Would you like to plant your fruit and vegetable garden once, and then not have to plant anything in it again for a decade? That is, in fact, achievable, if you only plant perennial vegetables and fruits in your garden.
But first, you need to know which plants are perennials.
Today we're going to walk you through a variety of fruits and vegetables which are considered perennials. Keep in mind; some perennials may have to be planted as annuals depending on which planting zone you live in.
Here are the perennial fruits and vegetables you should fill your garden with:
When someone tries to create a list of perennial vegetables asparagus always comes first because they're popular and start with the letter A.
Funny story, when I first began gardening I didn’t realize asparagus was a perennial. I only started growing it when I learned that perennials could save me a great deal of work over the years.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a delicious vegetable which will return year after year, asparagus is the way to go.
Asparagus can be grown as perennials in zones 3-8.
Do you like vegetables that can clear your sinus? If so, horseradish will be right up your alley. Horseradish are commonly used to make a delicious sauce to spice up sandwiches or other meals.
Horseradish also has medicinal properties. It is said to cure urinary tract infections, gout, colic, nerve pain, painful joints, and many other health issues.
Horseradish can be grown as perennials in zones 4-7.
Watercress is another perennial plant which can be used in a variety of ways. Mainly sandwiches and salads.
It also has medicinal properties as well. Watercress may help easing symptoms of the flu and cough if you’re struggling with a cold or other respiratory illness.
Watercress can be grown as perennials in zones 6-9.
4. Goji Berries
Goji berries are native to East Asia but became popular in the west because of its health benefits. They can be used to make wine, dried and eaten as a snack, cooked with, or eaten raw.
Goji berries can be grown as perennials in zones 3-10.
Gooseberries tend to be sour, so they’re best enjoyed cooked down and mixed with sugar. From there, you can make a variety of jams and jellies. You can also make a delicious gooseberry pie with them.
Gooseberries can be grown as perennials in zones 3-8.
6. Egyptian Walking Onions
Story time. In my early gardening days, my husband met a woman through his job who was a seasoned gardener. She sent him home one day with Egyptian walking onions, which I had never heard of.
These onions are perennials. They grow upward until they fall over and plant a new seed next to them. Once you plant one, you'll end up with a whole bunch of onions which are delicious and interesting to see grow.
Egyptian walking onions can be grown as perennials in zones 3-9.
7. Wild Leeks (Ramps)
Wild leeks which also known as ramps can be foraged or grown in your garden.
If you forage for them, be sure to look in highly wooded areas. They’ll only sprout for approximately a month during the spring. You can pick enough during this time (usually) to enjoy them raw or to pickle them for later use.
Wild leeks can be grown as perennials in zones 3-9.
We have a raspberry patch at our home, and I love it. Raspberries are easy to grow and will return with more vengeance with each passing year.
Fun fact, don't plant raspberries near black walnut trees. We didn’t know this at first, and wondered why our raspberries suffered. After we cut the tree down, the raspberries thrived. Also, be sure to plant them where they will get plenty of sunlight.
Raspberries can be grown as perennials in zones 6-9.
We also have a blueberry patch at our home. It’s a wonderful addition to our raspberry patch, and they are tasty too.
Blueberries come in around the first of June and finish up early to mid-July. Like the raspberries, every year they come back stronger and stronger, which is a beautiful sight to see.
Blueberries can be grown as perennials in zones 3-7. Some varieties can only grow in zones 4-5.
We also have some blackberries on our properties. They come in a little later than the blueberries.
The best thing about blackberries is that they produce large berries and require very little work. We prune our berry bushes around late winter/early spring, and they produce wonderfully year after year.
Blackberries can be grown as perennials in zones 5-10.
Strawberries are a delicious plant to grow as a perennial around your home. The original plant will birth baby plants which return year after year.
What makes strawberries an excellent addition to a perennial garden is they can be grown whereever they can sprawl out. You can grow them in containers (I’ve grown them in barrels with great success,) or you can grow them in raised beds.
Strawberries can be grown as perennials in zones 5-8.
The vineyard at our home is the best thing about our yard. We produce enough grapes to enjoy raw, can, make jelly from, and juice.
Grapes can be grown as perennials in zones 4-10.
Lemon trees are only perennials in certain locations. If you live in an area where frost and freezing temperatures are common over winter, lemon trees won’t survive.
But you can still have them all year if you plant the tree in a container and willing to move it indoors or to the greenhouse over the winter for protection.
Lemons can be grown as true perennials in zones 9-11.
Like lemons, lime trees are also perennials in certain locations because they don’t stand up well to frost and freezing temperatures.
If you don’t live in a warmer climate, it’s a good idea to plant lime trees in a container to be able to move them to a sunnier location when needed.
Lime can be grown as perennials in zones 8-11.
We have some fig trees on our property in zone 7b, and so far they handle cooler temperatures well within reason, even though the recommended zone starts at 8.
In our planting zone, we have cold temperatures for irregular periods and snow on occasion. Be sure to check your planting zone to know if figs should be treated as a true perennial, an annual, or planted in a container to have growing success in your area.
Fig trees can be grown as perennials in zones 8-10.
Mulberries are awesome. Mulberries have many benefits such as supporting healthy blood sugar levels, supporting your immune system and providing antioxidants. You can eat them raw, dry them, or make a syrup for pancakes or ice cream.
Mulberries can be grown as perennials in zones 5-9.
I adore our peach trees. They produce all the peaches we need for our enjoyment every year. I also have enough to can for later use throughout the year.
If you’re looking for a perennial sweet treat to grow in your yard, peaches could be the way to go.
Peach trees can be grown as perennials in zones 6-8.
Nectarines are similar to peaches. They both grow on trees and produce for many years.
The main difference is in the fruit. Where peaches have fuzzy outer layers, nectarines don’t. They have a smooth skin which is great for eating raw, or you can preserve your harvest for later use.
Nectarines can be grown as perennials in zones 6-8.
Like most citrus, mandarins have a difficult time holding up to frost and freeze. You should plant them in a container if you don’t live in a planting zone where they can overwinter. I’ve personally done this in the past and had decent success with citrus trees.
Mandarin oranges can be grown as perennials in zones 8-11.
Rhubarb is a personal favorite of mine to grow. It takes a few years for it to begin producing, but it comes back larger and larger with each passing year.
Be sure to plant it where it won’t be disturbed over winter. You will have to mulch the rhubarb to protect the roots during the cold, but it’s worth the effort. Rhubarb makes excellent pies.
Rhubarb can be grown as perennials in zones 3-8.
In most planting zones, kale is grown as an annual. You can plant in early spring for your first harvest and plant it again in late summer for your second harvest.
However, if you live in the right planting zone, kale is a biennial or short-lived perennial. Meaning it will come back every other year and need to be replanted after it’s second year of harvest.
Kale can be grown as biennials or short-lived perennials in zones 8-10.
22. Globe Artichokes
Globe artichokes are a pretty perennial that taste delicious. The light green color and the round balls of artichoke make such a nice combination.
Artichokes can be grown as perennials in zones 7-11.
Banana plants must be treated with care when grown in cooler planting zones or they won’t produce or last long.
For that reason, if you live in a colder area, it’s a good idea to place banana plants in a greenhouse to meet their needs and enjoy their fruit for years to come.
Some banana varieties can be grown as perennials in zones 5-10.
If you’re going to grow perennials in your garden, they might as well make the garden look good in the process. Currants are a gorgeous berry that'll improve the look of your yard.
Currants are for more than looks, they taste delicious and can be used to make an incredible jam.
Currants can be grown as perennials in zones 3-8.
Unlike most berries, serviceberries are produced on a tree. Though, it’s a smaller tree, which means you could treat it as either a dwarf fruit tree or a larger bush.
Serviceberries can be grown as perennials in zones 4-9.
If you like honeysuckle, you’ll also love this plant because they are related to the honeysuckle plant. This plant produces berries with a great balance of both sweetness and a little sour. Honeyberries can be used in different desserts, jams, and even bread puddings.
Honeyberries can be grown as perennials in zones 2-9.
They look like a banana, but if you’ve ever eaten one, you know they taste different. But they are still close relatives.
Like bananas, plantains need the right growing environment to be raised as a true perennial. Even if you grow them in a greenhouse, you’ll be glad to have them around as they make a fantastic alternative to potato chips.
Plantains can be grown as perennials in zones 9-11.
Radicchio looks a great deal like red cabbage, but one bite into it and you’ll soon realize that it’s not a red cabbage at all. They belong in the chicory family.
Radicchio can be grown as perennials in zones 6-8.
Lovage is an early producer. Around the time dandelions begin to bloom in your yard, you should be on the lookout for lovage to start sprouting.
It’s loaded with vitamins C and B and can grow in both full sun and shade. Lovage is also versatile as it can be used as a salad green or in cooked dishes in the place of celery.
Lovage can be grown as perennials in zones 4-8.
Papayas are produced on a tree and can be grown as a perennial in certain planting zones. When grown outside of their planting zone, you need to protect them from freezing temperatures during the winter months.
They’re known as a short-lived perennial. Meaning they won’t live as long as other perennials. The average lifespan of papaya trees can be anywhere from two to ten years.
Papaya trees can be grown as perennials in zones 4-9, or 9-11 if grown outdoors.
31. Jerusalem Artichokes
Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes, are root vegetables with a starchy flavor, similar to a potato.
Jerusalem artichokes must be treated with care in both growing and eating. They can become invasive when growing if not handled correctly. They can also cause severe stomach pains if you eat too many of them.
Jerusalem artichokes can be grown as perennials in zones 3-8.
32. Chinese Artichokes
Chinese artichokes are small, squiggly tubes that can be harvested over the winter. They're a great choice if you're looking to improve your garden's winter productivity.
These artichokes can be used in a variety of ways. One of the most popular ways is to include them in a winter stir-fry.
Chinese Artichokes can be grown as perennials in zones 5-9.
Capers are grown naturally in a Mediterranean climate and can be grown as a perennial in certain planting zones.
It grows in bush form. The capers are picked from the bush and pickled in a salty brine. It’s a distinct flavor, but many people enjoy them.
Capers can be grown as perennials in zones 8-10.
This vegetable is a close relative to the gourd. If you don't consider gourds to be the most delicious plant on the planet, try chayote. They taste different, and many people love it.
Chayote is crammed full of vitamins such as vitamin B, C, iron, potassium, and many others. They are also low-calorie, flavorful, and a great addition to soups and casseroles.
Chayote can be grown as perennials in zones 8-11.
35. French Sorrel
Sorrel is considered an herb and belongs to the buckwheat family. I’ve personally grown this as a perennial and found it very delicious.
Even though it's a herb, sorrel doesn’t have to be used as traditional herbs. I preferred to pick it and add it to a mixed green salad. Sorrel adds a nice peppery flavor. Here's some more ways to use sorrel.
Sorrel can be grown as perennials in zones 5-11.
Most people grow garlic as an annual, we plant it in the fall or early spring and harvest later in the year.
Well, you don’t really have to do this because garlic is actually a perennial. Plant garlic once and harvest only the largest heads each year. The rest will continue to produce more for years to come.
Garlic can be grown reliably as perennials in zones 3-9.
Muscadines are another wonderful perennial you should consider. We have a large area in our garden for muscadines, and we enjoy them year after year.
They’re great for eating raw, preserving, or making wine from. If you enjoy muscadines, consider growing your own.
Muscadines can be grown as perennials in zones 7-10.
Apples are a classic fruit with many different varieties. They grow on a tree and some survive well in various climates.
If you enjoy a sweet fruit to eat raw, something you can bake with, or even a homegrown juicing option, you should grow apples.
Hardy apple varieties can be grown as perennials in zones 3-5, while long-season varieties can be grown as perennials in zones 5-8.
Pears are another perennial fruit which grows on trees. Pear trees are gorgeous when in bloom and they tend to do well in different climates.
If you'd enjoy pears to eat raw or to cook with, add them to your garden. They make a gorgeous and tasty addition.
Pear trees can be grown as perennials in zones 4-8.
Our final perennial fruit is cherries. Cherries are an excellent addition to any garden. The trees smell lovely and are gorgeous when blooming.
But the best part of cherry trees are the cherries. They taste wonderful, can be enjoyed raw, and make delicious desserts.
Cherry trees can be grown as perennials in zones 5-9.