and the winner of the Perennial Plant of the Year Award goes to…
The Perennial Plant of the Year Award is voted on by members of the Perennial Plant Association (PPA). PPA is an international organization, comprised of growers, retailers, designers, educators, and others who work in the field of perennial flowering plants.
Read More About Perennial Plant of the Year Winners
The Perennial Plant of the Year award is given to unique perennials with the following characteristics:
suitable for a wide range of climate types - like dry shade, dry sun, moist sites etc.
easily propagated - easily comes true from seed or vegetative propagation
exhibits multiple seasons of interest - either long blooming perennials or perennials with attractive foliage
relatively pest and disease free
Plant Delights strives to include a large number of past Perennial Plant of the Year winners in our catalog. If you have a tough gardening site and are looking for dry shade plants, heat/drought tolerant plants, pest resistant plants or the like, then try out the perennials on this list.
When you are ready to buy perennial plant of the year winners for your garden, check out our online list of perennial plant of the year winners for sale below.
Since 1988, Plant Delights Nursery has been the choice of serious gardeners and plant collectors looking for the best and rarest perennial plants. We are pleased to have received the Perennial Plant Association Retail Award in 2011, the American Horticulture Society Commercial Award in 2002, and to have been selected as one of the Best Mail Order Plant Nurseries - Garden Design Magazine 2010. Welcome to our family of plant lovers!
Amsonia hubrichtii is a North American native plant that was discovered in 1942 in Arkansas by Leslie Hubricht and named in his honor. Amsonia hubrichtii sports the narrowest, laciest, most threadlike foliage of any upright blue star species. Introduced into cultivation by Woodlanders Nursery, this fine southern native is truly the best of the blue stars. The sky blue flowers of Amsonia hubrichtii emerge atop the 3' tall x 4' wide clump when it breaks the ground in April and continue into May. In autumn, the deciduous golden foliage is stunning...a great fall-foliage plant! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
We first saw this amazing selection of the deer-resistant Japanese painted fern on a West Coast trip in 1999 and then spent years patiently waiting for stock to offer. Actually, "patiently" might not be a good choice of words. Regardless, the new leaves are a stunning purple with silver stripes along the vein lines and tips. As the older leaves mature, they transform into a contrasting silvery green with purple midribs. Athyrium 'Burgundy Lace' forms a truly dazzling clump in the woodland garden. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
From Oregon's Diana Ballantyne comes this stunning, new, vegetatively-propagated selection of the wonderful deer-resistant Japanese painted fern. Athyrium 'Silver Falls' has long, arching fronds that display an extraordinary amount of silver patterning, highlighted by the dramatic red-purple veining in the leaves. This hardy garden fern has more abundant and brighter-colored markings than most ladies of the evening...and is a whole lot cheaper! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Available 6-13-2013 Baptisia australis is an easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant, deer-resistant North American native that is always a perennial favorite (pardon the pun) for the border or the wild garden. This native has upright stems clothed with peanut-like, trifoliate (three-lobed), blue-green, waxy foliage on a clump that can easily cover an area 3' wide. In early spring before the clump bulks up, the awesome blue lupine-like flower racemes are held atop the foliage. Baptisia australis was selected by the Royal Horticultural Society as one of their top 200 plants of the last 200 years...quite an honor. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Brunnera 'Jack Frost' is one of those rare occasions when a new plant comes along that has the "WOW" factor. Brunnera 'Jack Frost' is a truly stunning Walters Garden discovery...a sport of Brunnera 'Langtrees' that makes a brilliant 18" wide deer-resistant clump of round, frosty silver leaves. Each leaf of Brunnera 'Jack Frost' is highlighted by a dramatic green border as well as narrow green vein lines running through the solid silver leaf. As if you needed more, the clump is topped with tiny clusters of blue flowers in early spring...a true superstar of the shade garden. Provide evenly moist, rich soils to grow the best plants. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(syn: Dianthus 'Firewitch') Not only is this German hybrid (Kayser & Seibert Nursery, 1957) one of the bluest-foliaged dianthus, it is also one of the most heat-tolerant and certainly the longest-flowering. I was amazed to find this being sold and used regularly in northern and central Florida. The low-growing mat of narrow, silver-blue foliage is topped in early spring by bright magenta single flowers. For us, Dianthus 'Feuerhexe' flowers sporadically all summer and heavily from October into December...a hummingbird attractant. Even after flowering, the intensely colored foliage makes a great color foil in the garden. For best results, plant dianthus in bright light with well-drained soils. Firewitch hardy pink was selected as the 2006 Perennial Plant of the Year by the PPA. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
This amazing new geranium has proven to be an outstanding performer...hence, it is one of the only patented hardy geraniums. Geranium 'Rozanne' was discovered in 1990 in the garden of Donald and Rozanne Waterer of Somerset, England, and released by Blooms of Bressingham. This sterile hybrid of Geranium himalayense x Geranium wallichianum 'Buxton's Variety' makes an 18" wide clump, topped from June until frost with large 2.5" blue-violet flowers. We think you should let Rozanne do her thing in your garden. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Helleborus 'Amethyst Gem' is the latest addition to Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne's line of amazing double flowered lenten roses. Helleborus 'Amethyst Gem' is topped in late winter with double violet red flowers, most with a narrow pink edge. This breeding breakthrough takes hellebores to a whole new level. These represent an amazing seed strain that is highly true to type. Supplies are limited. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
From hellebore breeders Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne comes Helleborus 'Berry Swirl'...an amazing seed strain of large double-flowering plants whose color range includes primarily reds and purples, often highlighted by a lighter white center...exceptionally beautiful. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Helleborus 'Cotton Candy' is another amazing seed strain of Helleborus x hybridus from Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne with lovely double pink flowers that can range from soft light pink to a lovely rosy pink. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
We are thrilled with the hand-crossed Helleborus 'Golden Lotus' seed strain from Oregon's Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne, which yields large double yellow flowers, often tinged with a pink picotee edge and back. As with all seed strains, each plant of Helleborus 'Golden Lotus' is slightly different as shown in our image. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Helleborus 'Harlequin Gem' is a recently released seed strain of lenten rose from the work of Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne. Helleborus 'Harlequin Gem' produces amazing raspberry red double flowers with white flecking toward the center...quite stunning! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Helleborus 'Onyx Odyssey' is an amazing hand-crossed seed strain of lenten rose from the breeding program of Oregon's Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne. Helleborus 'Onyx Odyssey' produces stalks of double black-purple flowers in late winter. This is considered the best double black strain on the market. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Helleborus x hybridus 'Painted Doubles' is yet another incredible hybrid seed strain developed by Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne. The double white flowers are highlighted by heavy red/burgundy spotting toward the center of each flower...a true breeding breakthrough for the winter garden. Because these are unflowered seedlings, each plant will vary slightly. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Helleborus 'Peppermint Ice' is another lovely double hybrid lenten rose from the O'Byrne's...this one with lovely soft pink double flowers, surrounded by a red border and reddish flush. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
The perfectly formed double red-violet flowers of the O'Byrne hybrid lenten rose, Helleborus 'Red Sapphire', look more like a camellia than a hellebore. I never thought I'd find myself wishing for winter, but it's happening now just to see Helleborus x hybridus 'Red Sapphire' in flower. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Helleborus 'Rose Quartz' is an amazing O'Byrne seed strain that results in lenten roses with amazing red and white bicolor double flowers...usually white edged in a ring of rosy red...truly amazing and sure to go fast. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Available 6-23-2013 You are sure to love this deer-resistant introduction from Germany's Ernst Pagels. The foliage on the heat- and drought-tolerant Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Filigran' is extremely dissected compared to the other perovskias, giving a lacier textural appearance in the garden. The growth is also much more upright, combined with a longer flowering time but it's topped with the same dazzling, fuzzy, purple flowers (RHS 87C) throughout the summer...WOW! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Phlox 'David' is one of the most exciting selections of the North American native Phlox paniculata to come along in years. Discovered in the parking lot of the Brandywine Conservancy by F.M. Mooberry, Phlox 'David' is also one of the most mildew-resistant phlox to date. The wonderfully fragrant, clear white, giant flower heads adorn the top of the plant during the late spring and summer...a hummingbird treat. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
We've grown quite a few selections of our native Phlox stolonifera, but none can compare with the vigor and foliage density of this selection we named Phlox 'Weesie Smith'. Our 3-year-old clump has spread to 8', forming a ground-hugging mat of thin, surface-lying stems clothed in small, coke spoon-like leaves. The mats are topped, starting in early April, with 10" spikes of hummingbird friendly lavender-pink flowers...absolutely superb. This phlox comes from the garden of Alabama's first lady of wildflowers...Weesie Smith, thanks to her friend and wildflower compatriot, Jan Midgley. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)