Costa Farms Recommends Top Five Must-Have Perennials
by Stacey Pierson
June 30, 2013

A trip to the garden center can be overwhelming when you’re surrounded by hundreds of perennials. But armed with good information, shopping for new flowering plants can be fun and effortless. Costa Farms, one of the largest growers of plants and flowers in North America, has a few expert tips to select the best perennials for any outdoor space.

“Perennials are the backbone of any beautiful garden,” says Justin Hancock, garden expert for Costa Farms. “Why? They come back year after year, are long-blooming and offer a variety of textures, shapes and colors.”

To instantly transform any garden, Hancock suggests starting with these five beautiful, reliable and easy-care perennials.

Shade-Loving Hostas

Have a shady backyard? That doesn’t mean you can’t have a colorful garden! Hostas come in an almost limitless selection of sizes, shapes and colors. In fact, there are so many hosta varieties to choose from that it’s possible to create an entire garden with just this one type of plant. Hostas also show off gorgeous flower spikes in pink, lavender or white, and some even have a sweet fragrance.

Low-Maintenance Rudbeckia

Second on Hancock’s list is rudbeckia, also known as Black-eyed Susan. It develops wave after wave of cheerful daisy-like blooms from early summer to fall. Most varieties grow around two feet tall and are great cut for bouquets. Because rudbeckias are native to the central and eastern parts of the United States, they are also naturally drought and insect resistant.

Cheery Coreopsis

With a long bloom time and generally trouble-free nature, coreopsis is an easy-to-grow perennial. It stands up to a little neglect when it comes to water and fertilizer, making it extremely low maintenance. A native prairie plant, this bright sunny-yellow flower is hard to miss even on a dreary day. Most coreopsis grow about 18 inches tall and produce single or double flowers.

Sedums with Nectar-Rich Blooms

Another easy-care perennial is sedum. Hancock describes them as the “workhorses of perennials.” Almost impervious to heat, drought, and disease, sedums get bigger and better each year. Most sedums bloom in late summer and fall, but the lush greenery looks healthy all season long. Their nectar-rich blooms are a favorite with butterflies, bees and other pollinators.

Butterfly-Attracting Coneflower

Coneflower, also called Echinacea, is a favorite with the butterflies. Choose from double-and triple-flowering varieties and colors that include white, raspberry, orange and yellow. Echinacea generally grow 3 feet tall and bloom from early summer through fall. They also make excellent cut flowers.

Other workhorse perennials include: peonies, bearded iris, daylilies, lilies and perennial sage.

When planting perennials in the garden, Hancock recommends planting them in groups of three or five to create a fuller look.

“Give perennials a year to establish their roots. After that, perennials come back stronger and bigger year after year,” he says.

For more perennial choices, visit or your local garden home store.

About Costa Farms

Costa Farms is the largest producer of indoor houseplants in the world. Founded in 1961 by Jose Costa, Costa Farms is a third generation, family-owned business that globally stretches over 3,800 acres and employs 2,800 people. Along with thriving indoor, bedding and perennial plant divisions, Costa Farms operations are located in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, and abroad in the Dominican Republic, and Far East.

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