The Perennial Plant of the Year® (PPOY) program began in 1990 to showcase a perennial that is a standout among its competitors. Perennials chosen are suitable for a wide range of growing climates, require low maintenance, have multiple-season interest, and are relatively pest/disease-free. If you are looking for an excellent perennial for your next landscape project or something reliable for your gardens, make sure to check out the Perennial Plant of the Year® archive list.
Since the Perennial Plant of the Year® was introduced in 1990, the Perennial Plant Association has received frequent inquiries about how the Perennial Plant of the Year® is selected. The selection process is quite simple – PPA members vote for the Perennial Plant of the Year® each summer. At that time, in addition to the vote, each member may also nominate up to two plants for future consideration. The Perennial Plant of the Year® committee reviews the nominated perennials (more than 400 different perennials are often nominated each year) and selects 3 or 4 perennials to be placed on the ballot.
Nominations generally need to satisfy the following criteria:
- Suitability for a wide range of climatic conditions
- Low-maintenance requirements
- Relative pest- and disease-resistance
- Ready availability in the year of promotion
- Multiple seasons of ornamental interest
2019 Perennial Plant of the Year®
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8, foliage may remain evergreen in warmer climates.
Light: Full sun to part shade.
Soil: Well drained soil; water as necessary.
Uses: This colorful and compact winner makes an excellent addition to the full sun perennial border. Terrific in combination with ornamental grasses, Echinacea purpurea, and Asclepias tuberosa (2018 Perennial Plant of the Year®). Wiry stems make for a great cut flower as well.
Unique Qualities: Pollinators can't resist the striking midsummer spikes of magenta flowers rising above bright green, trouble-free foliage. 'Hummelo' was the highest rated Stachys in the Chicago Botanic Garden Evaluation Trials for its strong flower production, vigor, habit, quality and winter hardiness.
Maintenance: Spreads slowly by creeping rhizomes. May benefit from division every few years. Strong stems and seed heads add to winter interest. Considered deer-resistant!
PPA members can login to the website to download a PDF of the 2019 PPOY brochure and poster.
Content thanks to Holly Scoggins, Ph.D, Virginia Tech Horticulture and Paul Westervelt, Saunders Brothers. Image thanks to Janet Draper.