Perennial Edible Plants

drpclarke Posts: 53 ✭✭✭

I am interested what perennial edible plants that you grow or would like to grow. I have made a conscience effort to move more and more in that direction. I am currently growing:

  1. Horseradish
  2. Sun Chokes
  3. Perennial Spinach
  4. Grapes
  5. Peaches, Apples, Persimmon, Paw Paw,
  6. Kiwi
  7. Goji Berry
  8. Elderberry
  9. Egyptian Walking Onions
  10. Thyme, oregano, sage, Rosemary
  11. Rhubarb
  12. Asparagus
  13. Red Currants
  14. Raspberry
  15. Strawberries


  • Momma Mo
    Momma Mo Posts: 138 ✭✭✭

    I don't see garlic on your list. I think that would be a great addition. I also enjoy growing spearmint and lemon balm. They make a great tea together! We just planted Egyptian walking onions. Can't wait to see how they do in our garden.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    I am moving in that direction as well; I don't have the energy to plant everything I want each year lol. This year I am primarily adding new herbs (some perennial, some annuals that reseed) and new sources of greens. I want to add a lot more, especially fruits. I do have a goji berry and a fig tree. A perennial garden really frees up time to use for other things as well as the energy involved.

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @drpclarke Some of the perennial plants that I have grown and/or are growing include the following:

    1. (White) Yarrow
    2. American Black Elderberry
    3. Goldenrod (several varieties)
    4. Hoary Mountain Mint (and other native mints)
    5. Aronia
    6. Pawpaws (from seed)
    7. Boneset
    8. Common Milkweed
    9. Eastern Red Bud (from seed)
    10. Stinging Nettle

    and more...

  • Jens the Beekeeper
    Jens the Beekeeper Posts: 643 admin

    I would definitely add gooseberry, tree collard, blueberries, josta berries, pear, cherries all the herbs, wild garlic,

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    Some that I haven't seen mentioned yet are chives, mint, sorrel and cranberry. We also have a variety of perennial onion (not Egyptian walking onion) that we got from Baker Creek Seeds that are on their fourth year coming up - they grow from the same planted bulb and divide in the ground - makes huge lush green onion tops for cutting and makes it through our zone 5 winters :)

    @Obiora E we grow Aronia berry too :) what have you done with yours??? Always looking for fresh ideas :)

  • Fts
    Fts Posts: 16 ✭✭✭

    There are also several other perennial alliums including Japanese bunching onions aka welsh onions and perennial leeks. Both are easy to grow and very tasty.

    here is the first in a three video series about them.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,375 admin
    edited March 2020

    Very nice lists. It is quite a bit colder in my area (zone 3, prairies), so what might be perennials for some further south are annuals here.

    If I look around at what perennial edibles we have planted in addition to what was already here, we would have:

    Raspberries, haskcap, nanking cherries, rhubarb, horseradish, sorrel, grapes, walking onions, green onions, onion chives & daylilies (petals), yarrow. There were already saskatoon & pincherries & lits of edible perennial weeds here (nettles, plantain, chickweed, dandelion, wild mint, etc).

  • DeeperEating
    DeeperEating Posts: 63 ✭✭✭

    What growing zones are you all growing in? I am definitely interested in bulking up my perennial garden and want to know what might be possible for me. I'm 6a!

  • TiffanyMilner
    TiffanyMilner Posts: 13 ✭✭✭

    I love herbs! Rosemary, lavender, mint oh my. Kale and mustard can grow for a long time if harvested often and protected from extreme heat. Berries are great. Even roses are an edible perennial. Rhubarb, asparagus, and artichoke if it is protected maybe. I want to try the perennial bean from true leaf market. However I have not yet. Maybe someone else has?

  • drpclarke
    drpclarke Posts: 53 ✭✭✭

    bejer19 I am in 8a

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @chimboodle04 I just put them in the ground in January. I plan to dehydrate and use them in trail mix. I also plan to use them in jams and syrups. I will also of course eat them raw (as is). What have you done with them?

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    @Obiora E We dehydrated some, but honestly have not used them yet, they are so sour... I also made some into an aronia syrup to use in place of elderberry since we do not have elderberry bushes yet. They are so high in antioxidants that I thought it was worth a try, and it seems to have worked as a good immune booster :) Did not have other fruit saved to mix them for jam, but they would be great in that and I believe that is the best way to get the most out of their health benefits from what I have read :)

  • sallyhoward
    sallyhoward Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    I am planning to plant some new blueberries in a raised bed to replace some that didn’t survive transplanting and underplant with strawberries as I have read that they make good companions

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    This is a wonderful discussion! I’m concentrating on perennial veggies too. I’d rather grow flowers and herbs and pretty ornamental shrubs and go on vacation so my veggies always get neglected but I’m feeling the pressure to grow my own food and would prefer to eat from the garden (mine, actually) so I’m hoping if the majority is perennial and then I throw in some greens I will be good.

    I am 1 block of the Pacific Ocean in Central Oregon in zone 8a. I grow artichokes and rhubarb, garlic, walking onions and leeks now. And I have a crab apple and a plum tree and two elderberries. Plus over 20 varieties of herbs. I will be planting asparagus this week and adding strawberries, blueberries and raspberries this spring.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,517 admin

    How about nuts? I live in zone 3b/4. Hazelnuts grow wild here but I would like to have some in my yard so I don't have to wander so far to wild harvest. A neighbour has a walnut tree that she planted from seed about 30 years ago and it produces nuts intermittently; some years with a good crop. So if it produces here, it should do much better in warmer zones.

    In addition to the herbs mentioned above, I have valerian which seeds itself prolifically all over my garden as well as being a perennial. Horehound will also seed itself here (though not quite like the valerian), but the main plants will sometimes die in the winter unless it is a milder one. Hyssop does well in this climate and so does marshmallow. Anise-hyssop will occasionally winter over. Lovage is an excellent perennial to have. In addition to its culinary uses it makes a great trap crop for black aphids. They collect themselves on the seed heads so it is easy to cut the heads off and burn them. I have seen lovage at old homesteads high up in our local mountains, beyond zone 2. Lovage will also seed itself. Give it lots of room; its a big plant. While this is not a perennial, I planted mustard a few years ago and have never had to replant as I have so many volunteers coming up; I just replant those into more appropriate locations. Garlic chives are a bit tender and rarely survive the winters in my garden but would in just a bit warmer climate. I have both Russian and French Tarragon. The Russian grows very well, even in poor conditions, and spreads quite a bit. The French doesn't spread as easily but survives the winters well. Wild Tarragon is a native herb here.

    I planted Haskap berries (aka Honey berries), Lonicera cerulea, a few years ago. They survive OK but I don't think I have them in the proper soil as they have been slow growers. The berries are delicious, though. If you have never heard of these berries, here is a link to Haksap Canada where you can check out its health benefits (high in antioxidants, Vitamins A & C, fibre) and get some yummy recipes.

    Other berries that have survived in my garden are tayberries and gooseberries. I am going to add blackberries this year. I tried goji berries but the deer got them. Will try again but will fence the new plants with chicken wire until they are bigger.

    I would like to expand my orchard. I have two apple trees, one Montmorency cherry and several shrub cherries. Pears will grow here and I would like to try a sweet cherry again. The last one did not survive but I have a different, more protected location in mind for the next one.

  • burekcrew86
    burekcrew86 Posts: 248 ✭✭✭

    Some of the things I grow are strawberries, dill, and peppermint. The peppermint I plant in a container and bring indoors when winter comes. The dill seems to reseed and come back every year. Peppermint is great to dry and use for medicinal herbal tea.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    We have

    1. rhubarb
    2. blueberries
    3. black raspberries
    4. wineberries (wild)
    5. strawberries
    6. gooseberries
    7. pears
    8. quite a few herbs

    @torey I had a honey berry icecream bar when I was in Japan.

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @chimboodle04 Thank you for sharing! I will have to give you an update on how I use them after I have some to harvest. About how many years did it take from transplanting until you were able to harvest fruit from them?

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba You mentioned black raspberries, but did not say they were wild?! I didn't realize that any commercial varieties existed. The only ones that I have seen are the wild ones.

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    @Obiora E We were able to harvest the first year! We bought our plant from the local nursery - prob 3-4 years old already...? Beautiful in spring as well with the flowers - really a great shrub!!!

  • Jens the Beekeeper
    Jens the Beekeeper Posts: 643 admin

    @torey I would love to have nuts but there is just not enough space :-0

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @chimboodle04 Oh okay. Sounds cool. I am not sure how many years it is.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    @Obiora E as a matter of fact, I have both wild and cultivated black raspberries. The cultivated are slightly larger and sweeter, the wild are a little more flavorful. They seem equally productive and easy to grow, as far as I have noticed. I think we got our cultivated raspberries from Stark Brothers-

    Might be the bristol variety? It sounds familiar.

    If you are wondering why we have both, when we moved to our house the yard was considerably more manicured. We wanted black raspberries, so we planted them. We are ,um, "minimalist" when it comes to yard work, so the wild brambles moved back in on the perimeters of our property. We discovered they were black raspberries and wine berries, and were pretty happy. Now we have more wild than cultivated.

  • pamelamackenzie
    pamelamackenzie Posts: 143 ✭✭✭

    @drpclarke , horseradish sounds interesting to grow. Do you grow in pots or raised beds to keep it from getting invasive? Or has that not been a problem?

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba Oh okay that makes sense. Thank you for the clarification and sounds good! I have noticed that typically the wild ones will outnumber the domesticated ones.

  • drpclarke
    drpclarke Posts: 53 ✭✭✭

    @pamelamackenzie I actually planted it in the front of my house in between the house and the sidewalk knowing that it would expand out. It sure did expand out. I am okay with having just started a nursery. I also planted them in raised beds (I started them in big plastic bins), but they got too hot and started to die. I then moved them into raised beds filled with compost and they are doing well. They do need to watered frequently. I never liked horseradish before I planted it. Now I love the dips that I can make to eat with most anything. Thanks for the question.

  • drpclarke
    drpclarke Posts: 53 ✭✭✭

    As the season picks up, I have been adding more perennial plants around the house to include:

    1. Globe artichoke
    2. Salad Burnette
    3. Purple chives
    4. Red Welsh Onions.

    I to have a bunch more stuff later.