Perfect Perennials to Complement Your Annuals

If you were at Bay Landscaping’s 2023 Annuals Event, you already learned about some of the perennials that we recommend planting alongside your annuals.

However, if you weren’t able to make it to that event, don’t worry! Below are the perennials that we think would be great companion plantings for your annuals.

Keep reading to learn about perennials that vary in size, color, planting needs, and more!

An ornamental onion, this Allium hybrid, ‘Serendipity,’ growing in Michigan

Allium Serendipity

An ornamental onion, this Allium hybrid, ‘Serendipity,’ is a fun purple shade. Use in containers or in the ground. It prefers partial to full sun and can grow up to 20 inches tall with a spread of 10 to 15 inches wide.

The flowers attract bees and butterflies but the plant itself is deer and rabbit resistant.

The golden Japanese spikenard (Aralia cordata) known as ‘Sun King’.

Aralia Sun King

Grown often as a shrub, the golden Japanese spikenard (Aralia cordata) known as ‘Sun King’ has color-changing properties.

That is, if it is grown in part sun, it will be a bright yellow. But if grown in full shade, it will be more of a lime green shade.

It also has deep purple berries and small white spring flowers.

Astilbe hybrid know as ‘Dark Side of the Moon’.

Astilbe Dark Side of the Moon

An Astilbe hybrid know as ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ has dark brown leaves (a great contrast against many of our bright annuals), reddish-pink buds, and purple flowers.

Growing to a height of up to 22 inches, it can add some background interest to your property easily and grows in both sunny or shady locations.

Keep in mind that Astilbe plants require a lot of water; they like soil that is consistently moist.

Sombrero Adobe Orange’ Coneflower (Echinacea hybrid).

Echinacea Adobe Orange

With both petals and cones a bright orange shade, the ‘Sombrero Adobe Orange’ Coneflower (Echinacea hybrid) is a colorful flower that works in containers, in the ground, and even as a cut flower to bring indoors.

From left to right, Heuchera coral bells: ball gown, black pearl plant, and dolce cinnamon curls.

Heuchera Coral Bells

Ball Gown

‘Dressed Up Ball Gown’ Coral Bells (Heuchera hybrid) have light or lime green ruffled leaves and white flowers that attract pollinators.

Black Pearl

The foliage of the Primo ‘Black Pearl’ Coral Bells (Heuchera hybrid) is a dark black shade and grows in either shade or sun.

Dolce Cinnamon Curls

‘Dolce Cinnamon Curls’ Coral Bells (Heuchera hybrid) grow orangish-red ruffled leaves that turn to copper, red and purple.

Japanese Forest Grass - All Gold and Aureloa.

Hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass)

All Gold

The ‘All Gold’ variety of Japanese Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa macra) grows up to 14 inches tall and 2 feet wide. The yellowish-gold grass works in a landscape setting or in a container.


‘Aureola’ Golden Variegated Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa macra) grows 18 inches tall and wide. It’s a great ornamental grass for areas that are in full shade. It prefers moist, well-drained soil. In full shade, the color will be less vibrant than in partly shaded locations.

Ligularia hybrid ‘Bottle Rocket’.

Ligularia Bottle Rocket

Known for its dark yellow flower spikes, Ligularia hybrid ‘Bottle Rocket’ attracts bees and butterflies.

This perennial flower prefers cool, shady locations with moist soil.

Heartleaf brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack of Diamonds.

Brunnera Jack of Diamonds

This heartleaf brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack of Diamonds) has leaves that are 9 or 10 inches that are dark green and silver.

Brunnera plants do best in full shade and would benefit from mulch, especially in the winter.

You can also learn about pink and purple perennials that would bring a pop of color to your Michigan yard or garden, here.

Visit Bay Landscaping for Your Perennials

Looking for these or other perennials? Visit Bay Landscaping’s Nursery in the Bay City area for all of your perennial, tree, shrub, or annual needs.

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Jerry Somalski

Jerry is a Landscape Designer, Project Manager, and the President of Bay Landscaping. He began learning about plants and landscape design as a young boy, hoeing in the family nursery and tagging along with the landscape crews who taught him the tools and methods of the trade. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Central Michigan University, he returned to the family business. Jerry has an enthusiastic yet practical approach to landscape design, focused on choosing the right plants (ones that thrive in the mid-Michigan climate) for the right place to create sustainable and spectacular landscapes. He loves to share what he knows with gardeners throughout Michigan! Learn more about Jerry >>

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