9 Best Perennials for Maryland for Year-Round Color

Best Perennials for Maryland

Growing perennials in Maryland is like embarking on a botanical adventure, where your garden becomes a dazzling showcase of native plants and colorful blooms! Imagine planting perennials that thrive in the region’s climate, from sunny patches to cozy partial shade spots. Maryland’s soil is perfect for various low-maintenance beauties, especially when you start with a soil test to ensure well-drained, nutrient-rich ground.

Incorporate some ornamental grasses for texture and movement, and choose drought-tolerant varieties to keep your garden vibrant, even during dry spells. Most perennials will bloom beautifully in full sun or partial shade, creating a spectacular display from early summer onwards. With Maryland’s moist soil providing the perfect backdrop, your garden will burst into life with diverse flower forms and hues, making it a true masterpiece of nature!

Let’s talk about some of the best perennials for Maryland that you can adorn your garden with.

Best Perennials for Maryland

 1. Phlox

maryland native plants

The cultivars of moss phlox are a kaleidoscope of bright colors, featuring stunning shades of pink, blue, purple, and white. Its foliage, linear or awl-shaped, boasts a deep green color, adding a lush backdrop to its vibrant blooms. Moss phlox thrives in full sun and medium moisture, well-drained soils, making it an excellent choice for sunny areas in your garden.

This ground cover grows incredibly dense and fast, creating a beautiful, carpet-like effect. Plant bare root phlox as soon as you receive them, ideally in the spring after the frost danger has passed. In warmer climates, fall planting works too. Once planted, expect to see top growth in a few weeks, depending on soil and air temperatures.

Best Features

As a deer-resistant plant, moss phlox helps keep your garden intact while complementing many other plants. Incorporating moss phlox into your garden adds vibrant color and contributes to a dynamic and visually appealing landscape throughout the growing season.

2. Black-Eyed Susans

native plants maryland

March, April, and May are prime times for planting Black-Eyed Susan seeds in Maryland, setting the stage for a spectacular bloom in the same year! These cheerful plants love basking in full sun, but in the hottest regions, a bit of afternoon shade won’t hurt them one bit. While they can survive in shady areas, you’ll get fewer flowers, so give them a sunny spot if you can.

plants native to maryland

Perfect for part-sun or full-sun areas, black-eyed susans will make your garden the envy of the neighborhood. Get planting and enjoy a vibrant, lively, and absolutely delightful garden!

Best Features

Black-Eyed Susans are wonderfully low-maintenance, thriving in average, well-drained soil. As hardy perennials, they’ll bring joy to your garden for several weeks, especially from late spring through late summer.

3. Asters

native maryland plants

Maryland Golden Aster is a sun-loving superstar that thrives in well-draining soil. This perennial is not only beautiful but also drought-tolerant once established, making it a low-maintenance gem for your garden. Just be careful not to overwater, as too much moisture can lead to root rot.

The ‘Bluebird’ Smooth Aster is another native plant that shines in Maryland gardens. These lovely bloomers prefer full sun but can tolerate part shade, although fewer flowers will grace their stems.

Best Features

Their vibrant foliage and delicate flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators, adding life and movement to your garden. Come spring, the vibrant blooms of the Maryland Golden Aster and ‘Bluebird’ Smooth Aster will light up your outdoor space, delighting both you and the local pollinators.

4. Purple Coneflowers

native maryland flowers

Coneflowers are sun worshippers that thrive in Maryland’s well-draining soil, and their drought-tolerant nature makes them a gardener’s best friend. To plant these beauties, loosen the ground to a depth of 12 to 15 inches and mix in some compost or aged manure.

It is a popular perennial, loved from Zones 3-9. These hardy plants are low-maintenance and require just the basics: regular watering of about an inch per week, a light layer of compost added in the spring, and optionally cutting back in the fall.

plants native to maryland

Replant as needed to spread the beauty, and watch as your garden transforms into a paradise of color and life throughout the season.

Best Features

In your garden, these vibrant flowers can fill spaces with their stunning blooms in shades of pink, yellow, and more. Pair them with phlox or lavender to create a lively, colorful garden that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

5. Lobelias

maryland native flowers

Growing in wet meadows, springs, freshwater marshes, and along streams, rivers, and ponds throughout Maryland, the cardinal flower is a standout member of the Lobelia genus and the only one flaunting vibrant red flowers. These beauties aren’t too fussy about sunlight,thriving in both partial shade and full sun locations.

Imagine adding these attractive blooms to your mid-summer landscapes, creating a splash of red that contrasts beautifully with other varieties like dahlias.

With their versatility and striking appearance, cardinal flowers will quickly become a favorite in your collection of easy-to-grow types, enhancing the beauty of your outdoor spaces.

Best Features

Cardinal flowers are easy to grow and perfect for moist spaces in your garden. As they grow, they’ll add color and charm to any setting. To keep your garden looking its best, remember to divide the plants every few years.

6. Goldenrod

native flowers maryland

Goldenrods are mostly native to North America, but you’ll also find some species calling Central America, the Caribbean, South America, and Eurasia home. These resilient plants thrive in meadows, prairies, woodlands, thickets, and swamps.

Despite their winter disguise, goldenrods are hardy survivors, capable of thriving even in partial shade.

Best Features

These plants are easy to care for and will thrive, bringing beauty and benefits to your garden all year round!

They’re not just a pretty face—some animal and test tube studies suggest that goldenrod might help reduce inflammation, relieve muscle spasms, fight infections, and lower blood pressure. This amazing plant also acts like a diuretic and is used in Europe to treat urinary tract inflammation and prevent or treat kidney stones.

7.  Firepink

flowers native to maryland

Firepink is a charming, erect annual herb from the Asteraceae (daisy) family, native to Mexico and Maryland. These delightful plants grow 1 to 2 feet tall and spread 6 inches to 1 foot wide, making them perfect for adding vibrant color to your garden.

These brilliant flowers are a favorite of ruby-throated hummingbirds, the primary pollinators for zinnias. Whether you’re planting in part sun or full sun, zinnias will thrive, bringing a burst of color to your garden from late summer through fall.

Best Features

Easy to plant and care for, zinnias are a fantastic addition to any garden, complementing your perennials and providing a long-lasting display of beautiful blooms. Get planting and watch your garden come alive with zinnias!

8. Iris Cristata

maryland native perennials

The Dwarf Crested Iris is a charming, fast-spreading, low-growing perennial that brings vibrant early spring blooms to your garden. With its colorful flowers and easy care, it’s a must-have for any woodland garden. This native beauty thrives in parts of DC, Maryland, and Pennsylvania and offers excellent shade and deer tolerance.

For the best results, plant your irises in late summer to early fall when nighttime temperatures stay between 40° and 50°F (4° and 10°C) or higher. This gives them ample time to establish themselves before winter arrives. These lovely flowers thrive in part sun and well-draining soil, making them a versatile choice for many garden settings.

Best Features

Pair them with other perennials and annuals to create a stunning display that will brighten up any shady spot. So, get planting and watch these native treasures bring your garden to life with their springtime splendor!

 9. Butterfly Weed

plants native to maryland

Butterfly weed, a stunning type of milkweed, is best planted in late spring once the soil has warmed up. While it might be a bit slow to establish, this native Maryland gem is worth the wait. Don’t expect it to bloom in the first year; in fact, it might take up to three years before you see its bright, cheerful flowers.

Among the dozen or so types of milkweed native to Maryland, top picks include Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), and Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca).

Best Features

These plants thrive in the sun and reward your patience with vibrant blooms that attract pollinators all summer long.


From the cheerful Black-Eyed Susans and vibrant Purple Coneflowers to the elegant Dwarf Crested Iris and striking Cardinal Flowers, there’s something to brighten every corner of your garden.

With these low-maintenance beauties, your garden will not only be a feast for the eyes but also a haven for wildlife. Whether you’re planting in full sun or part shade, in moist soil or well-drained ground, these perennials are sure to thrive and bring endless joy to your gardening adventures.

With a little love and care, your Maryland garden will be the envy of the neighborhood, blooming beautifully from early spring to late summer.

Johan Perez
Johan Perez is an experienced agriculturalist with over twenty years in the field. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences and has contributed extensively to research on sustainable farming practices. Johan has also written for numerous agricultural periodicals, offering expert advice on farming technologies and methods. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor adventures, which often inform his professional insights into ecological agriculture.

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