Planting yellow perennials is a great way to introduce vibrant color to the garden. With a little care the plants return every year, providing you with a reliable source of outside interest and color.
When it comes to selecting perennials, it is important to choose plants that are suitable for your garden. Our guide to yellow perennials highlights 12 of the most interesting plants that you can add to your garden.
Perennial plants add long lasting color and interest, which returns every year, to the garden.
What to Consider When Selecting Perennials
Before selecting your plant, observe your garden and how the sun moves across it. Identifying which areas are full sun and which only enjoy partial or next to no sun helps you to select the right plants for each area.
You should also consider the flowering periods of the perennials that you are interested in. Not all plants grow and flower at the same time. Selecting long lasting perennials, or a mix of perennials that flower sequentially enables you to fill your garden with low maintenance, long lasting color that returns year after year.
Select plants that will suit your garden.
Try to select plants that compliment each other and work well when planted alongside each other. For example, don’t plant small, compact specimens close to large, spreading flowers that can easily dwarf them.
Finally, remember to select plants that you like. It is no good purchasing the perfect yellow perennials for your garden if you don’t like the way it looks.
The following 12 yellow perennials are ideal for planting in a range of garden styles and climates.
Identified by its flat-topped clusters of small flowers, the first of our yellow perennials is as popular with pollinators as it is with gardeners and herbalists.
An attractive plant, Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is also easy to grow and surprisingly hardy. Ideal for meadows, wildflower gardens or landscaping, you can also plant Yarrow in the herb garden.
One of the most fragrant yellow perennials on our list, Yarrow can be used as a companion plant to draw pollinators to the vegetable garden.
Yarrow is a reliable companion plant.
Yarrow is a herbaceous perennial that is best planted in full sun and well draining soil.
Over the years many different Yarrow hybrids and cultivars have been developed, mainly with the purpose of improving their ornamental attraction. Most of these are perennial in USDA Zones 3 to 9 and typically flower from early summer until the fall.
In warmer climates the plants can start flowering in the spring. As well as the common yellow perennials you can also find red, pink, white and orange flowering Yarrow plants. These small, colorful flowers sit above finely cut, fern-like or feathery gray-green foliage.
Yarrow typically grows to a height of 2 to 3 ft. Dwarf cultivars, for containers and smaller gardens, are also available.
If you want to learn how to add Yarrow to your garden, our Complete Guide to Growing Yarrow Plant is filled with useful information.
2 Evening Primrose
Evening Primrose (Oenothera Biennis) is an attractive ornamental flower that is native to North America.
Suitable for a range of planting schemes, including cottage and coastal gardens, these yellow perennials are unusual in that they are nocturnal plants. This means that the flowers of these yellow perennials remain closed during the day and open in the evening. Here they provide a valuable source of pollen to late night pollinators such as moths.
Evening Primrose opens in the evening as other plants close.
Also known as Willow Herb, the Evening Primrose flowers profusely throughout the summer months. A quick growing plant, it is sometimes considered invasive. However, it is also easy to control, as our How to Grow Evening Primrose Guide explains.
Despite a vigorous growth habit, the bright flowers of these small yellow perennials have helped to make Evening Primrose a popular choice for a range of planting schemes.
Evening Primrose grows in full sun and well draining soil. The plant typically achieves a height of 6 to 24 inches and is considered perennial in USDA Zones 4 to 9.
Often overlooked, the Coneflower (Echinaceae) is one of the most versatile yellow perennials on our list.
Ideal for both well draining and dry soils, your potting medium doesn’t need to be overly rich for these plants to flourish. When planted in full sun, Coneflowers quickly fill the space with sunny blooms.
In recent years the Coneflower has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. This is because breeders are continually developing new varieties that are increasingly versatile and more resistant to disease and infestation. The plants are also deer resistant.
Coneflowers are low maintenance plants.
A low maintenance plant, this is a colorful native wildflower that requires little care or attention in order to flourish. These attractive ornamental plants are also used in herbal medicine. Easy to grow and care for, this is an ideal plant for novice gardeners.
Coneflowers typically reach a height of 2 to 4 ft and can spread around 2 ft wide. Perennial plants, most varieties are hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 9. When in bloom the Coneflower draws scores of pollinators, hummingbirds and songbirds to the garden.
4 Yellow Daylily
The Yellow Daylily (Hemerocallis Lilioasphodelus) is the ideal perennial if you want to add vibrant color and interest to the garden. Prolific flowers, Daylilies are easy to grow plants that are ideal flower beds, borders, containers and edging paths.
Daylilies are a reliable addition to the flower bed.
Tolerant of most soil conditions, Daylilies tolerate drought and are largely unaffected by high temperatures. As well as adding colorful interest to the garden, Daylilies also draw butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden.
A herbaceous perennial, depending on the variety you can expect your Daylily to grow to a height of between 6 inches to 5 ft. The plants can spread between 2 and 4 ft wide.
Best planted in full sun and slightly acidic soil, Daylilies flower from spring until the end of summer. Most varieties are hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 10.
Warning: Daylilies are toxic to cats.
5 Black-Eyed Susan
One of the most cheerful yellow perennials, Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) is a low maintenance, easy to care for flower that provides you with long lasting colorful interest.
Versatile plants, Black-Eyed Susans come in a range of shapes and sizes. As well as beds and borders, you can also grow Black-Eyed Susan in pots. Both annual and perennial varieties are available.
The name of these yellow perennials, Black-Eyed Susan, refers to the dark, cone-like center that sits in the middle of the plant’s daisy-like petals.
Daisy-like Rudbeckias are similar to Coneflowers.
A wildflower that is native to North America, most varieties are hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 9. When choosing your variety, be careful. Some types are described as short lived yellow perennials. This means that they fade after several years.
Depending on the variety your Black-Eyed Susan can grow to a height of between 10 inches and almost 7 ft. Most varieties achieve a mature height of 2 to 3 ft. The plants tolerate a range of soil types and growing conditions, but are at their best in a sunny spot.
Our How to Grow Black-Eyed Susan guide is filled with more information if you want to add these yellow perennials to your garden.
Corydalis (Pseudofumarianlutea), also known as Fumewort, is a rounded herbaceous perennial. It can be identified by its small golden yellow flowers that sit above green, fern-like foliage. Adding further interest, the top and lower petals are crested.
Belonging to the same plant family as poppies, Fumewort is native to the Swiss and Italian Alps.
A prolific self-serving flower, Corydalis is not the tallest of the yellow perennials on our list. Reaching a height of just 10 to 15 inches these plants are ideal for rock gardens and the front of flower beds. Fumeworts can also be incorporated into container gardens or used to provide ground cover in shady areas.
Low growing Corydalis is a good groundcover choice.
At their best in dry, well draining soil Corydalis plants require some winter protection to prevent them from becoming weedy. Covering the plants with a Valibe Garden Fabric Plant Cover when cold weather is forecast helps to protect them. This can then be removed as the frost thaws.
Corydalis plants dislike being moved once established. Apart from this, Corydalis is a resilient plant that is best planted in USDA Zones 4 to 8. Corydalis plants can survive outside this range but may need a little extra care. However, once Corydalis is settled its bright flowers can last for over four months.
The next entry on our list of yellow perennials, Coreopsis (Lanceolata), is popular for its warm blooms with uniquely fringed petals. These sit on tall stems above green foliage.
A good choice for adding height to a floral border, Coreopsis plants can grow up to 2 ft tall. In addition to being popular with flower lovers, Coreopsis is also a pollinator magnate. Bees and butterflies love these yellow perennials.
Coreopsis draws bees and butterflies to the garden.
Sometimes called Lanceleaf Tickseed, these are low maintenance plants that happily grow in most conditions. However, Coreopsis is at its best in a full sun position and well draining soil.
Hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 9, Coreopsis plants initially form in small clumps. From here the plants can quickly self -seed and spread. Deadheading the spent blooms can help to prevent this. The easy going nature of Coreopsis makes it ideal for wildflower gardens.
These yellow perennials are identified by their pleasing daisy-like flowers. Ideal for floral gardens, you can also plant Chamomile in herb gardens.
Part of the Asteraceae or daisy plant family, Chamomile has, for years, been grown for its medicinal and herbal properties. Used correctly, Chamomile can be used to treat skin issues or make a soothing herbal tea. The flowers also draw scores of pollinators to the garden.
Chamomile produces masses of daisy-like flowers.
There are 2 types of Chamomile plant. Both native to Europe, these are the German annual variety and the Roman or English Chamomile plant. Roman Chamomile is a perennial flower that is suited to underplanting taller flowers or herbs.
Rarely exceeding 12 inches in height the plants can spread 19 to 24 inches wide, providing a colorful ground cover option. You can also plant in pots and planters and allow the flowers to spill, attractively over the edges.
Best planted in full sun, Chamomile plants also tolerate light shade. Roman Chamomile is hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 11.
One of the longest lasting yellow perennials on our list, Chamomile can flower from late spring until the fall. Regularly deadheading the plant encourages more flowers to form.
Helenium (H. autumnale), also known as Sneezeweed, is a full sun loving plant. These yellow perennials are increasingly popular largely thanks to their simple, daisy-like flowers that sit on stiff stems above lance-shaped foliage. Helenium’s delicate blooms work well in a range of planting styles and schemes.
Hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 9, Sneezeweed plants typically reach a mature height of 2 to 5 ft. They can spread up to 24 inches wide. In more open positions taller varieties may require staking.
Ideal for cottage gardens, wildflower meadows and mixed planting schemes, Helenium plants work well with other moisture loving, late flowers plants such as Hibiscus. Helenium can also be planted alongside Asters, Sunflowers and Sedum.
Helenium’s daisy-like flowers sit on stiff stems above green foliage.
Further adding to the attraction of these bright yellow perennials, deer are rarely attracted to the plants.
In addition to yellow perennials, you can also find copper, red, white and orange flowering varieties. Helenium plants thrive in full sun and moist soil. They are also tolerant of poorly draining soil. Mulch the plants well to keep the soil cool and prolong flowering.
One of the most popular annual summer plants, you can also find perennial sunflowers (Helianthus). Interestingly, perennial sunflowers make up the majority of Helianthus plants that are native to North America. While annuals are more commonly grown, perennials often offer a wider range of size and color.
Popular perennials include;
- Ashy (Helianthus mollis), a tall vigorous yellow flowering variety,
- Western Sunflower (Helianthus occidentals) is a small cultivar ideal for home gardens and containers. It produces daisy-like flowers,
- Loddon Gold reaches heights of 6 ft and is an attractive double blooming option,
- Silverleaf is a tall variety which produces fuzzy, silvery leaves that are popular in floral arrangements.
Commonly grown as an annual, you can also cultivate perennial Sunflowers.
Perennial sunflowers are best planted in rich, fertile soils. With a little extra care the plants also tolerate poor soils. The soil should be well draining.
Growing sunflowers is a largely easy process. Just remember to water your Sunflowers regularly.
While annual sunflower roots are white and spidery, perennial varieties develop a tuberous root system.
Typically flowering in mid or late summer, most perennial varieties reach a height of 2 to 3 ft. Taller varieties will require some external support, such as from a Cambaverd Eco Friendly Bamboo Garden Stake to help keep them upright.
Most Sunflower varieties are hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 9. However, this can vary depending on the variety so you will need to do a little research before planting.
11 Hardy Ice Plant
Popular for its bright, daisy-like flowers the hardy Ice Plant (Delosperma) produces blooms in shades of purple and yellow.
Best planted in full sun and well-draining soil, the Ice Plant is ideal for filling those tricky dry parts of the garden with attractive color. Once established the Hardy Ice Plant is a pleasingly low maintenance, drought resistant plant. A succulent, the Hardy Ice Plant can also be used to provide perennial ground cover.
The hardy Ice Plant is a good choice for perennial ground cover.
The name Ice Plant refers to the flowers and foliage that seem to shimmer in the light, as if they are covered in frost.
The Hardy Ice Plant grows to a height of 3 to 6 inches and can spread between 2 and 4 ft wide. The plants are ideal for planting in USDA Zones 5 to 9. Here the plant’s flowers last all through the summer and well into fall. The evergreen foliage remains in place throughout the year.
Hardy Yellow (Delosperma brunnthaleri) is a particularly attractive yellow flowering variety.
12 Skunk Cabbage
The final entry on our list of yellow perennials is a water loving plant. Skunk Cabbage thrives in rich, wet soil and full sun. A perennial wildflower, it can be seen growing in swampy, wet areas. Flowering in early spring the foliage of these plants can emit a distinctive musty odor when crushed.
Interestingly the Skunk cabbage creates its own heat. This means that it can melt any snow that falls around it.
There are two common types of Skunk Cabbage. These are:
- Eastern Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) which produces purple flowers,
- Western Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) which produces yellow flowers.
The odor that the plants emit, while unpleasant, draws bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects to the garden. Planting a skunk cabbage is a great way to attract pollinators to your garden.The aroma also deters mammals such as racoons or squirrels, helping to protect your fruit and vegetables.
Growing to a height of 12 to 18 inches, Skunk Cabbage is hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 8.
Yellow perennials are a great way to add warm color to your garden. Choose the right perennials for your garden and, with a little care, the plants return year after year providing you with long-lasting, reliable interest.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.