If you’re ready to plant perennials that thrive in the Tar Heel State, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best perennials for North Carolina.

North Carolina’s diverse climate, ranging from the coastal regions to the mountains, offers a unique canvas for gardening enthusiasts to create stunning landscapes.

The best perennials for North Carolina.

Whether you have a sunny spot, partial shade, or even a cozy corner, these vibrant flowers are sure to add beauty to your garden.

Not sure which gardening zone you live in? Check out the gardening zone map below.

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Best Perennials for North Carolina

From looking at the map above, you can see North Carolina covers 3 different zones. Before planting your perennials, find your zone, and check to see if the flowers you like thrive in that zone.

1. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late spring to early fall

Why It’s Outstanding: With golden petals and dark centers, the Black-Eyed Susan is a beacon of summer’s vibrancy. Its low-maintenance nature and vibrant display make it a staple in North Carolina gardens.

2. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Ideal For: Full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Early summer to late fall

Why It’s Outstanding: Unleash the allure of the Purple Coneflower, a native beauty that attracts pollinators with its vivid hues. As an herbal remedy and showy perennial, it’s a true multi-tasker.

3. Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late spring to early fall

Why It’s Outstanding: Inject warmth into your garden with the fiery tones of the Blanket Flower. Its red and yellow petals blanket your landscape in a captivating display.

4. Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Ideal For: Partial shade to full sun, moist soil

Blooming Season: Late summer to early fall

Why It’s Outstanding: The Cardinal Flower’s scarlet blossoms make a striking statement. Plant it near water features or in rain gardens for a touch of elegance.

5. Bee Balm (Monarda)

Ideal For: Full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Early to late summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Paint your garden with the vibrant hues of Bee Balm, a pollinator magnet that adds both color and fragrance to your landscape.

6. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Early to late summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Not just a beauty, Butterfly Weed is essential for monarch butterflies. Its orange blooms are a beacon of life for these winged wonders.

7. Cutleaf Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata)

Ideal For: Full sun to part shade, moist soil

Blooming Season: Summer to early fall

Why It’s Outstanding: Elevate your garden with the majestic presence of Cutleaf Coneflower. Its large blooms and lush foliage create a visual symphony.

8. New England Asters (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

Ideal For: Full sun to part shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late summer to early fall

Why It’s Outstanding: As the growing season wanes, New England Asters burst forth with regal purple blooms, making autumn a spectacle of color.

9. Fire Pink (Silene virginica)

Ideal For: Partial shade to full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late spring to early summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Fire Pink’s fiery red blossoms stand out against dark green foliage, adding a touch of drama to your garden.

10. New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis)

Ideal For: Full sun to part shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late summer to early fall

Why It’s Outstanding: A regal presence, New York Ironweed‘s tall purple spires draw attention and pollinators alike, turning your garden into a vibrant habitat.

11. Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)

Ideal For: Full sun to part shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Daylilies dazzle with a variety of colors, showcasing a new bloom each day. Their adaptability and low-maintenance nature make them a favorite.

12. Hosta (Hosta spp.)

Ideal For: Partial to full shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late spring to early summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Hostas offer a lush carpet of green foliage with occasional spikes of white or lavender flowers, creating a serene ambiance in shady spots.

13. Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Early to late summer

Why It’s Outstanding: A classic beauty, Shasta Daisies brighten up gardens with their white petals and yellow centers. They’re a symbol of pure elegance.

14. Coreopsis (Coreopsis spp.)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Summer

Why It’s Outstanding: The sunny disposition of Coreopsis brings cheerful yellow and golden tones to your garden, attracting pollinators with its nectar-rich blooms.

15. Catmint (Nepeta spp.)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late spring to early summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Catmint’s soft lavender-blue flowers and fragrant foliage make it a favorite among gardeners and pollinators alike.

16. Astilbe (Astilbe spp.)

Ideal For: Part shade to full shade, moist soil

Blooming Season: Summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Astilbes thrive in shady spots, offering plumes of feathery blooms in various shades of pink, white, and red.

17. Sedum (Sedum spp.)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late summer to early fall

Why It’s Outstanding: Sedums, also known as stonecrop, come in a range of varieties with unique flower shapes and colors, adding texture to your garden.

18. Autumn Joy Sedum (Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late summer to early fall

Why It’s Outstanding: The Autumn Joy Sedum’s changing hues from pink to copper offer a breathtaking transition from summer to fall.

19. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Yarrow’s flat-topped clusters of tiny flowers in shades of pink, white, or yellow add charm to borders and meadow-like gardens.

20. Hellebore (Helleborus spp.)

Ideal For: Part shade to full shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late winter to early spring

Why It’s Outstanding: Hellebores bring early spring joy with their elegant downward-facing blooms, offering a delightful surprise after winter.

21. Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

Ideal For: Part shade to full shade, moist soil

Blooming Season: Late spring to early summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Bleeding Hearts steal hearts with their unique pink or white heart-shaped blooms dangling gracefully from arching stems.

22. Coral Bells (Heuchera spp)

Ideal For: Part shade to full shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late spring to early summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Coral Bells shine not only with their delicate bell-shaped flowers but also with their vibrant foliage in shades of red, purple, and green.

23. Salvia (Salvia spp.)

Ideal For: Full sun to part shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Summer to fall

Why It’s Outstanding: Salvias offer a burst of color with spikes of blue, purple, or red flowers that attract hummingbirds and bees.

24. Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)

Ideal For: Full sun to part shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Garden Phlox’s fragrant blooms come in various shades, creating a lovely tapestry of color and aroma.

25. Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum)

Ideal For: Part shade to full shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late spring to early summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Jacob’s Ladder‘s delicate blue flowers and distinctive foliage add a touch of elegance to shaded areas.

26. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Summer to early fall

Why It’s Outstanding: Russian Sage‘s lavender-blue spikes of flowers and silver foliage create a dreamy, airy effect in your garden.

27. Baptisia (Baptisia spp.)

Ideal For: Full sun to part shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late spring to early summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Baptisia’s tall spires of yellow flowers resemble lupines. They come in a range of colors, adding vertical interest to any landscaping.

28. Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)

Ideal For: Full sun to part shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Daylilies dazzle with a variety of colors, showcasing a new bloom each day. Their adaptability and low-maintenance nature make them a favorite.

29. Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Early to late summer

Why It’s Outstanding: A classic beauty, Shasta Daisies brighten up gardens with their white petals and yellow centers. They’re a symbol of pure elegance.

Drought Tolerant Perennials

Maintaining a vibrant garden during dry spells can be a challenge. However, with the right selection of drought-tolerant perennials, your landscape can remain a feast for the eyes even in the most arid conditions.

These hardy plants not only conserve water but also add beauty and texture to your garden.

Discover the best drought-tolerant plants that are well-suited for North Carolina’s climate and can withstand periods of limited rainfall.

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Lavender’s fragrant blooms and silvery foliage thrive in hot and sunny conditions, making it a favorite for both gardeners and pollinators.

Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Summer to early fall

Why It’s Outstanding: Russian Sage’s wispy lavender-blue flowers and aromatic foliage add a touch of elegance to drought-prone gardens.

Sedum (Sedum spp.)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late summer to early fall

Why It’s Outstanding: Sedums, also known as stonecrop, come in various forms and colors, offering resilience and interest to your garden.

The best perennials for North Carolina.

Coneflower (Echinacea spp.)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Coneflowers’ vibrant petals and cone-like centers not only attract butterflies and bees but also stand strong during dry periods.

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late spring to early fall

Why It’s Outstanding: The Blanket Flower’s fiery hues and exceptional resilience make it an excellent choice for dry landscapes.

Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia uvaria)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Red Hot Poker’s torch-like blooms bring a burst of color to hot and dry conditions, attracting hummingbirds to its nectar-rich flowers.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Yarrow’s flat-topped clusters of flowers in various shades provide a drought-resistant carpet of color.

Ice Plant (Delosperma spp.)

Ideal For: Full sun, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Spring to fall

Why It’s Outstanding: Ice Plants’ succulent leaves and vibrant blooms thrive in coastal conditions and sandy soils while requiring minimal water.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Ideal For: Full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Early summer to late fall

Why It’s Outstanding: Purple Coneflower’s stunning blooms and resistance to drought conditions make it a versatile and enduring choice.

Bearded Iris (Iris germanica)

Ideal For: Full sun to part shade, well-drained soil

Blooming Season: Late spring to early summer

Why It’s Outstanding: Bearded Iris’ striking blooms come in a variety of colors and patterns, with sturdy rhizomes that tolerate dry periods.

Conclusion

In the spirit of climate change awareness, opting for native perennials is not only a great choice for your garden but also for the environment.

Native species are well-suited to North Carolina’s climate and provide sustenance for local wildlife, particularly pollinators.

Whether you’re cultivating a butterfly garden, a rock garden, or adding to your perennial beds, these North Carolina-loving plants are sure to delight your senses throughout the growing season.

From the early spring flowers to the late fall-blooming perennials, these beautiful blooms are a testament to the natural beauty of the southeastern United States.

We hope you’ve enjoyed is post, as our goal is to help you find the best perennials for North Carolina. Happy gardening, and may your garden be filled with vibrant and resilient perennial plants!

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Best Perennials for North Carolina