Best New Perennials For 2021

If you’re looking for some new plants, you’ve come to the right place. With lots of colorful flowers, these are all of the new perennials for 2021 that are on my plant shopping list for next year.

New 2021 perennials

As many years as I’ve been gardening, you would think I’d have enough plants.

I certainly don’t have a lot of space in the garden to plant new ones.

And every year I say that next year I’m not buying any more!

Then I see the new perennials that are coming out and my resolve goes out the window.

There’s always a few I just have to get!

So these are the new perennials for 2021 that will be in garden centers in the spring…and are already on my list!

best shade plants

2021 New Sun Perennials

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Mountainside ‘Crater Lake’ Spring Phlox

Mountainside™ 'Crater Lake' Spring Phlox
Mountainside™ ‘Crater Lake’ Spring Phlox

Zones: 4 to 8
Light: Sun
Bloom Time: Early spring
Height: 4″ to 6″
Spread: 24″ to 28″

One of my favorite early spring perennials is the low-growing garden Phlox that I use to edge my garden beds.

It cascades over my rock edging and is covered in blooms for a few weeks every year.

The one problem with it? There weren’t very many color options to choose from.

That has all changed this year!

This dark blue-purple variety is definitely going in my garden in 2021.

Mountainside™ 'Majestic Magenta' Spring Phlox
Mountainside™ ‘Majestic Magenta’ Spring Phlox

Planted along with its sister ‘Majestic Magenta’ (and some daffodils growing up through it), I’m going to have quite the display!

 Spring Bling™ 'Pink Sparkles' Phlox
Spring Bling ‘Pink Sparkles’ Phlox

If you want to extend the blooming season for ground cover Phlox, look for another new 2021 series called Spring Bling.

It comes in various shades of pink that aren’t too much different than the original ones, but they bloom from mid to late spring.

Color Spires® ‘Back to the Fuchsia’ Perennial Salvia

Color Spires® 'Back to the Fuchsia' Perennial Salvia
Color Spires® ‘Back to the Fuchsia’ Perennial Salvia

Zones: 3 to 8
Light: Sun
Bloom Time: Late Spring to Early Summer
Height: 22″ to 24″
Spread: 22″ to 24″

As the name suggests, Color Spires® ‘Back to the Fuchsia’ Salvia has bright pink flowers that really show up well against its dark green leaves.

So if you’re looking for an alternative to the standard Salvia colors, this may be your plant.

Like most Salvias, it is easy to grow in almost any soil, attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, and is deer- and rabbit-resistant.

Cut it back after it blooms the first time to encourage a second round of flowers.

Color Coded ‘Frankly Scarlet’ Coneflower (Echinacea)

Color Coded™ 'Frankly Scarlet' Coneflower
Color Coded ‘Frankly Scarlet’ Coneflower

Zones: 4 to 8
Light: Sun to Part Sun
Bloom Time: Mid to Late Summer
Height: 26″ to 28″
Spread: 16″ to 20″

With its scarlet-orange fragrant flowers, Color Coded ‘Frankly Scarlet’ Echinacea will add a bright pop of color to your perennial border.

It is easy to grow, drought-tolerant and can grow in pretty much any kind of soil.

Echinacea planted with Yarrow
Echinacea planted with Yarrow

Planted along side other late bloomers like Yarrow and ‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum, it is sure to make a statement in the late summer sun garden.

In case red isn’t your favorite, this Echinacea is available in a pure white variety named ‘The Price Is White’ that is also a new perennial for 2021.

Luminary™ ‘Opalescence’ Tall Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)

Luminary™ 'Opalescence' Tall Garden Phlox
Luminary™ ‘Opalescence’ Tall Garden Phlox

Zones: 3 to 8
Light: Sun
Bloom Time: Summer
Height: 30″ to 32″
Spread: 24″ to 28″

Tall garden Phlox is one of those plants that I love the look of but never grow because they are always covered in mildew.

Until now.

This new variety of Phlox, called Luminary™ ‘Opalescence’ has the same pretty multi-colored pink flowers that I love but with a much higher level of disease resistance bred into it.

It has fragrant flowers that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

For the best results, keep them well-watered, fertilize regularly and provide good air circulation.

If you prefer a darker pink, this Phlox is also available as ‘Ultraviolet’ (another new variety for 2021).

Perfecto Mundo® Double Purple Reblooming Azalea

Perfecto Mundo® Double Purple Reblooming Azalea
Perfecto Mundo® Double Purple Reblooming Azalea

Zones: 7 to 9
Light: Sun to Part Sun
Bloom Time: Spring to Fall
Height: 30″ to 36″
Spread: 36″

I know that technically Azaleas are a shrub, not a perennial, but Perfecto Mundo® Double Purple is such a compact variety that it would work quite well in a perennial border.

And it is so pretty I couldn’t pass it by.

It has double purple flowers that put on a big show in the spring.

Then re-blooms at the end of the summer and into the fall when most gardens can use a little extra color.

It is also available in a light pink variety called Perfecto Mundo® Double Pink.

Find out more about growing Azaleas HERE.

Decadence® Deluxe ‘Blue Bubbly’ False Indigo (Baptisia)

Decadence® Deluxe 'Blue Bubbly' False Indigo
Decadence® Deluxe ‘Blue Bubbly’ False Indigo

Zones: 4 to 9
Light: Sun to Part Sun
Bloom Time: Late Spring, Early Summer
Height: 48″ to 54″
Spread: 40″ to 48″

Decadence® Deluxe ‘Blue Bubbly’ Baptisia is a new variety of the native plant that has long lavender-blue flower spikes above a mass of blue-green foliage. Perfect for the back of your landscape border!

Baptisia can take a while to get established but once it has settled into your garden it is a low maintenance, drought-tolerant and long-lived perennial.

It doesn’t require dividing or deadheading and grows well even in poor soil.

On top of that, Baptisia attract bees and butterflies and the deer don’t like it very much. A very versatile plant!

New Shade Perennials for 2021

Dolce® ‘Toffee Tart’ Coral Bells (Heuchera)

Dolce® 'Toffee Tart' Coral Bells
Dolce® ‘Toffee Tart’ Coral Bells

Zones: 4 to 9
Light: Part Shade to Shade
Bloom Time: Early Summer
Height: 8″ to 10″
Spread: 16″ to 18″

It seems like every year there is a new variety of Heuchera with a different leaf color.

And this year’s version is Dolce® ‘Toffee Tart’.

It’s leaves start out as an amber color and mature to ginger during the summer.

As with other Coral Bell varieties, it makes a great edging or ground cover plant in the shade, and has small white flowers in early summer but is mostly grown for it’s foliage.

‘Spot On’ Lungwort (Pulmonaria)

'Spot On' Lungwort
‘Spot On’ Lungwort

Zones: 3 to 8
Light: Part Shade to Shade
Bloom Time: Spring
Height: 14″ to 16″
Spread: 18″ to 20″

I have to admit…I have a bit of thing for Pulmonaria.

While the flowers are very pretty in the spring, it’s really the color of the leaves that I love.

And ‘Spot On’ is a new 2021 Lungwort variety that doesn’t disappoint.

It has salmon pink buds that open to rich blue flowers above green leaves that are speckled with silver.

Those silver spots practically glow in the shade and are a perfect companion plant with other shade-loving perennials like Hostas, Sedge grass and Heuchera.

Miss Piggy Pigsqueak Bergenia (Bergenia cordifolia)

Miss Piggy Pigsqueak
Miss Piggy Pigsqueak Bergenia

Zones: 4 to 9
Light: Part Shade to Shade
Bloom Time: Early to mid-spring
Height: 16″ to 18″
Spread: 28″ to 32″

Miss Piggy Pigsqueak Bergenia is a fairly low-growing plant that has bright pink flowers in the spring and large dark green leaves with burgundy undertones.

Since the leaves look good all on their own, it makes a great edging or ground cover plant even after it has finished blooming.

The bees and butterflies love the flowers while deer and rabbits tend to stay away.

Bergenia with Hosta and Heuchera in a container

Combining it with Heuchera and Hostas will make a pretty display in your shade garden or in a container.

‘Heaven Scent’ Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium)

'Heaven Scent' Jacob's Ladder
‘Heaven Scent’ Jacob’s Ladder

Zones: 3 to 7
Light: Part Shade
Bloom Time: Late Spring
Height: 18″ to 24″
Spread: 15″ to 18″

This is one of the new 2021 perennials that I can’t grow in my garden (it’s too hot in the summer) but it would totally be on my list if I was still living in Toronto.

‘Heaven Scent’ Jacob’s Ladder has fragrant blue flowers in the spring which would be enough for me to buy it.

But the show isn’t over when the flowers fade.

It has fern-like leaves that are tinged with purple and would look stunning planted with Hostas and Heuchera.

Polemonium is a deer-resistant woodland plant that grows best in cool, moist conditions and appreciates afternoon shade.

Wee Bit Grumpy® Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

Wee Bit Grumpy® Bigleaf Hydrangea grown in acidic soil
Wee Bit Grumpy® Bigleaf Hydrangea

Zones: 5 to 9
Light: Part Shade
Bloom Time: Summer
Height: 24″
Spread: 30″

Wee Bit Grumpy® Bigleaf Hydrangea is a dwarf variety with deep purple blue flowers that re-bloom all summer like.

Like many blue Hydrangeas, this variety requires acidic soil to keep its color.

Wee Bit Grumpy® Bigleaf Hydrangea grown in alkaline soil
Wee Bit Grumpy® Bigleaf Hydrangea grown in alkaline soil

If grown in alkaline soil, the flowers will still be dramatic, but with a bright red color instead of blue.

Because this is a reblooming Hydrangea, pruning it any time will reduce the number of flowers it produces. So pruning isn’t recommended unless the plant has been damaged.

Apply a rose fertilizer in the early spring and then again in late spring to encourage more blooms later in the season.

Sparky® Blue Clematis

Sparky® Blue Clematis
Sparky® Blue Clematis

Zones: 5 to 8
Light: Part Shade
Bloom Time: Mid Spring to Early Summer
Height: 72″ to 96″
Spread: 72″

I am a huge fan of Clematis vines!

So when I see new varieties being released, I always get excited.

Which is why I was so happy to see this Sparky® Blue Clematis on the list of new 2021 perennials.

I love the blue color and the unusual shape of its flowers.

It also has a very long bloom time and it doesn’t require any pruning. This Clematis grows on old wood so if you do want to prune it back, do it right after it finishes blooming so you don’t cut off next year’s buds.

If you’re looking for a color other than blue, they also have a Sparky® Pink and a Sparky® Purple variety being released in 2021.

You can find out more about my obsession with growing Clematis HERE.

Those are all of my favorites but there are more! You can see all of the Proven Winners new perennials for 2021 HERE.

Other Perennials You Might Like

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