Top 10 Perennials for Virginia: Enhance Your Garden Today

If you’re looking to add some long-lasting beauty to your Virginia garden, perennials are the way to go. Not only do they come back year after year, but they also require minimal maintenance, making them an ideal choice for busy gardeners. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 perennials for Virginia gardens, so you can start enhancing your outdoor space today.

Native Perennials for Virginia Gardens

Choosing native perennials is a great way to ensure success in your Virginia garden. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and ecosystem, making them more resilient and easier to maintain.

Here are some of the best native perennials for Virginia:

Plant Name Features
Meadow Blazing Star Attractive to pollinators, with tall spikes of purple flowers
Wild Columbine Delicate, red and yellow flowers that are perfect for rock gardens or borders
Purple Coneflower Drought-tolerant, with large, showy, pink and purple flowers
Butterflyweed Attracts butterflies, with bright orange flowers and long bloom time
Cardinal Flower Brilliant red flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies

These native perennials are just a few of the many options available in Virginia. When choosing plants for your garden, consider their individual needs and growing requirements to ensure they thrive in their new home.

Low-Maintenance Perennials for Virginia

For those who want to enjoy a beautiful garden without spending hours on maintenance, low-maintenance perennials are the way to go. These plants require minimal care and can thrive in Virginia’s climate. Here are some top picks:

Plant Name Plant Characteristics
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) Easy to grow, drought tolerant, long-lasting blooms
Daylily (Hemerocallis) Tolerates a range of soil and light conditions, low water needs
Coreopsis Thrives in poor soil, blooms all summer, attracts pollinators
Autumn Joy Sedum Drought tolerant, low water needs, adds texture and color to garden

When planting low-maintenance perennials, it’s important to choose a location that receives enough sunlight and has well-drained soil. Water the plants deeply when first planted, and then only as needed. In general, low-maintenance perennials do not require fertilization and can tolerate some neglect.

Sun-Loving Perennials for Virginia Gardens

When it comes to growing perennials in Virginia, it’s essential to choose plants that can handle the hot, sunny conditions that are typical of the region. Here are some of the best sun-loving perennials to consider:

Plant Name Plant Description
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia sp.) A colorful, compact plant with daisy-like flowers that bloom from early summer to fall.
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) A hardy, drought-tolerant plant with bright orange or yellow blooms that attract butterflies and bees.
Coneflower (Echinacea sp.) A classic garden staple with showy daisy-like flowers in shades of pink, purple, or white.
Daylily (Hemerocallis sp.) A low-maintenance plant with strap-like leaves and large, trumpet-shaped blooms that come in a range of colors.
Salvia (Salvia sp.) Aromatic, deer-resistant plants with spikes of flowers that come in shades of red, blue, purple, pink, or white.
Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) A classic, long-blooming plant with large, white, daisy-like flowers that have yellow centers.

When planting sun-loving perennials, make sure to choose a location with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. These plants also prefer well-drained soil, so consider adding compost or other organic matter to the soil to improve drainage. Once planted, water deeply about once a week, depending on rainfall, to help the plants establish a strong root system. Deadhead spent blooms regularly to encourage more flowers throughout the growing season.

Shade Perennials for Virginia Gardens

Gardening in shaded areas can be a challenge, but with the right perennials, you can still create a beautiful and thriving garden. In Virginia, shade-loving perennials are a popular choice for gardens with plenty of trees and other structures that block the sunlight.

Here are some shade perennials that are well-suited for the specific conditions in Virginia:

Perennial Features
Astilbe Produces plumes of delicate pink, white or red flowers in midsummer. Thrives in moist soils and partial to full shade.
Hosta Known for their lush and colorful foliage, hostas come in many sizes, shapes and colors. They prefer partial to full shade and moist soil.
Columbine Produces unique and intricate flowers in a range of colors. Thrives in partial shade and well-drained soil.
Bleeding Heart Produces charming heart-shaped flowers in shades of pink and white in spring. Enjoys partial to full shade and moist soil.

These shade-loving perennials can thrive in the dappled sunlight beneath trees and other structures in Virginia gardens. To grow and maintain these plants:

  • Plant them in well-draining soil and fertilize them regularly
  • Water them regularly, especially during hot and dry weather
  • Provide adequate space for growth and ensure they have room to spread
  • Protect them from pests and diseases that can thrive in shaded areas

By selecting the right shade perennials for your garden and providing the proper care, you can enjoy a lush and vibrant outdoor space even in the shadiest areas of Virginia.

Deer-Resistant Perennials for Virginia Gardens

Deer can cause significant damage to gardens by browsing on flowers, foliage, and buds of plants. To combat this issue, gardeners should select deer-resistant perennials for their Virginia gardens. Here are some options:

Perennial Bloom Time Height Light Requirements
Baptisia australis Mid to late spring 3-4 ft. Full sun to part shade
Helleborus orientalis Early to mid spring 1-2 ft. Part shade to full shade
Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ Early summer to fall 1-2 ft. Full sun
Coreopsis verticillata Summer to fall 1-2 ft. Full sun
Echinacea purpurea Summer to fall 3-4 ft. Full sun

These perennials not only deter deer, but also add color and texture to gardens. To further prevent deer damage, consider using fencing, using repellents, or planting deer-resistant shrubs as a border. With the right choices and precautions, deer-resistant perennials can thrive in your Virginia garden.

Planting and Care Tips for Perennials in Virginia

When it comes to planting and caring for perennials in Virginia, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure their success and longevity. Follow these tips to get the most out of your perennial garden:

Soil Preparation

Prepare the soil before planting by loosening it to a depth of at least 12 inches and adding organic matter such as compost or aged manure. This will improve drainage and soil fertility, which is essential for healthy plant growth.


Water your perennials regularly, especially during dry spells, to keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Water at the base of the plant to avoid wetting the leaves, which can lead to disease.


Fertilize your perennials in the spring with a balanced fertilizer or compost. Avoid fertilizing in the fall, as this can promote new growth that will be damaged by winter frost.

Seasonal Care

Prune dead or damaged stems in the fall or early spring. Remove faded blooms to encourage new growth and prolong blooming. Mulch around the base of the plant to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Pest and Disease Control

Inspect your plants regularly for signs of pests or disease. Remove any affected foliage or flowers immediately to prevent spread. Use natural pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap instead of harmful chemicals.

By following these planting and care tips, your perennials will thrive and provide you with years of beauty and enjoyment in your Virginia garden.

Design Ideas for Using Perennials in Virginia Gardens

Perennials are a popular choice for gardeners looking to enhance the beauty of their outdoor space while minimizing maintenance efforts. With a little creativity, perennials can be used to create stunning visual displays in a range of garden settings. Here are some design ideas to get you inspired:

Create a Flower Bed

Flower beds are a classic way to showcase perennials in your garden. Consider planting a mix of different varieties to add texture and color to your bed. You can use taller perennials like Coneflowers or Black-eyed Susans in the back, and shorter plants like Lamb’s Ear or Catmint in the front. Add some ornamental grasses for a finishing touch.

Border Your Walkway

Use perennials to add interest and charm to your walkway. Plant low-growing perennials like Creeping Phlox or Sedum along the edge of your walkway to create a soft, natural border. Or, plant taller perennials like Daylilies or Coreopsis for a more dramatic effect.

Plant a Container Garden

Containers are a great way to add perennials to your deck or patio. Choose a container that complements your outdoor decor and plant it with perennials like Salvia or Geraniums. You can even mix in some trailing vines or foliage plants for added interest.

Create a Naturalistic Garden

If you prefer a more naturalistic look, consider planting perennials in a garden that mimics a meadow or prairie. Mix tall perennials like Joe Pye Weed or Goldenrod with medium-height plants like Helenium or Black-eyed Susan. Add some native grasses for a finishing touch.

By incorporating these design ideas into your Virginia garden, you can create a beautiful and low-maintenance outdoor living space that you can enjoy for years to come.


Choosing the right perennials for your Virginia garden can make all the difference in creating a beautiful and low-maintenance outdoor space. By selecting native, low-maintenance, sun-loving, shade-loving, and deer-resistant perennials, you can ensure that your garden thrives in all conditions.

Remember to follow best practices for planting and care, including soil preparation, watering, fertilizing, and seasonal maintenance. With these tips and suggestions, you can create a stunning garden that provides year-round beauty and enjoyment.

Explore New Possibilities for Your Virginia Garden

If you need further guidance or inspiration, consult with your local garden center or landscaper for expert advice.

Start exploring new possibilities for your garden, and transform your outdoor space today with the top-performing perennials for Virginia.


Q: What are perennials?

A: Perennials are plants that live for more than two years, with many blooming year after year. They are a popular choice for gardeners due to their longevity and ability to add color and beauty to outdoor spaces.

Q: What are the benefits of planting native perennials in Virginia?

A: Native perennials are well-adapted to the local climate and ecosystem, making them more resilient and easier to maintain. They also provide important habitat and food sources for local wildlife.

Q: Are there any low-maintenance perennials suitable for Virginia gardens?

A: Yes, there are several low-maintenance perennials that thrive in Virginia. These plants require minimal care and still provide beautiful blooms, making them ideal for busy gardeners or those who prefer a more hands-off approach to gardening.

Q: What are some sun-loving perennials that grow well in Virginia?

A: There are many sun-loving perennials that thrive in the sunny conditions of Virginia. Some popular options include coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, daylilies, and salvias. These plants require full sun exposure and well-drained soil.

Q: Can you recommend shade perennials for Virginia gardens?

A: Yes, there are several shade-loving perennials that are well-suited for the specific conditions in Virginia. Some good choices include hostas, astilbes, ferns, and coralbells. These plants thrive in shaded areas and add beauty to gardens with less sunlight.

Q: Do you have any suggestions for deer-resistant perennials in Virginia?

A: Yes, there are several deer-resistant perennials that can withstand deer browsing. Some options include yarrow, lavender, bee balm, and daffodils. These plants not only deter deer but also add color and interest to gardens.

Q: What are some planting and care tips for perennials in Virginia?

A: To ensure successful growth, it is important to prepare the soil properly, provide adequate water and regular fertilization, and follow seasonal care routines. It is also essential to monitor for common pests and diseases and take appropriate action if needed.

Q: How can I incorporate perennials into my Virginia garden design?

A: There are many ways to use perennials in your garden design. Consider creating flower beds, borders, or container gardens with a variety of perennial plants. You can also opt for naturalistic planting schemes that mimic the beauty of nature. Experiment with different combinations and placements to create visual interest and year-round beauty.