short perennials flowers

6 Vibrant Short Perennials Flowers for Your Garden

Looking to add a burst of color and beauty to your garden, but working with limited space? No worries, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll introduce you to a variety of vibrant short perennial flowers that are perfect for small gardens, borders, and even containers. Whether you’re looking for low-growing perennials, compact plants, or ground cover options, there’s something here for everyone.

Our carefully curated selection includes the best short perennials for small spaces and features a wide range of options. From delicate flowers to interesting foliage, these compact perennial plants are sure to bring charm and elegance to your outdoor space.

But what exactly are short perennials? They are perennial plants that stay relatively small in stature, making them ideal for tight spaces and small-scale gardens. These small perennial flowers and ground cover options are not only visually appealing but also require less maintenance compared to taller plants, allowing you to enjoy their beauty with minimal effort.

Whether you want to create a captivating border, fill in gaps in your existing garden, or adorn a patio or balcony, these short perennials are versatile and adaptable. They are perfect for adding pops of color, providing texture and interest, and attracting pollinators.

So, if you’re ready to transform your small garden into a vibrant oasis, let’s dive into our list of the best short perennial flowers that will make a big impact. Get ready to be inspired!

1. Astilbe

Astilbe is a beautiful short perennial with spikey flowers that range in color from white to dark purple. This shade-loving plant grows best in well-fertilized soil that drains well. It can be cut back in the spring and will produce flowers from spring to summer. Astilbe is ideal for USDA Zones 4-9.

2. Autumn Ferns

Autumn Ferns are perfect for adding green foliage to garden edges and borders in shaded or wooded areas. These beautiful ferns have a dwarf growth habit, starting off with copper-red fronds that mature into a deep green color. With their lush and vibrant leaves, Autumn Ferns provide an attractive contrast to other plants in the garden.

Reaching a height of up to 24 inches, Autumn Ferns are ideal for creating a layered look in your garden. Their compact size makes them suitable for smaller spaces, while their delicate and elegant fronds add a touch of elegance to any landscape.

Autumn Ferns thrive in moist soil and are slow-growing, making them easy to maintain. They spread via underground stems, creating a lush carpet of green foliage. These ferns are specifically adapted to grow in shaded areas, making them the perfect choice for gardens with limited sunlight.

Whether you’re looking to create a tranquil woodland garden or add visual interest to shaded borders, Autumn Ferns are an excellent option. Their hardiness allows them to thrive in USDA Zones 4-9, making them suitable for a wide range of climates. Plant Autumn Ferns in rich, well-drained soil and watch as they bring life and beauty to your outdoor space.

3. Barrenwort

Barrenwort, also known as Bishop’s Hat, is a rare and unusual herbaceous plant that grows up to one foot tall and three feet wide. This unique appearance makes it a standout choice for any garden. With its delicate blooms in colors like pink, yellow, and orange, Barrenwort adds a touch of vibrancy to spring landscapes. Some varieties of Barrenwort are evergreen, featuring intricate veins that enhance their visual appeal even when not in bloom.

This herbaceous plant thrives in partial or complete shade and is well-suited for gardens in USDA Zones 4-8. Barrenwort is also known for its drought-tolerant nature, making it a resilient addition to your garden. Whether you’re looking to enhance a shady corner or bring texture to a wooded area, Barrenwort is an excellent choice for adding a unique touch to your landscape.

4. Bearberry

Bearberry is a low-growing sub-shrub that works excellently as ground cover in full sun to partial shade. It forms a thick mat using rhizomes and produces white or pink flowers from April to June. Bearberry thrives in dry to medium soil moisture and requires acidic soil with a pH ranging from 4.0 to 6.0. It is well-suited for gardens with sandy and rocky soil. Bearberry grows best in USDA Zones 2-7.

5. Blanket Flowers

Blanket Flowers are short perennials that love the heat and attract butterflies to your garden. These vibrant flowers with their orange blooms provide a wildflower look and can tolerate both drought and cooler temperatures. With their striking colors, they can add a pop of vibrancy to any garden.

Most Blanket Flower stems grow between one and three feet, making them a great choice for adding height to your garden. These heat-tolerant perennials require full sun to develop their vibrant red and yellow colors, so make sure to plant them in a sunny spot.

Blanket Flowers are well-suited for USDA Zones 3-10, which means they can thrive in a wide range of climates. Whether you’re in a colder region or a hotter one, you can enjoy the beauty of these orange flowers in your garden.

Adding Blanket Flowers to your garden is not only aesthetically pleasing but also beneficial for butterfly enthusiasts. These flowers act as attractive nectar sources, drawing butterflies of various species to your garden. The bright colors and open form of the blooms make them easy for butterflies to access the sweet nectar.

When it comes to maintenance, Blanket Flowers are relatively low-maintenance. They can tolerate dry conditions, making them a great choice for areas prone to drought. However, they can also handle cooler temperatures, so they’re versatile enough to thrive in different climates.

So, if you’re looking for a heat-tolerant perennial that will bring vibrant orange flowers and butterflies to your garden, Blanket Flowers are an excellent choice for you. Give them a sunny spot in your garden, and watch as they add beauty and charm to your outdoor space.

6. Bleeding Hearts

bleeding hearts

Among the shade-loving flowers, Bleeding Hearts stand out with their unique heart-shaped flowers in pink or red with white tips. These delicate blooms make a charming addition to any garden. Some varieties of Bleeding Hearts grow as short as six inches tall and one foot wide, making them perfect for small gardens and borders. Their compact size allows them to thrive in limited spaces while adding a touch of elegance.

Bleeding Hearts prefer moist, organic soil and thrive in partial or full shade. They are well-suited for USDA Zones 2-9, making them adaptable to a wide range of climates. These shade-loving perennials create a captivating display with their enchanting flowers and add a romantic touch to any garden.


Short perennials flowers offer an excellent solution for adding beauty and color to small gardens and borders. With a wide variety of options ranging from low-growing perennials to compact plants and ground cover options, there is a short perennial to suit every gardener’s preferences. Whether you prefer vibrant flowers or interesting foliage, these plants provide a charming and lasting addition to any small space.

When selecting the best short perennials for your garden, consider the specific growing conditions such as light requirements and soil type. By choosing the appropriate plants that thrive in your garden’s environment, you can ensure their successful growth and maintenance. With proper care and attention, these compact perennial plants will bring joy and beauty to even the tiniest of gardens.

Some popular choices for small perennial flowers include astilbe, with its spikey flowers, and bleeding hearts, with their unique heart-shaped blooms. Other options include bearberry, blanket flowers, and autumn ferns, each bringing their own characteristics and charm to the garden. Dwarf perennial flowers, such as the stunning calla lilies and coral bells, are also excellent choices for adding a touch of elegance to small spaces.

With their versatility and enduring beauty, short perennials are the perfect solution for those seeking to maximize the potential of their small gardens and borders. These compact plants not only offer captivating colors and textures but also help create a sense of harmony and tranquility in your outdoor space. So, whether you have limited space or simply prefer smaller plants, consider incorporating some of these delightful short perennials into your garden.


What are short perennials?

Short perennials are compact plants that grow in small spaces and are ideal for small gardens and borders.

What are the best short perennials for small spaces?

Some of the best short perennials for small spaces include astilbe, autumn ferns, barrenwort, bearberry, blanket flowers, and bleeding hearts.

What are some examples of ground cover short perennials?

Some examples of ground cover short perennials are bearberry, creeping mazus, and creeping thyme.

What are the growing conditions for short perennials?

The growing conditions for short perennials vary depending on the specific plant, but most prefer well-fertilized soil that drains well, partial to full shade, and specific USDA plant hardiness zones.

How do I care for short perennials?

Short perennials require regular watering, proper fertilization, and pruning as needed to maintain their compact size. It’s also important to provide the necessary growing conditions, such as the right amount of sunlight and well-draining soil.

Can I grow short perennials in containers?

Yes, many short perennials can be grown in containers, making them suitable for small gardens, balconies, and patios.

How do I choose the best short perennials for my garden?

When choosing short perennials for your garden, consider factors such as the amount of sunlight the area receives, the type of soil, and your USDA plant hardiness zone. It’s also helpful to select plants that complement each other in terms of color and texture.

Are short perennials low maintenance?

While short perennials generally require less maintenance compared to larger plants, they still need regular care, such as watering, fertilizing, and occasional pruning or deadheading.

Can I combine short perennials with other types of plants?

Yes, short perennials can be combined with other types of plants, such as annuals or taller perennials, to create a visually dynamic and diverse garden.

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