Perennials are plants that survive the winter and return each Spring. Here are some pictures of perennials that do well in Billings Montana.

Perennials in Montana

Perennials are flowering plants that come back every year as opposed to annuals which die off every year. Some flowering plants are perennials in warmer climates but annuals in colder climates. Below are some perennials that do well in Billings Montana and in some cases colder places in Montana. Billings Montana is in zone 2-4, however, some zone 5 plants seem to do well here. Much of Montana is zone 3 so it just depends on how much cold the particular species of plant can handle.

Here is a list of our favorite perennials for full sun

  • Salvia – A large perennial with purple spires of densely packed buds. Salvia get up to 3′ in diameter and 2 feet tall.
  • Coneflower Echinacea – There are several varieties available. These perennials handle arid climates and can be planted with yucca. They get over 2 feet tall and look very nice in combination with many other taller flowers like Black-eyed Susans.
  • Black-eyed Susans – These are a choice flower for bright yellows.
  • Yarrow – A native perennial that comes in many colors but usually yellow, white, or red and has medicinal properties.
  • Shasta Daisy – These are tall and lush with white flowers and yellow middles. We like to plant them near water features or areas that are more lush as opposed to arid areas.
  • Daylily – Lush wide bladed grass with nice summer and/or fall blooms. A variety of colors are available depending on species. They are great when planted at the base of boulders and stone walls or in lush areas. They will spread if allowed.
  • Butterfly bush – These gorgeous perennials grow 3-4′ and can be purple, hot pink, royal red and more.
  • Foxglove – interesting purple flowers
  • Delphinium- These tall perennials grow 3-4′ with gorgeous tall flowers. They come in many colors. Some varieties include black eyed angels, pink punch, and million dollar blue. We usually plant them next to the house areas that are more sheltered from the wind.
  • Dianthus – These are a favorite for bringing color around the landscape. They are a smaller perennial that handles arid climate very well yet yields continuous buds Spring, Summer, and Fall. They come in all sorts of colors and varieties. We like the hot pink!
  • Columbine is another native perennial that has more of a clover like leaf and beautiful flowers. It is also the Colorado state flower.
  • Jacobs ladder – This perennial can get fairly large and usually is known for its awesome blue flowers however it comes in varieties such as light purple.
  • Potentilla – Another yellow flowering perennial that is great in the front of beds because it only gets about 3″ tall. Not to be confused with the shrub, these perennials are important when yellow is the color of choice.
  • Phlox – If it is spring color that you want, Phlox will always please. The low growing Phlox comes in many bright colors, even brilliant blue! The flowers form densely clustered mounts. Some varieties of Phlox get tall and can be used as cut flowers for inside, but we prefer the low growing mounds for creating focal points of bright color.
  • Woods light blue Aster – light blue with yellow middles- 12″
  • Butterfly flower – asclepias- orange- 15″
  • Splendens- pink- 6″
  • Bellissima- light pinkish white with yellow middles- 6″ (English daisy) or (bellis)
  • Catmint- Can grow quite large and 18″ tall with lavender flowers.
  • Primrose- 8″ mixed colors
  • Beebalm- red and other colors. Beebalm is an herb used for teas. It does best with plenty of moisture.
  • Lupine- A native plant with cool looking conical flower buds, usually in pink and purple. These perennials handle more arid climates and can be found all over montana. The cultivars varieties are much more exquisite than the native Lupine while remaining very well acclimated to our climate.
  • Coreopsis- yellow space 1-3′ also orange
  • Cerastium- Also known as “snow in summer” this plant mounds up with dense blankets of white. Foliage is light green. Handles arid climate and works nicely with Phlox.
  • Heliopsis- yellow flowers, variegated leaf- 16″
  • Stonecrop sedum- 16-22″ tall with thick tissue leafs and impressive flower clusters. These are cool perennials! And sedum is a native plant here in montana so they handle the climate here very well.
  • Sedum- lemon ball – yellow ground cover. There are actually lots of varieties of ground cover Sedum. They really do best with full sun.
  • Geum- orange – 15″
  • Guara- pink and white- reddish foliage- 20″
  • Oriental Poppy
  • Peone – These come in two varieties. In particular, the variety with single stemming is more like a shrub and can be very spendy, but the flower clusters are huge. Best in more sheltered areas. Most commonly white or pink.
  • Veronica – tall spires bloom in the fall.
  • Aster – Medium to large size with lots of flower buds that open in the fall. Varieties of colors!
  • Artemisia – Soft to touch, light green color mounds. Blooms in the fall. We like to use this in the front of beds and next to seating areas where you can touch them. They also work nicely to soften the foot of perennials that do better when the base is shades, like with Clematis.

Here are some Perennial that do well in Part Sun to Shade

  • Heuchera coral bells – This versatile plant does well in shade and changes to more orange and red colored foliage in the sun. It comes in varieties such as peach flambĂ© and yellow with purple/red veins. Its is a very versatile perennial!
  • Hydrangea

Plant these Perennials in the Shade

  • Hostas
  • Annabelle Hydrangea – A large fast growing perennial with huge puff ball clusters of white flowers
  • Columbine is another native perennial that has more of a clover like leaf and beautiful flowers. It is also the Colorado state flower.
  • Geranium – hot pink
  • Jack Frost brunnera
  • Lungwort ground cover
  • Heuchera
  • Bleeding heart
  • Gold heart bleeding heart- yellow foliage
  • Lamium- variegated ground cover
  • Snow-on-the-mountain. Medium height ground cover with variegated leaf.
  • Anemone “Snowdrop”. Ground cover with cute white flowers.
  • Lungwort – Ground cover
  • Periwinkle – An evergreen ground cover with periwinkle colored flowers.
  • Sweet Woodruff – Ground cover with white flowers and nice foliage

All the perennials identified above and below do very well in Billings. We will try and build out a more complete list over time.

Granny's bonnet
camas perennial
Camas (1′, part sun)
Blue Flax perennials
BlueFlax (tall-full sun)
Armeria Maritima
Armeria Maritima
Red Rock Cress Perennial
Red Rock Cress
Armeria Maritima
Armeria Maritima
Turkish speedwell
Turkish Veronica
Yarrow, Nepeta, and Daylily
Yarrow, Nepeta, and Daylily
Columbine perennial
Allium and Columbine
Pink Spirea Perennial
Anthony Waterer Spirea (2-3′)
Salvia argentea 'Artemis'
Silver Sage Plant
Agastache and russian sage
Sonoran sunset hyssop (front) and russian sage (back)
Agastache rupestris
Sunset Hyssop (1.5′)
Geranium viscosissimum
Sticky Geranium
Shade perennial hosta
Perovskia atriplicifolia
Russian Sage (4-5′)
Wild Rabbitbrush
Sedum Spectabile (2')
Sedum Spectabile (2′)
Fuldaglut or Caucasian stonecrop
Sedum spurium
plantain lilies or giboshi
Hyssopus officinalis
Hyssop (2′)
Hydrangea arborescens
Annabelle Hydrangea
Hen and Chicks
Lonicera tatarica
Honeysuckle (10′)
Geum triflorum
Prairie Smoke
GoldDrop Potentilla (2′)
dianthus first love
First Love Dianthus
Dianthus Firewitch
neon star dianthus
Dianthus ‘Neon Star’
mouse-ear chickweed

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