15 Flowers That Bloom Longest In The Garden

Some flowering plants only give us a brief show of color and fragrance, before returning to a relatively boring appearance. Forsythia, peony, and tulips come to mind.

I like to have blooms at all times of the growing season, from early spring through late fall. This encourages a healthy population of pollinators. However, this can be challenging when some plants only flower for a couple of weeks out of the year.

Thankfully, there are many flowering plants that put on a colorful show for months on end. So, in this article, I’ll share 15+ flowers that bloom for a long time in the garden. Let’s get started!

1. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea)

  • Bloom time: Summer – fall
  • Bloom duration: 10 weeks
  • Seeds: Everwilde Farms
Purple coneflower bloom closeup

Who doesn’t love long-blooming, beautiful perennial flowers? Purple coneflower (or Echinacea purpurea) is an incredibly beautiful cottage garden classic.

Standing around 4′ tall and blooming for about 2 and a half months (in the Northeast), this plant serves many purposes in the garden. It has a long history as an herbal remedy to illness, attracts butterflies and other wildlife, and of course, it’s stunning.

Echinacea has been crossbred frequently, and is now available in a wide variety of colors and heights. However, I would recommend avoiding the ‘double flower’ or ‘pom pom’ varieties to make it easier for the pollinators.

2. Hellebores

  • Bloom time: Late winter to early spring
  • Bloom duration: 6-8 weeks
  • Live plants: Dutch Grown
Hellebores bloom pink

Hellebores, sometimes called the Christmas rose, offers some of the most unique flower colors, and during a slow time of year (for flowers). Colors range from burgundy to creamy white, and the flowers last for many weeks, starting in late winter!

Hellebores bloom from late winter to early spring, often beating out the spring daffodils, and outlasting them as well. They also love partial shade rather than full sun, meaning they can be planted alongside ferns, hostas, and other shade-loving perennials.

3. Sea Holly (Eryngium)

  • Bloom time: Summer to fall
  • Bloom duration: 10 weeks
  • Seeds: Dutch Grown
Eryngium sea holly flower turning blue
Eryngium bloom.

Sea holly is one of my personal favorite flowering plants. These exotic-looking perennials produce silvery-blue stems and flowers with spiky blooms. If you want to add contrast and interest to your garden, look no further.

Sea holly is part of the carrot family, and prefers sandy soil with low fertility (basically lousy soil, no need to add fertilizer!). They produce a large number of blooms from summer through to the first fall frost. Learn to grow eryngiums from seed here.

Fun fact: While they are gorgeous, they are not known for their aroma – they smell a bit like dog poop! It’s worth it for the bees and beneficial insects they attract.

4. Zinnias

Red and pink zinnia flowers
Zinnias blooming in mid-summer.

Zinnias are one of my favorite flowers to recommend to beginner gardeners. These annuals are easy to grow from seed, and are a staple in our landscaped beds, as well as our vegetable garden.

They attract pollinators and beneficial insects, and come in a wide variety of plant sizes and colors. Dwarf varieties (12-18″ tall) are great for containers, while jumbo zinnias (4 feet or taller) are a great addition to the wildflower garden. Plus, if you like a variety, saving seeds is easy.

5. Begonias

  • Bloom time: Mid summer to late fall
  • Bloom duration: 10+ weeks
  • Seeds: Caribbean Garden
Red begonia plant with flowers in pot
Begonia flowering well into the fall.

Begonias are some of our favorite plants to grow in containers. These annual plants have an incredible diversity in foliage color, plant size, and flower color. Some begonias are even fragrant!

Our first year growing begonias we were shocked by how long they flowered. Once the plants matured in size, they flowered constantly, until well after the first fall frost! These plants can be grown as houseplants, or outdoor annuals, usually preferring part shade.

6. Milkweed (Asclepias)

  • Bloom time: Spring to summer
  • Bloom duration: 10+ weeks
  • Seeds: Johnny’s Seed
Butterfly weed asclepias milkweed flowers
Milkweed flowers.

If you live East of the Rocky mountains, you should consider planting some milkweed plants. Not only do they bloom for a long time (10+ weeks), but they are an important food source for hundreds of different insects.

Most notably, monarch butterflies have a symbiotic relationship with the plant. The plant contains a toxic compound to most insects and animals, but it doesn’t affect monarch caterpillars, which feed on the foliage.

The flowers come in clusters of orange, and offer a unique appearance in the garden. The seed pods are also distinctive, often reaching 3-4″ long with a horn-like shape. Milkweed is a great plant to winter sow for early sprouts in spring.

7. Wild Carrot

  • Bloom time: Summer to late fall
  • Bloom duration:
  • Seeds: Raven Song
Wild carrot bloom

Want something different? I’ll bet you didn’t know that carrots produce gorgeous flowers. Either way, wild carrots are biennial plants, meaning that they will go to flower in their second year of growth.

While these are not your typical culinary carrot, the roots are edible. We allowed a wild volunteer plant to grow in one of our perennial beds, and the result was amazing! 3.5 feet tall plants full of gorgeous white flower heads that dry well. Plus, the foliage and flower aroma was great, just like fresh carrots.

8. Tickseed (Coreopsis)

  • Bloom time: Summer to fall
  • Bloom duration: 12 weeks
  • Seeds: Everwilde
Lance leafed coreopsis flowers yellow

Tickseed may have a yucky name, but it is actually a beautiful plant in the Aster family. These are generally lower-growing perennials, between 1-2 feet tall. The yellow flowers often have serrated edges.

In the right environment, coreopsis can bloom for over 12 weeks out of the year, beginning in early summer. Since they are perennial, you can count on blooms every season without much added effort.

Note: If you do not live in the US, this plant may be classified as invasive.

9. Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

  • Bloom time: Early summer to fall
  • Bloom duration: 10+ weeks
  • Seeds: Everwilde Farms
Black eyed susans closeup rudbeckia

Black Eyed Susans are a US native plant known for their beautiful yellow flowers with black centers. They are biennial, meaning they will usually live for 2 season, dying thereafter. However, they are sometimes known to act as annuals, flowering in their first season.

The flowers grow on 2-3 foot tall plants, and continue to bloom from early summer through to the first frost in fall. Rudbeckia thrives on neglect, and is a great option for sowing a wildflower garden or native meadow, as it readily self-seeds.

10. Yarrow

  • Bloom time: Early summer to early fall
  • Bloom duration: 8 weeks
  • Seeds: Johnny’s Seeds
Yarrow plant with pink flower clusters

Yarrow is another native perennial that produces long-blooming flowers. The flat flower heads offer a different appearance, making them great as an edge flower. The plants typically grow about 2-3 feet tall and flower for about 8 weeks.

Yarrow comes in a variety of colors, including pastel pinks, peachy oranges, purples, and white. The plants are easy to care for, and prefer a well-draining, dry soil.

11. Sedum

  • Bloom time: Mid summer to mid fall
  • Bloom duration: 8 weeks
  • Plants: Proven Winners
Sedum coral flowers pink purple

Sedum, also known as stonecrop, is a common perennial used in landscaping design. These plants are some of the first to return in early spring, growing their unique, succulent-like foliage.

Later in the year, the plants will produce pretty flower heads in a range of colors. The plants are very drought tolerant, and prefer dry soil.

12. Dahlias

Red dahlia flower

Dahlias are some of the most beloved and impressive flowering plants you can grow. In some zones, you may be able to allow them to over-winter in the ground, making them perennials. Here in zone 6, we have to dig up the roots and store them indoors for the winter.

However, the effort is worth the payoff, with a variety beautiful, often huge blooms, all summer long. Blooms can be up to 12″ in diameter, range widely in color and shape, and are relatively easy to maintain. There are many thousands of named dahlias, and the list just keeps on growing.

13. Cleome (Spider Flower)

Spider flower purple pink

Another head-turning plant, cleome is a long-bloomer with spiky, colorful flowers. This flower adds longs of vertical interest to the garden that lasts for months!

This South American native has a tropical appearance, with ornate foliage, and spiky tall blooms of purple, pink, and white. Cleome is a great annual flower to add as a background flower, growing up to 6 feet tall in ideal conditions.

14. Cosmos

Cosmos dark purple color

Cosmos are some of my favorite flowers to grow from seed. These annuals produce delicate, colorful blooms, but also have soft, fern-like foliage that is beautiful in its own right.

These plants are known to grow best in poor soil conditions, blooming all summer and fall with little effort. Simply plant seedlings outside after the danger of frost has passed, and remove competing weeds until they are established.

Tip: Cosmos benefit from pinching or “topping” when they are about a foot tall. This will encourage more branching, which leads to more blooms.

15. Snapdragons

  • Bloom time: Late spring and early fall
  • Bloom duration: 8 weeks (combined)
  • Seeds: Botanical Interests
Snapdragons burgundy

If you like to see blooms in spring and fall, snapdragons are a great choice. Flowers grow on tall spikes and come in a range of colors from dark red to pink and yellow.

Snapdragons perform best in a cooler months, so you’re more likely to see blooms in spring and fall. The plants will often reduce or stop flower production during the heat of summer.

I hope this article gave you a few ideas for some long-blooming flowers to plant in your garden! If you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment below.

– Calvin

As an avid gardener for many years, Calvin is always excited to learn more about the fascinating world of plants. He has a particular fascination with peppers, as well as big, showy flowers like peonies and roses

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