10 Beautiful Plants You Can Plant In May 2023

Looking to plant some perennials in May but don’t know where to begin? Depending on your climate and geography, you have several different possibilities. Jill Drago, a gardening expert, talks you through 15 of her favorite perennials to plant in May in this post!

Spring has arrived! Your garden beds have been cleaned, and your perennials are beginning to sprout and bloom. May is a difficult month to plant. I’m usually wanting to get my gardens going, but it’s too chilly where I live to plant any annuals. So the greatest thing I can do is stock up on perennials.

You’re not alone if you’ve opted to add some new perennials to your garden in May. Many gardeners realize that they need more filler plants or simply want to add some other flowers that will return season after season.

So, where do you begin? Fortunately, there are several quick-blooming perennials that might be excellent choices for planting in May. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite perennials to plant in May, along with their names and photographs!

Bleeding Heart

  • Scientific Name: Lamprocapnos spectabilis
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Height: 24-48″ Width: 24-36″
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to Full shade
  • Plant Zone: 3 to 9

This traditional perennial has some of the most interesting blossoms. The stems have an erect or arching habit and are covered in little white or pink hearts. These blooms bloom in mid to late spring and last until early summer. When the weather warms up, they will die back, leaving holes and gaps in your gardens. Remember this as you add a bleeding heart to your flower gardens.

Hostas and astilbe would make excellent companion plants, filling up the gaps well. Alternatively, you might plant summer annuals in the places where your bleeding hearts were. The bleeding heart requires relatively little upkeep. If you want to keep your landscape nice, trim the plant back after the flowering period is through.

However, if you planted a bleeding heart in a wooded environment or are simply not disturbed by some brown leaves in the summer, you can leave the plant alone and enjoy it until it shrivels and dies.

Bleeding heart prefers well-draining soil rich in organic substances, such as compost. Maintain a damp but not soggy environment for your plant! Bleeding heart thrives in full to partial shade and produces the most flowers. Aside from common garden pests like aphids, no one is interested in eating your bleeding hearts.

Black Eyed Susan

  • Scientific Name: Rudbeckia Hirta
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Eastern and Central North America
  • Plant Size: 20 – 23 in. tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 3 to 9

The black-eyed Susan is a wildflower that behaves like a perennial. All summer long, the cheerful yellow perennial blooms dance around in your yard, drawing pollinators of all kinds. The flower’s dark brown, practically black center lends the plant its name as well as the look of a sunflower.

These blooms require very little care. Deadhead wasted blooms to encourage further flower growth and to keep the seed from spreading. This plant, on the other hand, looks excellent in a native garden. Leaving the seed heads on the stems can add interest to your garden in the autumn and winter.

Black-eyed susans require little irrigation and are drought hardy, making them ideal for a hot, sunny setting. Black-eyed Susans can attract deer and rabbits. Plant them near critter-resistant plants like coneflower or lavender to keep them away from your plants.


  • Scientific Name: Sanguinaria canadensis
  • Plant Type: Perennial rhizome
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant size: 8-20 inches tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full to partial shade
  • Plant zone: 3-8

If you have access to a large enough region, this is a wonderful alternative. Bloodroot thrives in the shade, and a mass planting would look great in a woodland border. This plant is a perennial rhizome, which is comparable to a bulb but has a more consistent return than certain spring bulbs. Each plant has one lovely white perennial flower that blooms in early spring. Because the bloom time is so short, a mass planting would be stunning.

The good news is that Bloodroot has really lovely foliage that grows throughout the summer. There isn’t much flower upkeep to be concerned about because of the short bloom time. Bloodroot is pest-free; slugs may be your main problem. Be cautious, since this plant is extremely harmful to both humans and animals.


  • Scientific Name: Iberis
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Mediterranean
  • Plant Size: 12-18 inches tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Plant Zone: 7-11

Candytuft is a lovely spring blooming. The low-growing fern-like foliage is covered in clusters of white blooms that resemble cotton balls. There are also pink and purple versions available! The flowers will continue through the summer and may even rebloom in the fall!

Candytuft enjoys the sun and tolerates rough soils. Creeping phlox would be an excellent companion plant; imagine the two of them bursting over a rock wall together; it would be a breathtaking sight.

Cut the plant down once a year after the blossoms have faded to avoid the stems from turning woody. Candytuft is a woody plant by nature, but it looks best when cultivated as a herbaceous perennial. Aside from regular garden pests, candytuft is remarkably pest and disease-free.


  • Scientific Name: Aquilegia
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 18 inches tall
  • Sun Exposure: partial shade to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 3 to 8

The columbine plant’s distinctive blossoms come in nearly every hue of the rainbow. They will bloom throughout the spring and into the summer, attracting a variety of pollinators, including hummingbirds. The foliage is also very appealing, with a rich green color that changes to a deep scarlet in the fall. Columbine grows nicely in the broad sun until the summer heat sets up.

Plant columbine in partial shade if you live in a region where the weather can get scorching. Deadheading will keep the columbine blooming for a longer period of time. However, if you want to reap the benefits of self-seeding, leave the flowerheads on the stems. Pests are mostly insignificant. Aphids and leaf miners, on the other hand, have been reported to infest Columbine. Using horticultural oil, such as neem, will help to solve this problem.

Cushion Spurge

  • Scientific Name: Euphorbia epitheloid’s
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Southeast Europe
  • Plant size: 1-2 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to partial sun
  • Plant zone 4-8

This is one of the most interesting plants. This plant has a brilliant look since it blooms twice in spring, once in yellow and then a little later in bright green. The cushion spurge reaches a height of around 18 inches and has a lovely mounded or “cushion” shape. The plant will keep its shape throughout the season and will provide some eye-catching orange, purple, or red foliage in the fall. Cushion spurge might be mistaken for fall chrysanthemum if you look at it fast in the fall.

Cushion spurge requires very little upkeep. It prefers full sun and may grow in a variety of soil types, including rocky gardens. To maintain the plant’s lushness and prevent woody stems, cut it down by one-third. Cutting the plant back will also impede self-seeding, so leave it alone if you want it to spread.

Cushion spurge is frequently disregarded by most garden pests, which is most likely due to its toxicity. If any portion of the plant is consumed, it is hazardous. Because the milky sap

Creeping Phlox

  • Scientific Name: Phlox stolonifera
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Eastern United States
  • Plant size: 3-8 inches tall, 2 feet wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Plant zone: 3-9

This is one of my favorite spring bloomers, sometimes known as moss phlox. Star-shaped perennial flowers in pink, white, or lilac cover the grass-like foliage. I enjoy watching this plant creep along the edge of a driveway or over a stone wall. The flowers only survive a few days, but they leave behind a lovely mat of greenery. After the blooming period has been over, you may choose to give the entire plant a good cut.

This will promote a second bloom, but it is not required. Cutting the plant back in early winter will strengthen it, allowing it to produce more profuse blooms. This is a very low-maintenance plant, as long as you don’t mind it spreading around a little. Okay, a little more than a little. This plant will grow everywhere you allow it to. Except during hot weather, keep watering to a minimum.

Creeping phlox, like its taller cousin, garden phlox, is susceptible to powdery mildew infections. This usually happens when the phlox is put in too much shade and gets too much water! The presence of mites is another pest issue that may arise. Mites prefer dry, hot plants. Water the plant on a regular basis, but do not soak it. This will assist to keep the mites at bay as well as prevent any drought-related plant stress.


  • Scientific Name: Echinacea
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 2-3 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Part sun to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 3-9

Echinacea, sometimes known as coneflower, is a member of the daisy family. These vibrant perennials are an excellent addition to any garden. There are so many new coneflower hybrids that there is a color or flower type for everyone. Once the blossoms have faded, cut to the nearest set of leaves.

I prefer to take the seedheads of my coneflowers, let them dry, and then disperse them in a more natural area of my yard. Coneflowers require little watering once they’ve established a strong root system. When they get thirsty, their leaves droop. Coneflowers have been coated in the lace-like leaves left behind by Japanese beetles. Take precautions by spraying them with insecticidal soap.


  • Scientific Name: Iris
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Central and Southern Europe
  • Plant Size: 12 – 14 in. tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 3 to 10

There are numerous Iris kinds to keep your garden flowering throughout the summer. Iris is a traditional plant that everyone adores. It’s simple to see why. The Bearded Iris is the most common form of Iris flower planted in gardens. Even within this group of Iris, there are numerous kinds to choose from.

The flowers differ in color from the well-known blueish purple to white and yellow. The foliage is grass-like and appealing all season long. Rhizomes are the roots of iris plants. As the plant grows older, the rhizomes will expand and reproduce. Keep a watch on the plants; if the blooming has slowed, the rhizomes may need to be divided.

Irises are drought-tolerant and require little care. After the foliage has yellowed, cut it back. Although it may be tempting to prune the foliage before this, it is critical to allow the leaves to yellow. During this time, the leaves are transporting nutrients back into the rhizomes, assisting the plant in preparing for the next season’s growth.

After the blossoms have faded, deadhead them to let the plant regenerate. Irises are drought-tolerant, but only to a certain extent. During prolonged dry conditions, some watering will be required.


  • Scientific Name: Helleborus
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Southern and Central Europe
  • Plant Size: 1-2 ft. tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Full Shade, Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 6 to 9

Hellebore blooms well in late winter and early spring. Planting in May will allow this plant to establish itself in your garden and be ready to provide many flowers for you the following spring. This could also be a good time to find these plants on sale at a garden center. Hellebore flowers have five sepals that mimic rose blossoms. They come in a variety of colors ranging from white to pink to a deep purple that almost seems black.

Their foliage is appealing and frequently has a silver tinge to it, giving it a delicate appearance. Hellebores are low-maintenance plants that like shade in the summer and sun in the winter. Hellebore is an evergreen plant that does not require pruning at the end of the season. If you have a difficult winter, the leaves will flatten and turn brown, therefore you should cut the plant back to the ground.

Hellebore attracts common garden pests such as aphids and slugs; keep your plant healthy by watering it infrequently. Hellebore prefers damp but not wet soil with good drainage. This is another dangerous plant, so use caution when planting it! Keep pets and youngsters away from this, and it will make a lovely addition to your spring garden.