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Horticulture and Home Pest News
Horticulture & Home Pest News is filled with articles on current horticulture, plant care, pest management, and common household pests written by Iowa State University Extension specialists in the Departments of Entomology, Horticulture and Plant Pathology.

Longevity of Perennials

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When selecting perennials for the home landscape, it's important to consider their size, bloom period, hardiness, and cultural requirements. Another consideration is their longevity. Some perennials are extremely long-lived. For example, it's not uncommon to see 50- to 60-year-old peonies in older neighborhoods in Iowa. In contrast, some perennials tend to be short-lived. These short-lived perennials persist for several years and then decline and fade away.

A list of long-lived and short-lived perennials are provided below. If given proper growing conditions and good care, long-lived perennials often persist for 20 or more years. Short-lived perennials usually disappear within 10 years.

Long-lived PerennialsShort-lived Perennials
Monkshood (Aconitum spp.)
Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)
Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus)
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
False Blue Indigo (Baptisia australis)
Snakeroot (Cimicifuga racemosa)
Gas Plant (Dictamnus albus)
Ferns (various species)
Hardy Geraniums (Geranium spp.)
Ornamental Grasses (various species)
Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)
Hosta (Hosta spp.)
Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica)
Blazing Star (Liatris spp.)
Daffodil (Narcissus spp.)
Peony (Paeonia spp.)
Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)
Lungwort (Pulmonaria spp.)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida 'Gold
Stonecrop (Sedum spp.)
Carolina Lupine (Thermopsis caroliniana)
Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)*
Tickseed (Coreopsis grandiflora)*
Delphinium (Delphinium spp.)
Pinks (Dianthus spp.)
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora)*
Baby's Breath (Gypsophila paniculata)
Coral Bells (Heuchera spp.)
Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)
Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum spp.)
Perennial Flax (Linum perenne)*
Lupine (Lupinus hybrids)
Maltese Cross (Lychnis chalcedonica)
Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule)
Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa spp.)
Painted Daisy (Tanacetum coccineum)
Hybrid Tulips (Tulipa spp.)
*Freely reseeds
Year of Publication: 
2006
Issue: 
IC-495 (3) -- February 22, 2006