10 Best Small Perennial Flowers For Border

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By Arthur Mbanefo

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Finding a couple of perennials that blend seamlessly into your border garden in the surrounding hardscape isn’t as easy as it seems.

That is because a successful border garden maximizes planting space.

As such, you can only integrate flowering plants that suit that profile –having compact growth habits, easy maintenance, versatility, and sociability with other perennials and annuals.

However, if you don’t know which plant to choose, here are some of the best small perennial flowers for border gardening homeowners are using to add color and beauty to their landscape:

Best Small Perennial Flowers For Border

Each of these perennials passes the border garden requirements and can be used in various ways, from filling gaps between larger plants to edging a border or creating a layered effect.

Let’s look into them:

1. Lavender

Lavender will settle in just fine in any border since they are dwarfy, with attention-grabbing purple flowers and gray-green foliage that entices pollinators.

Their soothing fragrance sets the tone. Although, they are not the best pick for crampy borders due to the spreading habit and growing into mounds.

But they will acknowledge the presence of other complementary perennials within the same space. You will do well not to clutter them.

At least a 2 to 3 feet spacing apart from the Lavenders will do, as stiff competition with other plants for nutrients will affect their bloom.

It is also essential to prune once or twice yearly to keep them particularly after flowering. Hence, they will grow wild with an unappealing aura.

Among other things, Lavender likes their soil well-draining since they are susceptible to root rot.

Their sun diet is at least 6-8 hours of daily direct sunlight intake.

2. Dianthus

Dianthus’ compact size makes it an excellent edging and bordering flower plant.

They are low-growing, charming, fragrant blooms that reach maturity at 6 to 18 inches, although it depends on the variety.

You can choose your dianthus in shades from red and pink to bi-colors, whichever suits your border’s color scheme.

Dianthus has a long blooming season from late spring to early summer. However, some species re-bloom if deadheaded.

Their delightful, spicy fragrance is a HUGE addition to your garden’s ambiance, as they draw in bees and butterflies that help to enhance its biodiversity.

3. Coreopsis

I’m not Coreopsis’ biggest fan, but it ticks all the boxes of a small perennial flower for the border.

They don’t grow extensively and, as such, won’t overpower neighboring plants. They remain compact yet produce bountiful blooms that light up any garden style.

Whether it is a formal or cottage garden, socializing with other perennials and annuals gives the Coreopsis an edge.

Since various cultivars are available in many different colors, sizes, and growth habits, this allows for easy customization within the border.

Moreover, their blooms can put up a long-lasting show. 

Aside from that, they are drought tolerant, can stay thirty, and are less bothered about the soil they grow in.

4. Sedum

The sedum doesn’t have the prolific and cheerful daisy-like flowers like most perennials on this list.

However, it is unique in its way.

This succulent grows colorful, fleshy leaves with star-shaped flowers. And as with every member of the succulent family, they are drought tolerant.

Even in the rocky soil with limited water availability, sedums will thrive. Their low-growing and spreading habit qualifies them in border gardening.

You won’t see many pollinators, but the year-round interest adds textures to your border.

5. Phlox

Phlox has many varieties, but the creeping, woodland, and garden phlox are the most suitable for borders.

These choices are popular for small and larger borders. Some are even ideal as ground cover and thrive in rock gardening.

But generally, Phlox is very demanding. Since they are susceptible to rot and diseases, they crave regular watering, adequate sunlight daily, and good drainage.

6. Heuchera 

Another huge addition to border gardens is the Heuchera, commonly known as coral bells.

They can grow from anywhere 6 to 18 inches and are even considered for edging.

The long stems are topped with delicate, bell-shaped flowers that add a touch of elegance.

Even without the blooms, the foliage is a year-round interest, from green, silver, and purple to variegated colors.

Heucheras are also shade tolerant and can thrive from partial to full shade.

7. Bergenia

I don’t mind throwing in Bergenia and Heuchera within the same space. 

Both offer contrasting foliage colors and textures that are so refreshing to watch. Aside from that, they have a lot in common.

Bergenia and Heuchera are long-lasting bloomers, attract pollinators, and are low maintenance.

Although these perennials have different but closely related blooming times, Bergenia blooms much earlier in spring, while Heuchera gifts your garden in late spring to early summer.

This ensures your garden remains colorful with bountiful blooms. But you must pay attention to their specific growing requirements.

Also, how you arrange them and maximize their varying heights and growth habits within the border says a lot.

8. Creeping Jenny

The astonishing low-growing habit of Creeping Jenny and ground covering potential qualify it as a border plant.

Their trailing foliage makes them ideal for edging pathways or garden beds. They create this carpet-like present that covers bare soil and suffocates weeds.

Creeping Jenny also works well with taller perennials or spring-blooming bulbs to add color.

But remember that the creeping jenny cherishes its spacing and comfort more than anything else, as this encourages healthy growth.

However, they can trespass and become overly territorial when given free hands. So remember to prune periodically to keep it within its boundaries.

Furthermore, they aren’t too picky on soil as long as it is moist and well-draining.

9. Aubrieta (Aubrieta deltoidea)

Aubrieta’s low cascading flowering can make a huge statement on your border.

And unlike the creeping Jenny, Aubrieta are low-maintenance creepers. They don’t require frequent trimming or deadheading.

Their ability to suppress and choke weeds within their trailing path makes them likable for border edges and rock gardens.

Aubrieta also sends invites to migrating pollinators to help the ecological diversity of your garden.

However, they do well in well-drained, alkaline soil and don’t tolerate overcrowding.

10. Tiarella

The Tiarella has such an exceptional partnership with the Heuchera. Both perennials complement themselves.

The Tiarella, or foamflower, has showy foliage and dainty white blooms that look good alongside the bell-shaped Heuchera.

Even without their spiky, star-shaped flowers, they create an all-year-around interest thanks to their deeply indented patterned leaves.

Of course, pollinators will come lurking and perching, distributing pollen. But you can’t downplay Tiarella’s spacing. They don’t like the feeling of being overcrowded or competing for resources.

They love moisture-retentive soil and can thrive in partial shades.

Conclusion

Remember you MUST meet with each of these perennials’ demands. Depriving them from their needs will only result in shallow growth and short-lived blooms.

So before choosing, consider your landscape sunlight availability, soil conditions, and climate suitability if it aligns with the plants.

We have provided the little we can, but you can go the extra mile to ensure a conducive environment for your newly integrated plants.

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