coneflowers and black eyed susans (echinacea & rudbeckia)
Image by Sandy Repp

Monarda, Echinacea and Rudbeckia


Perennials are herbaceous plants. In winter their tops die back, while the crown and root systems go dormant. The following spring the tops reappear and roots come out of dormancy. When grown from seed, they produce vegetative growth the first year and bloom the second. With proper care they will continue to add color and foliage interest to the garden for many years.

Most plants grown from bulbs are also perennials, but are usually thought of as a separate category of plants, since their needs and care may be different. Ornamental grasses, too, are usually perennial plants. Technically, shrubs are perennials, too but because of their woody stems, they are not herbaceous perennials.

Information adapted from:


  • Perennial flower trials at Cornell University: Includes photos and data on hundreds of perennial varieties from the test plots at Bluegrass Lane.
  • Dividing Perennials is a 5-page handout from CCE-Chemung that covers how and why to divide some common perennials.
  • Perry's Perennial Pages: Offers¬†on-line perennial and related horticultural¬†information on a centralized database.¬†
  • Perennial Garden Calendar: Offers a local timeline for garden maintenance. (From CCE Steuben).
  • Sequence of Bloom of Perennials, Biennials, & Bulbs: Includes the blooming period for a large list of flowers - offering local gardeners the ability to have continuous bloom.
  • Rose Care: Offers a general timeline for rose maintenance. All dates are approximate and may vary based on weather conditions. (From CCE Chemung).
  • Bulbs for Planting: Offers easy to read charts detailing planting depths for a number of common bulbs. Information also includes time of bloom and heights.
  • Perennials, a 3-page pdf from CCE of Suffolk County, includes information on soil preparation, propagation, receommendations on easy-dare perennials, and recommended publications.
  • Cornell Horticulture offers an illustrated list of their top 15 perennial-and-bulb combinations on their website.

Last updated February 7, 2021