17 May Blooming Perennials to Plant Right Now

Are you looking for some perennials you can plant now that will bloom in the month of May? There are a number of different flowering perennials you can plant right now, and have blooming this month! In this article, gardening expert Jill Drago shares her favorite May blooming perennials to get into the ground as soon as possible.

May Blooming Perennial Flower in Garden


Spring is upon us, and our gardens are waking up! While our spring bulbs begin to fade, we often notice gaps in our garden that we suddenly want to fill with more flowers!

While there are countless perennial flowers that you could pick up and plant in your garden, not all of them will be blooming in May. They may bloom later in the summer when the heat ramps up. 

If you are looking to give your garden an immediate boost, here is a list of our favorite May blooming perennials that you could grab from your garden center and get planted today!

‘Baby Kim’ Lilac

These ‘Baby Kim’ Lilacs are a sight to behold with their elegant clusters of delicate purple flowers. The lilac branches are sturdy, yet gracefully arching, giving the plant a natural and charming shape. The leaves are a deep green and provide a lush backdrop for the stunning blooms.
Despite being small, this lovely lilac produces an abundance of stunning purple flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Syringa ‘Baby Kim’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 2-3 feet tall, 2-3 feet wide 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

If you love the look and aroma of traditional large lilacs but do not have the space or would like to add them to your flower beds, ‘Baby Kim’ is an excellent lilac variety to try! This cute lilac will max out at 3 feet tall but will still produce loads of beautiful purple flowers.

When the bloom period has ended, the heart-shaped leaves will remain lush and green throughout the summer.

The uses for ‘Baby Kim’ lilac are endless. Plant this variety throughout your perennial gardens, as a specimen plant, in containers, and definitely add it to spaces where you can enjoy the aroma as well as the pollinators it attracts.

Bleeding Heart

A close-up of Bleeding Heart featuring heart-shaped flowers that have shades of pink and white, contrasting beautifully with the arching, deep green branch they are attached to. The leaves are deeply lobed and green in color.
To avoid gaps in your landscape, plant bleeding heart with other shade perennials.
botanical-name botanical name Dicentra spectabilis 
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial Sun 
height height 2-3 feet tall, 1-3 feet wide 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

An old garden favorite, bleeding heart is beautiful perennial that adds a touch of elegance to your gardens. With attractively cut leaves, this perennial produces tall arching stems that are decorated with heart-shaped flowers that are either pink or white. 

The only downside to bleeding heart is that the foliage will fade away along with the flowers, which can leave gaps in your landscape. Plant bleeding heart amongst your other shade perennials to avoid this issue. 


A close-up of Candytuft's dainty, white flowers. The small flowers are clustered together in perfect symmetry, creating a beautiful carpet of blooms. The leaves are thin and deep green, providing a stunning contrast to the snow-white flowers.
After blooming, pruning the candytuft can prevent it from becoming too leggy.
botanical-name botanical name Iberis sempervirens
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun 
height height 1 foot tall, 1-2 feet wide 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Candytuft is a beautiful low-growing woody perennial. The woody stems will only grow to one foot high but can sprawl up to 2 feet wide, making this a great plant for a sunny ground cover or rock garden. The flowers themselves are clusters of tiny white flowers, accenting the deep green foliage very nicely.

If you live in a warmer region, candytuft is an evergreen plant. For the most part, candytuft is resistant to most diseases and insects. However, because it is so low growing, you may run into issues with slugs or snails. When your candytuft has finished blooming, cut the plant back to keep it from getting too leggy!

Carpet Bugleweed 

A close-up of Carpet Bugleweed's delicate, blue flowers which form a stunning carpet of blooms. The tiny flowers are clustered together on long, slender stems that arch gracefully over the leaves. The leaves are deep green and form a dense, low-growing carpet.
In late spring, it produces purple flower spikes that emerge from the dark leaves.
botanical-name botanical name Ajuga reptans
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial sun to Shade 
height height 3-6 inches tall, 1-3 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

This purple creeper can be a lifesaver for gardeners with shade in need of a ground cover. The very dark purple leaves of the carpet bugleweed can creep up to three feet. During the late spring, purple spikes of flowers will begin to pop up from these dark leaves.

You can plant carpet bugleweed in areas where you have difficulty getting grass to grow. It will even tolerate mowing once the blooms have passed. If you are not in need of a lawn replacement, carpet bugleweed will grow beautifully in between stepping stones or simply as a ground cover. This perennial is very low maintenance and relatively resistant to wildlife


A close-up of  Columbine's intricate flowers that have a delicate blend of white and purple with yellow centers. The Columbine's leaves are a beautiful deep green and form a stunning backdrop for the strikingly beautiful flowers.
This plant is perfect for adding charm to garden edges and borders.
botanical-name botanical name Aquilegia spp. 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to Partial shade 
height height 1-3 feet tall, 1-2 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Columbine is a beautiful perennial with many varieties in a rainbow of colors. The flowers of the columbine plant are unique and add a touch of whimsy to your garden.

The foliage grows in clumps of deeply cut leaves, and the flowers are born from strong stems blooming above the foliage. 

This is a short-lived perennial. It does self-seed quite easily, however. If you do not want this plant reproducing, deadhead the flowers as they fade. Add columbine to your perennial gardens that get dappled shade. They also add charm to garden edges and borders. 

Cushion Spurge

A close-up of Cushion Spurge showcases its vibrant yellow flowers. The plant's branches are covered in narrow, bright green leaves, creating a lush and vibrant look.
This is a perennial that can thrive in areas with poor or infertile soil and requires a sunny location.
botanical-name botanical name Euphorbia polychroma
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial sun 
height height 1-2 feet tall, 1-2 feet wide 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Cushion spurge is an excellent plant for your border gardens! This perennial grows in a very attractive mounded shape and will produce yellow flowers towards the end of spring that will last into the summer. The leaves remain a soft shade of green until the fall when they will turn a seasonally appropriate shade of reddish purple. 

Plant cushion spurge in a sunny spot in your garden where you might have poor or infertile soil. This perennial is low maintenance and resistant to most insects, diseases, and wildlife. 

Hardy Geranium

A close-up of Hardy Geranium featuring its delicate purple-pink flowers. The plant's branches are thin and wiry, with small green leaves that are deeply lobed.
Its foliage is stunning throughout the year, and its nodding flowers in pink or purple provide classic elegance.
botanical-name botanical name Geranium spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to Partial shade
height height 1-2 feet tall, 2-3 feet wide 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-8

Hardy geranium, also known as cranesbill, is a well-loved perennial by many gardeners. Its foliage is beautiful all season long, and its purple or pink nodding flowers add timeless beauty. When the first round of flowers passes, give your hardy geranium a haircut to encourage a second bloom

Hardy geraniums make great additions to your perennial gardens or your foundation flowerbeds. Once your geraniums are established in your garden, they can withstand a bit of drought. 

Jacob’s Ladder

A close-up of Jacob's Ladder displays the charming blue-purple flowers, which are shaped like small bells and hang in clusters from the branches. The leaves are arranged in a ladder-like pattern along the branches, with each leaflet having a serrated edge and a deep green color. There are water droplets on the surfaces of the flowers.
Jacob’s ladder is a perennial that thrives in partial shade, but it is susceptible to powdery mildew.
botanical-name botanical name Polemonium caerulem
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to Partial sun
height height 1-2 feet tall, 1-2 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 -9

Jacob’s ladder is an upright growing perennial with fernlike green leaves and strong stems that bear bluish-purple cup-shaped flowers. These pretty flowers can reach up to one inch in diameter. The leaves are made up of 20 leaflets, giving the plant its fernlike appearance. 

If you plant Jacob’s ladder in partial shade, keep your eyes peeled for powdery mildew. This perennial works well in any perennial flower bed but would add something extra special to a rock garden.

Remove the flower stems when their flowers have passed. This will neaten the look of the plant and could promote a second bloom later in the season. 

Lady’s Mantle

A close-up of Lady's Mantle exhibits the small, yellow flowers that bloom in clusters on tall, thin stems. The leaves are round in shape, and green in color. On the surfaces of the leaves, there are water droplets.
If you let the flowers mature on the plant, it might cause self-seeding, leading to invasiveness.
botanical-name botanical name Alchemilla mollis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to Partial Sun
height height 1-2 feet tall, 1-2 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

Lady’s mantle is a classic plant with timeless beauty. Largely grown for its chartreuse green leaves, this perennial produces yellow-green flowers that rise above the foliage in clumps. Lady’s mantle grows in clumps of large green leaves and makes a beautiful accent to any garden.

Plant lady’s mantle in a mass as a border, as well as throughout your perennial garden. Save the flowers for accents to your indoor bouquets.

If you allow the flowers to mature on the plant, you may notice some self-seeding that can cause the plant to become invasive. Deadhead your flowers to promote a second bloom!

Lamb’s Ear

A close-up of Lamb's Ear displays the unusual flowers, which are small and purple and grow on tall spikes that shoot up from the center of the plant. The leaves have a fuzzy texture and silver-green color. Each leaf is shaped like a lamb's ear and has a unique veining pattern that adds to the plant's visual appeal.
Lamb’s ear is a stunning perennial with velvety silver leaves, commonly cultivated for their appearance.
botanical-name botanical name Stachys byzantina
sun-requirements sun requirements Sun Exposure: Full sun to Partial sun
height height 1-2 feet tall, 1-3 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-10

Lamb’s ear is a beautiful perennial grown mostly for its velvety silver foliage, but it does produce stalks of purple flowers towards the end of spring, adding a splash of color to our gardens.

If you do not like the look of the flowers, you can cut them back and be rewarded with more foliage making this perennial an excellent low-growing perennial or ground cover.

Plant lamb’s ear as a border or edging plant. This perennial can tolerate full sun or partial shade and is not picky about its soil. Remove any damaged or discolored leaves to tidy up the plant’s appearance and encourage more foliage growth. 

Lily of the Valley

A close-up shows the delicate, bell-shaped flowers of Lily of the Valley. The white blooms are arranged on slender, arching stems that rise above clusters of dark green leaves. The leaves are narrow and pointed, with a glossy finish that catches the light.
Plant this perennial with caution, as all parts of the plant are toxic if consumed.
botanical-name botanical name Convallaria majalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial sun to Shade
height height 6 inches to 1 foot tall, 6 inches to 1 foot wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-7

Lily of the valley is a dreamy perennial with the most attractive foliage and decorative blossoms around. The white bell-shaped flowers can remain in bloom for 3 weeks. Lily of the valley will spread quickly once it is established. Keep this in mind when you are selecting a location for this pretty plant. 

Plant lily of the valley on a woodland edge for a naturalized look. You can even plant lily of the valley in containers. Be sure to trim some of the flowers to enjoy indoors!

Be safe where you plant this perennial. Every part of this plant is poisonous if ingested. It is also listed as an invasive perennial species in many areas, so do some homework and plant with care. 


A close-up of a Pansy flower with purple and yellow petals that are velvety and smooth. In the background, a blur of green leaves creates a soft, dreamy effect.
Pansies come in a rainbow of jewel tones, so you can choose your favorite color.
botanical-name botanical name Viola spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to Partial Shade
height height 6 inches – 1 foot tall, 1-2 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-10

The classic spring bloomer, the pansy, will still be producing beautiful flowers into May. If you have not planted pansies yet, it is not too late! In fact, as it’s towards the end of flowering season for these, you may luck out and find them on clearance. This might be a great time to stock up since these cute little flowers will bloom again in the fall. You can find pansies in a rainbow of jewel tones. 

Plant pansies in containers or in your flower beds. When temperatures begin to rise, trim back the flower stems and move potted pansies into the shade.

Keep them watered, and they will bloom again in the fall. You can always transplant your pansies to a shadier space, such as a woodland edge, to enjoy their happy faces over and over again. 


These Peony plants are a riot of color and texture. The flowers are enormous and ruffled, with layers of petals in shades of pink, red, and white. The sturdy stems are thick and woody, while the leaves are glossy and deeply lobed, adding an extra layer of texture.
Adding peonies to your flower beds and cutting garden is a great idea.
botanical-name botanical name Paeonia lactiflora
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to Partial shade
height height 2-3 feet tall, 2-3 feet wide 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

Peonies are well-loved for their gorgeous large blooms. These perennials can make quite a splash in late-spring gardens. This perennial is vase-like in growth habit.

Strong stems support large green leaves as well as large show-stopping blossoms. These flowers come in a variety of colors, making them a perfect fit for any garden. 

The peony blossoms will last about a week and a half under perfect conditions. Add these perennials to your flower beds but don’t forget to plant some in your cutting garden so you can enjoy the aroma indoors as well. Adding a peony hoop to help support the heavy weight of the flowers is a great idea. 

Sea Thrift

Several Sea Thrift plants are shown featuring their delicate flowers that are soft pink, with a papery texture. The slender stems are upright and slender, holding the blooms aloft. In the background, more Sea Thrift plants can be perceived.
This plant is generally resistant to pests and diseases and requires very little maintenance.
botanical-name botanical name Armeria maritima
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to Partial sun
height height 1 foot tall, 1 foot wide 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Sea thrift is a fun perennial and looks its best when it is planted in groups. This plant produces mounded foliage that looks very much like grass. From this tuft of grassy leaves, single tall and rigid stems will produce pink or white ball-shaped flower clusters. 

Sea thrift grows best in full sun and dry sandy soils. It makes a nice addition to a border garden and is beautiful when used as a ground cover or throughout a rock garden.

I have even seen sea thrift planted in containers, which is really fun. Sea thrift is generally pest and disease resistant and very low maintenance!

Siberian Bugloss

A close-up of Siberian Bugloss flowers showcases their unique beauty. The delicate blooms are a vivid blue, with tiny, star-shaped petals arranged in clusters along slender branches. The branches are delicate and wiry, with green leaves that add to the plant's overall charm.
If you don’t want it to self-seed, make sure to include deadheading on your list of tasks.
botanical-name botanical name Brunnera spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial sun to Shade
height height 1-2 feet tall, 1-3 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

The foliage of Siberian bugloss is particularly beautiful and the main attraction to this perennial. However, I do not think this plant’s small flowers should be dismissed.

If you have a lot of shade in your gardens, you understand how difficult it can be to work flowering plants into your landscape. Siberian bugloss produces tiny blue perennial flowers that bloom in clusters throughout the spring. 

Siberian bugloss grows best in rich soil. This perennial will self-seed, so be sure to add deadheading to your to-do list if this is not something you wish for. You can plant Siberian bugloss as a specimen plant, but it is truly beautiful when planted in a mass as a groundcover.

Siberian Iris

A close-up of vibrant Siberian Iris with deep purple petals and white accents at the center. The petals are delicate and slightly curved, with a velvety texture that's pleasing to the eye. The green stems are slender, providing a sturdy base for the blossoms to bloom.
It is recommended to plant this perennial in the springtime for the best results.
botanical-name botanical name Iris sibirica
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to Partial sun
height height 2-4 feet tall, 1-3 feet wide 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

Siberian iris is a beautiful addition to any perennial garden. Similar to other iris varieties, the Siberian iris has sturdy and thick grass-like foliage that remains attractive for a decent amount of time. The flowers are smaller but still just as beautiful and come in a wide variety of colors. 

The best time to plant Siberian iris is in the springtime. While this perennial can tolerate some shade, it grows best in full sun. Siberian iris is a tough plant that is very low maintenance and deer resistant!

Spotted Dead Nettle

A close-up of the Spotted Dead Nettle takes center stage with its striking pink and white flowers. The petals are small, delicate, and slightly curled, adding a sense of elegance to the plant. The leaves at the back of the flowers are a rich shade of green, providing a lovely contrast to the flowers.
This is a semi-evergreen perennial that makes an excellent ground cover in shady regions.
botanical-name botanical name Lamium maculatum
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial Sun to Shade
height height 6-8 inches tall, 1-2 feet wide
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Spotted dead nettle is a low-growing perennial that makes a beautiful ground cover in your shadier areas. This perennial is semi-evergreen in warmer regions, and its leaves are a soft green with a silver center.

The light purple flowers are small and hooded. These flowers will begin blooming towards the end of spring and continue into fall. 

Spotted dead nettle is known for being deer and rabbit resistant. Plant this ground cover on the edges of your flowerbeds. Cut back the flowers when they begin to fade. This will help the plant produce more lush foliage for more coverage. 

Final Thoughts 

Consider growing one or more of these flowering beauties to instantly beautify your garden! These perennials are tried and true, and will continue to perk up your flower beds for seasons to come

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