to grow! Deadhead to keep it blooming like crazy or cut regularly for prized bouquet material. Fast growing to 6-8’ tall by 5-7’ across it’s excellent in a mixed bed or along a pathway where you can enjoy its scent. Tolerant of heat, drought, clay and poor soil but better, of course, in rich loamy soil with regular water. Cut back to 12” tall in early spring. Deer resistant! Butterfly and hummingbird magnet!

Perennial USDA Zones 5-9

'Blackberry Sparkler'

NEW! This colorful and long, heavy blooming cuphea is a real hummingbird magnet! Featuring cigar-shaped 1.5” flowers that are a pale gold, offset with black tips, this hardy perennial bloomi from early summer well into fall. This small shrub’s mounding habit makes it perfect for spilling over a low wall or for featuring in a hanging basket. Happy in sun or light shade and very drought tolerant. Evergreen in zones 10 and 11.

Perennial USDA Zones 8-11

'Hummingbird's Lunch'

NEW! This colorful Aussie Cuphea is a tidy 2' tall by 3' wide, that come summer, puts out an endless parade of 1.5” reddish pink, nectar rich flowers that attract scads of hummers, as well as bees and butterflies. This LOW MAINTANANCE shrub can handle a variety of ground soils or is happy in a container, giving you the luxury of locating it for maximum visual effect. Happy in sun or light shade and very drought tolerant once established.

Perennial USDA Zones 8-11

Photos by Forest Starr

Eriophyllum lanatum

A NEW and rarely seen Western Native perennial, native “Woolly Sunflower” produces hundreds of 2” golden daisies from spring into fall. With its lush gray green wooly foliage, this EASY perennial is a magnet for butterflies and bees, and is a host plant for the painted lady butterfly. Found in dry areas, it grows between 6-10” tall and forms a dense, fragrant mat that can get up to 3 feet wide. It likes good drainage but can grow in clay. Drought tolerant once established.

Perennial USDA Zones 7-10

Helianthus laetiflorus
'Lemon Queen'

A big, bold, beautiful and EASY PERENNIAL sunflower! Starting in late summer this Midwest native shoots out masses of 2” wide lemon yellow flowers and grows to an impressive 6-8’ tall and 3’ wide. Flowering continues for 6-8 weeks attracting bees, butterflies and hummers. Seeds follow, attracting songbirds. Sun-loving, it’s an excellent backdrop for shorter perennials. Excellent as a cut flower. Grows in almost any soil but performs best in average soil and minimum water. Prune stems to near ground level in Winter to refresh plants.

Perennial USDA Zones 4-10

Aloysia virgata
"Incense Bush"

One of the loveliest perfumed shrubs you’ll grow! Flowers non-stop from June until first frost with upward-reaching clusters of 6-8” spires encrusted with tiny white flowers that exude an intense vanilla almond scent! Bees and butterflies too are irresistibly drawn to it. Originally from Argentina, this dense, attractive, herbaceous shrub can reach up to 15’ tall and 8’ wide, but can be pruned to any desired height or shape. A sun lover that wants regular moisture and fertile well-drained soil. Pinch off spent flower spires to promote even more blooms. Does surprisingly well in a large container (half wine barrel or larger), but will not reach full size. Can be grown as an annual in colder climates. Deer resistant.

Perennial USDA Zones 8-10

(Annual Elsewhere)
Thunbergia battiscombei
"Blue Glory Vine"

NEW! Add a touch of the tropics with this colorful vining shrub that hails from East Africa and produces the most amazing purplish-blue, 3” trumpet-shaped flowers! Buds bloom summer thru late fall. Half shrub, half vine, this tender perennial can be pruned to be free standing or let it scramble up a trellis. This beauty makes a great focal point plant. Plant in full sun to light shade in fertile, well-drained soil. No need to deadhead but cut back to 1' in late winter in order to flush out vital new growth.

Perennial USDA Zones 9-11

Ajuga genevensis
"Carpet Bugle"

We love this hard to find, dependable almost indestructible “Bugleweed” for its larger spikes of flowers & glossy, low, ground-hugging foliage. Spreading to 2’ across, it’s not stoloniferous & therefore NOT INVASIVE so you can use it for smaller areas & alongside pathways. Massive 6-12” tall gentian blue spikes appear all summer long. Wonderful at the edge of a bed & in rock gardens. Appreciates good drainage, plus – it thrives in both sun & bright shade. VERY COLD HARDY!

Perennial USDA Zones 3-10


A Talk with Lori Caldwell, The CompostGal

Don't miss The CompostGal! Tomorrow at 11am, Lori will be sharing all her tips and tricks for composting at home. Learn how you too can create your own “black gold” for your garden.

ADMISSION: FREE!!! There are no advanced seating reservations for this talk. Seating is limited and first come, first served. However, there will be plenty of standing space for all.

Save the Date for our next
Nursery Talk

With water restrictions ramping up and no end in sight to the drought, there’s no time like now to change your traditional landscape into a native garden. Ann-Marie Benz, Horticultural Programs Manager for the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), will be discussing some of the best ways to plan to take out your lawn, key next steps, and how to choose native plants according to your specific garden goals, area and style.

FREE: Saturday, July 23rd at 10am


It’s full of even more new plants that will make your summer gardens spectacular!

View it online or request a copy here. It's free!


To help keep you informed about the growing status of our summer crops, we’ve prepared a weekly Growing Status update for catalog plants as a pdf. If something isn’t available online now but is listed in the “Be Right Back” section (of our Catalog Growing Status update PDF) that means we have more successive crops growing and it will be available again real soon. Add these plants to your wish list and we’ll send you an email as soon as they’re back.

to see NEW PLANTS this week!
Or check out or current availability list for a fabulous selection!

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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