Some herbaceous perennials are short-lived, lasting as little as three years. Others are more durable, providing a display for 10 years or more. Herbaceous peonies, for example, can live for up to 50 years.
Perennials will last longest if grown in the right conditions and cared for properly. Over time, many perennials become densely congested and need lifting and dividing to give them a new lease of life.
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Browse our choice of long-lasting perennials, below.
Clumps of variegated hostas
Once established, lush-leaved hostas will largely take care of themselves for years to come. Should you notice that a clump is becoming congested, you can divide it in spring or autumn to produce two or more new, reinvigorated plants.
Lily turf in flower
Lily turf (Liriope muscari) is a particularly useful shade-loving perennial for providing long-lasting ground cover. The evergreen foliage is topped with purple flower spikes in autumn, while many other plants are fading. Liriope can be cut back in spring to remove any tatty foliage. Congested clumps benefit from division.
Hardy geranium or cranesbill ‘Mrs Kendall Clark’
As well as being long-lived, hardy geraniums are generally long-flowering too, providing a lengthy season of colour. If they start to go over after their first flush of flowers, cut back the foliage to encourage a second flush.
While they can take a while to establish, baptisias are vigorous, long-lasting plants. They enjoy growing in well-drained, acidic soils and don’t like being disturbed, so are best not divided. Instead, sow seed for new plants.
Daylily ‘Forgotten Dreams’
Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are highly robust and long-flowering plants, resistant to most diseases and pests, including the lily beetles that also affect Lilium species. Plant them in moist, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade, and divide clumps every three to five years to keep them productive.
Commonly known as goat’s beard, Aruncus has lovely, ferny foliage topped by airy flower spikes in early summer. It grows happily in full sun or full shade, in moist, well-drained soil. Perfect for bog gardens. Divide congested clumps in spring.
Charming in spring with their pollinator-friendly flowers and often spotted foliage, pulmonarias are easy-to-grow plants with a long lifespan. Boost your stock of them by dividing in spring.
Flowering in late summer and early autumn, liatris light up the garden with bold spears of magenta flowers and can be divided in spring if they become congested and less productive. Loved by bees and butterflies, liatris enjoy growing in full sun in well-drained soil.
Perennial rudbeckias are ever-reliable and there are lots of beautiful types to choose from to suit different gardens. A sunny spot is best for them and they look fantastic planted in bold drifts. Discover some of the best rudbeckias to grow.
Peony ‘Nippon Beauty’
Peonies are renowned for their longevity, and if planted correctly, should require little maintenance. They’ll last for years to come so you’re never short of their gloriously opulent summer flowers. Find out how to grow peonies in our Grow Guide.