Pink perennials for spring, summer, and fall blooms

Pink perennials for the garden: A gradient of rosy shades from pale pink to fuchsia

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I’ll admit it, one of my favourite colours is pink. If I see pink perennials at the garden centre and I need a plant to fill a hole in my garden, chances are at least one of them will end up in my cart. Come to think of it, I have quite a range of pink perennials in my front, side and backyard.

What I love about pink is the range of hues available, so if you’re not into petals with baby pink tones, you might be more drawn to the boldness of fuchsia flowers. There are a lot of options, but I’ve selected a few of my favourites that are in my garden or that I’ve seen on my travels.

Pale- to medium-pink perennial flowers

Dianthus

There are a lot of beautiful varieties of dianthus and most of them are pink. What I love about this plant is it grows in a lovely mounding clump, making it perfect for borders or to fill in a space meant for a low-growing plant in the garden—it only reaches about a foot in height.

Dianthus Interspecific Supra Pink is a 2017 AAS Flower Winner.

Dianthus Interspecific Supra Pink is a 2017 AAS Flower Winner. I first saw these frilly blooms at the 2017 California Spring Trials and fell in love. I grew some from seed this year and can’t wait for them to bloom. Plants are drought tolerant and hardy down to USDA zone 4 or 5.

Potentilla

There’s a lovely little potentilla beside the path leading to my deck stairs. That one I get to admire. But on the other side of my house is a sweet little potentilla that my neighbour gets to admire. The flowers may be diminutive, but they are long-lasting and pretty when the whole shrub is in bloom.

This potentilla from Proven Winners is called Happy Face Pink Paradise. It his hardy down to zone 2a.

This potentilla from Proven Winners is called Happy Face Pink Paradise. It his hardy down to zone 2a.

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon blooms make you feel like you’re in the tropics—they’re part of the hibiscus family. This is probably why they also don’t mind the heat and humidity. My rose of Sharons are all trees, but my parents have a rose of Sharon hedge against a fence, which looks really nice when it’s in bloom.

Pollinators love rose of Sharons

Bees love my rose of Sharon trees. I’ve caught them flying away, absolutely covered in pollen! Just be sure to prune the seed pods in the fall to avoid a million seedlings popping up in the spring (I am not being overdramatic—they’ll be everywhere!).

Japanese anemone

It took a couple of years to become established in the garden, but now my Japanese anemone is consistently floriferous. I’ve heard from other gardeners they can be a bit invasive, but so far, mine has been easy to contain in its sunny dry spot—near my Happy Face Pink Paradise potentilla.

Pink Japanese anemones provide a hint of summer in a fall garden.

I need to find the tag for this Japanese anemone. It’s a really vibrant variety that has more blooms every year.

Clematis
If you’re looking for a flowering vine, clematis, once it’s established, is a great choice. There are a few different colours—and shades of pink—to choose from. The plants like their roots to be cool, but their leaves and flowers don’t mind the hot sun. Be sure to choose a sturdy place for these plants to climb.

Jolly Good clematis

I’m pretty sure this is Jolly Good. In some photos, like the ones on the Proven Winners site, it looks more mauve, but in my parents’ garden, it’s pink.

Peony

I wait with much anticipation in the springtime for the fleeting week or two that my peonies are in bloom. My garden came with several varieties, all in varying shades of pink. I feel like no sooner do they bloom, then they flop and start to slowly drop their petals. I make sure I snip the ones that are on the ground or out of sight to enjoy in a vase on my deck (aka my outdoor office). Grow them in full sun and be sure to cut the foliage right down to the soil level in the fall to avoid disease.

If you're looking for pink perennials that bloom in the spring, plant peonies

A couple of my favourite peony flowers—among my favourite pink perennials. Unfortunately I don’t know their varieties. But I love that they’re all different and they all bloom a few days apart so I can enjoy them for longer.

Hydrangea paniculata

Panicle hydrangeas are easy to grow and hardy down to about USDA zone 3 or 4. They like a mix of sun and shade in the garden. Blooms grow on new wood, so prune when the plant goes dormant in the fall. If you’re worried about the size, look for dward varieties, like the one shown below.

I would call this pink more of a dusty rose. It’s the dwarf version of Little Quick Fire and a perfect addition to a small garden. I display some of the dried blooms indoors over the winter.

Chrysanthemums
While I enjoy a harvest palette in my fall containers (orange, red, yellow), my chrysanthemums provide a welcome hint of pink (that still feels like summer) in my fall garden. Some varieties are hardy down to zone 4. I’ve had good l luck overwintering my mums in my front garden. Be sure to water them more often during especially hot periods in the summer.

 I like to use pink mums in my fall container arrangements for an unexpected colour palette.

Chrysanthemums start to bloom in the summer and last through the fall. I like to use pink mums in my fall container arrangements for an unexpected colour palette.

Astrantia
A friend recently referred to astrantia as “fireworks in the garden.” It’s an apt description: They really do mimic a floral representation. I hadn’t come across these plants until a trip to Ireland a few years ago, where I photographed the most gorgeous pink and green-tinged astrantia. This herbaceous perennial is a pollinator magnet and hardy down to USDA zone 4.

The pink and green astrantia that started my love of astrantia.

The pink and green astrantia that started my love of astrantia. Unfortunately I don’t know the variety of any of the plants I’ve photographed. Eventually I’ll choose the right one for my garden.

Hot pink perennials

Rose campion

Rose campion is one of those self-seeding plants that finds its way to various parts of my garden—and I don’t mind a bit. The foliage is a fuzzy, greyish seafoam green and the colours are a vibrant highlighter hot pink. It grows well in full sun and stems grow to be at least two feet high. It’s also hardy down to USDA zone 3.

Rose campion in the garden

I find hot pink, like red, difficult to photograph. The camera picks up the hue, but not the detail in the petals. This rose campion is in my front yard garden. The foliage stems and leaves stand out against the more wispy foliage of my coreopsis.

Delosperma

Delosperma, also called ice plants, come in a variety of colours, but there are some lovely pink varieties. Mine is fuchsia and orange. Once they’re established, they’re drought tolerant. They look really nice in rock gardens because of their slow spread. My sister just took a piece of mine for her garden because there was a chunk that was a satellite off the main plant.

Delosperma Fire Spinner

This is Fire Spinner. I suppose it’s technically an orange perennial with a hot pink centre. It’s one of my absolutely favourite plants in my garden. It’s so vibrant, even though it’s a groundcover, you can see It from the street.

Looking for other hues besides pink perennials?

Pink perennials: Choices for spring, summer, and fall blooms

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One Response to Pink perennials for the garden: A gradient of rosy shades from pale pink to fuchsia

  1. p says:

    Thank you for mentioning AAS! We appreciate the support.

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