Western Region Perennials – Growing Perennials In Western U.S.

Pink Perennial Flowers
western perennials
(Image credit: Andrei Stanescu)

When you select Western region perennials for your garden or backyard, you are entering into a long-term relationship. Unlike annuals that only last for one season, perennials can grow in your garden for many years. That makes it important to select plants you like as well as plants that don’t require a lot of work.

Fortunately, there are many gorgeous perennial plants for California that are low maintenance and drought tolerant. Read on for information on growing perennials for Western states in your California garden.

Perennials in Western U.S. Gardens

Just ask any gardener, the best perennials in Western U.S. gardens for long term are plants that are easiest to care for. In the end, low maintenance beats almost any ornamental feature.

You may adore a particular plant and pay a high price for it in the garden store. If it is fussy, picky about location, and requires constant attention though, it will rapidly move off your list of favorites. That’s why it’s a great idea to consider native perennial plants for California backyards.

Perennial Plants for California

Technically, the term “perennials for Western states” includes any plant with a lifespan exceeding one season that can grow in a Western state – such as California or Nevada. Gardeners in the West, and particularly those who live in California, will find many beautiful native perennial species. These are plants that thrive in your yard with very little water or maintenance.

One popular perennial is California lilac (Ceanothus spp.). These perennials range in size from knee-high shrubs to small trees. They are evergreens that light up your yard with their large flowers, most often a brilliant indigo color. Provide them with well-draining soil and watch them go.

Other Western region perennials that are native to the area include yarrow (Achillea spp.) and hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea). These also are ornamentals found in many California gardens.

Yarrow can be found all throughout the Western states and is a valued garden classic. It grows to about 3 feet (1 m.) tall with lacy foliage and clustered flower heads at the top of the upward shooting stems. It is extremely drought tolerant when established.

Hummingbird sage is another California native shrub with sweetly scented spring blooms, typically pink or purple. It spreads via rhizomes and can create large stands without much effort on your part. If you hope to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees to your garden, this is one of the Western region perennials you need to include.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.