20 Best Perennials for Zone 6 Gardens

Zone 6 is characterized by a mild climate and is where the average lowest winter temperature is between -10 and 0 degrees Fahrenheit. With climates like this, you can grow a wide variety of plants. We’ve done the research for you, so look below to find 20 of the best perennials for zone 6.

20 Best Perennials for Zone 6 Gardens

1. Geranium

Perennial Geraniums, known as Cranesbill, has showy blooms that last throughout the entire summer. Their cup-shaped blooms can be seen in all shades of white, pink, red, purple, and bicolor. Their flower form may be single or double.

Because there are so many varieties, they range in height between 6 and 18 inches and can spread to a width between 18 and 24 inches. Their foliage is deeply lobed and vibrantly green. During the fall, their foliage may turn into different golden hues.

Its Latin name is Geranium sanguineum. It grows best in full sun or partial shade and well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged.

Hardy and long-lasting blooms make this perennial a great ground cover plant that will add vibrant color and texture to your garden. Check out this post: Are Geraniums Annuals or Perennials? to learn more. And if scented geraniums are your favorite, make sure to check out this guide as well.

2. Lilies

Lilies are widely known for their large, showy, colorful, fragrant flower blooms. The shape of the blooms may be trumpet, bowl, recurved, or funnel. Blooms come in shades and patterns of white, red, pink, yellow, orange, and purple; some even have speckles on the petals. Each stalk grows between 2 and 6 feet, depending on the variety.

Its Latin name is Lilium.

Lilies perform best in well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. Depending on the Lily variety, they may prefer neutral, alkaline, or acidic soil. During its growing season, it needs good moisture, but if the soil is too damp the bulb may rot. Full sun on their flower heads and rich shade on their roots will ensure the fullest blooms and health of the plant.

Eye-catching blooms are ideal for lining walkways and serving as borders.

3. Asclepias

Intricate flower blooms extend from stems that can reach up to 5 feet in height. The flowers grow in clusters as a flowerhead and can be seen in all shades of pink, pinkish-red, and pinkish-green. Its leaves are dark green and leathery, measuring 6 to 8 inches in length.

Its Latin name is Ascelpias, but is more commonly known as Milkweed or Butterfly Weed.

It thrives best in full sun, but it can tolerate partial shade. The soil should be moist and rich in nutrients. Water deeply each week to ensure that the roots are established and allow for the top inch of soil to remain damp.

These perennials are wonderful attractants for Monarch butterflies.

4. Liriope

This ground cover plant features attractive spike-shaped blooms atop its grass-like foliage. Its foliage is long, slender, and dark green. Its blooms can be seen in white or lavender. It can reach up to 18 inches in height and spread to a width between 12 and 24 inches.

Its Latin name is Liriope spicata or Liriope muscari, depending on the variety.

Well-draining soil is a must; however, the soil can be sandy or clay-like. It can perform in both full sun and partial shade.

Liriope looks beautiful when planted in a group, providing a pop of color.

5. Salvia Sylvestris

Salvia reaches a height and width between 18 and 24 inches. It’s indigo blooms grow on flower spikes that extend from bright green foliage and last from May until August. Butterflies love this plant.

Its Latin name is Salvia x sylvestris and its common name is May Night Sage.

Water this perennial weekly, keeping special attention during extreme heat. It needs average, well-draining soil. For optimal performance, fertilize it before new growth.

These indigo blooms complement the colors of other flowers well and work great as border plants.

6. Astilbe

The dramatic blooms of this perennial are sure to be an eye-catcher in your garden. Their fluffy, bright plumes are seen in captivating shades of white, pink, red, purple, and lavender. The blooms extend from rigid stems and sit atop dense, bushy dark foliage. With having multiple varieties, it’s no surprise that their height can range between 1 and 4 feet.

Its Latin name is also Astilbe, but it may be more commonly known as False Goat’s Beard.

It needs partial shade to full sun, but if it’s planted in colder climates, it may require more sun. The soil should be well-draining and moist to provide optimal growth.

These fluffy blooms look exception in the garden as well as for adding an interesting texture to cut flower bouquets.

7. Coreopsis

This perennial grows to a height between 10 and 18 inches and a width between 12 and 24 inches. Daisy-like flowerheads extend from thin stems in compact foliage. Blooms may be seen in shades of yellow, orange, pink, and red. These are low maintenance, long and profuse blooming plants.

Its Latin name is Coreopsis, and its common name is “Tickseed.”

It performs best in well-draining, sandy soil and full sun or partial shade. Coreopsis needs regular watering when first planted in order to establish itself.

Golden blooms shine against sun rays, giving your garden a glowing look.

8. Rudbeckia

Bright yellow petals and dark center disks characterize this popular perennial. The flowers are daisy-like and can have single, double, or semi-double forms. Its green leaves are hairy and scratchy. Depending on the variety, they can span between 1 and 9 feet in height!

Its Latin name is Rudbeckia, but it’s most commonly known as Black-eyed Susans.

Full sun is best suited for its growth as well as well-draining, loamy soil. Once established, they’re drought resistant. Deadhead the spent flower heads to promote new growth.

Compact and abundant blooms decorate this perennial, making it an excellent choice for a filler plant in your garden or a container.

9. Agastache

Its colorful flower blooms extend from spikes and reach between 2 and 4 feet in height. Bloom colors include shades of pink, red, purple, orange, yellow, and white. Its leaves are bright green and heart-shaped. The foliage can also give off a fresh minty scent.

Its Latin name is Agastache, but it’s also known by the name hyssop.

Water it frequently until it has been established. Agastache needs full sun and nutrient-rich, well-draining soil. Don’t allow the soil to become waterlogged.

Aside from its beautiful colors, Agastache serves as a wonderful wildlife magnet.

10. Hostas

Hostas are known for their low maintenance and easy to grow characteristics. With so many varieties, it’s no surprise that they vary in leaf size, shape, and color. Their giant green leaves may be solid or have streaks of yellow or cream in them.

Many varieties will have white lily-shaped blooms that appear on slender stems during the summer months. Some Hostas reach only 6 inches while others may exceed 2 feet. Its Latin name is Hosta.

If they’re planted in full sun exposure, they’ll quickly wither and become sunburned from the intense heat. They require well-draining, moist soil. Don’t allow the soil to dry out.

Shaded gardens are greatly enhanced by the addition of Hostas.

11. Peonies

Large, intricate blooms characterize this plant. The blooms are tissue paper-like and can be seen in shades and patterns of white, pink, red, and yellow. There are 3 different varieties of Peonies, so they can grow as herbaceous plants or even trees.

Its Latin name is Paeonia.

Well-draining soil that’s rich in nutrients is necessary for its optimal performance. It also needs to receive at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. Soil should be moist but not waterlogged.

Peonies’ prolific blooms are a show stopper and work exceptionally well as a focal point in the garden or as a cut flower.

12. Phlox

This perennial is characterized by its large clusters of small flowers that extend from rigid stems. Their blooms can be seen in shades of white, purple, or pink and last throughout the summer. These plants can reach a height between 3 and 4 feet. The foliage is brilliantly green.

Its Latin name is Phlox paniculata.

To perform best, Phlox needs to be planted in moist, nutrient-rich, well-draining soil and receive an adequate amount of sunlight.

Add a mixture of brilliant color to your garden with Phlox.

13. Foxglove

Bell-shaped blooms extend from a tall, singular flower spike and come in shades of white, pink, red, lavender, and yellow. The throat of each bloom has colored speckles. Each plant may reach a height of 6 feet.

Its Latin name is Digitalis purpurea.

Foxglove needs light, moist, well-draining soil. Though they prefer partial shade, they can tolerate various levels of sunlight. The hotter the climate, the more shade is necessary.

Talk about adding interest to your garden!

14. Coneflower

As their name suggests, the center of the flower is raised and cone-shaped. The flowers are daisy-like and come in brilliant shades of pink, red, yellow, orange, and green. Each plant may reach a height between 2 and 4 feet.

Its Latin name is Echinacea. 

Coneflowers perform best in full sunlight and nutrient-rich, well-draining soil. Water regularly, but allow the soil to dry out between waterings. They are also heat and drought resistant.

Coneflowers attract pollinators and will add a show of color to your garden.

15. Iris

These flowers may or may not be “bearded,” meaning it has hairs along with the hanging flower petals. The plant comes in various forms, shapes, sizes, and colors. The colors of the blooms may be white, pink, purple, blue, orange, or even black.

Its Latin name is Iris; the word itself means “Rainbow.”

Irises grow best in full sun, but many can survive in partial shade. Ensure that they receive adequate water during their growing season. The soil should be nutrient-rich and slightly acidic to neutral.

The beautiful Iris is a rugged and reliable perennial.

16. Hellebores

These perennials feature dramatic blooms, from their color to their shape. The cup-shaped blooms can be seen in shades of white, green, yellow, purple, pink, grey or patterned. Its blooms don’t appear until the winter or early spring. The plants appear stemless and have thick roots.

Its Latin name is Helleborus.

Plant them in partial to full shade as well as well-draining, nutrient-rich soil.

Hellebores are a sure way to add winter interest to your garden.

17. Asters

These perennials feature daisy-like flower heads in shades of white, purple, red, pink, and blue. Some varieties may reach 8 feet in height, but most are around 3 or 4 feet. Its foliage is dark green and abundant.

Its Latin name is Astereae.

Plant in full sun to partial shade as well as well-draining, moist, loamy soil. Allow them to receive about an inch of water each week, especially in the summer.

Asters will fill your garden with bountiful vibrant blooms and foliage.

18. Campanula

Purple, white, pink, or red bell-shaped blooms can be seen on this perennial. Depending on the variety, they may be low growing or be upright, ranging in height of 1 to 6 feet.

While its Latin name is Campanula, it’s more recognized by its common name of Bellflower.

Full sun exposure is best for its growth as well as well-draining soil that has a moderate amount of moisture. The plant performs best when it receives an average of one inch of water each week.

Campanulas are captivating in the garden and serve well as border plants or for lining a wall.

19. Delphinium

This perennial features eye-catching flower spikes with abundant blooms in beautiful shades of white, red, pink, blue, and purple. Their height ranges between 2 and 6 feet, depending on the variety.

Its Latin name is Delphinium, and is also known as Larkspurs.

Delphinium requires well-draining, nutrient-rich soil as well as shelter from powerful winds. Partial shade or full sun is fit for its growth. Don’t allow the soil to dry out.

These towering perennials look great as border plants or points of interest.

20. Heuchera

This perennial is primarily grown for its foliage, which can be seen in shades of maroon, dark purple, gold, lime green, and many shades in between. Its bell-shaped blooms extend from slender stems and come in shades of white, pink, and red.

Its Latin name is Heuchera, but is commonly known as Coral Bells.

Partial shade is best, but some varieties can tolerate more sun. It performs best in light, organic, well-draining soil.

The low growing foliage works great as a perfect attractive filler plant.

Suggested Reading

11 Shrubs for Shade That Grow Well in Zone 6

19 annuals for afternoon sun 

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