Jupiter’s Beard: Long-Blooming Flowers That Come Back Every Year

by | Updated: Dec 9, 2021

Jupiters Beard 'Pink Valerian' is drought tolerant and one of the best flowers for Colorado and Utah

Would you like pretty flowers that bloom all summer, return every year AND are drought tolerant?

Yes, pleassssse!

I can’t wait to introduce you to Jupiter’s Beard (aka, Red Valerian). It’s official botanical name is Centranthus ruber.

If you want long-lasting color, I think it’s one of the best flowers for Colorado, Utah and similar western states. It’s one of my favorites.

Close up of Jupiters Beard 'Red Valerian'

Centranthus ruber 'Red Valerian' (aka, Jupiters Beard) in a western garden

Here are just a few reasons to add Jupiter’s Beard to your garden

This flower plant is:

  • Easy to grow
  • Colorful and showy
  • Drought tolerant (this means you don’t have to water it much once its roots are established in your garden — which is awesome in our semi-arid climate)
  • Tolerant of hail (it bounces back quickly from light hailstorms)
  • Resistant to nibbling deer and rabbits (they tend to skip it for munching)

And it’s a MAGNET for butterflies, bees and moths.

Seriously, it’s like Grand Central Station for pollinators.

I constantly find myself heading back into my house to get my camera because there’s a new butterfly dancing across its flowers.

“Oh, hey there, Swallowtail butterfly!”

If you want a flower that attracts butterflies, plant Red Valerian (aka, Jupiter's Beard). Here it is with a Swallowtail butterfly.

The Monarch butterfly in the photo below visited my Jupiter’s Beard plant in October.

(Yep, flowers and butterflies well into October!!)

A monarch butterfly on a flower of Jupiters Beard 'Pink Valerian'

And its color goes on, and on, and on …

When you’re planning a garden, I think one of the biggest challenges can be finding perennials (the flowers that come back every year) that give you showy color for a long time.

Most perennials only bloom for a few weeks, and then they’re done for the season.

The beauty of Jupiter’s Beard is that it will keep pushing out new flower blooms over the whole summer.

The only catch is that you need to keep up with trimming off the faded blooms, so new buds can grow in.

Jupiters Beard is a long-blooming flower for semi-arid gardens

And if you don’t trim off the dead blooms?

Well, this happy-go-lucky plant will send its seeds EVERYWHERE.

It’s like a birthday card with glitter on it. No many how many times you vacuum, you keep finding more glitter.

Friends, the seeds on this plant are like glitter.

So, put Jupiter’s Beard in a spot you want to fill in with more flowers OR be diligent about trimming off the dead blooms.

You can find Jupiter’s Beard with red, pink or white flowers

The red variety is more of a dark pink than a true red, but it’s still very pretty.

Jupiter's Beard (aka, Centranthus and Red Valerian) comes in red, pink and white colors.

Jupiter’s Beard is happiest when it gets A LOT of sunshine.

It grows well up to elevations of about 9,000 feet.

And if you’re familiar with plant hardiness zones (which tell you whether a plant is likely to survive winter temperatures in your area), Jupiter’s Beard typically grows well in gardens in zones 4-9.

Jupiter's Beard comes in flower colors like pink, white and red

Do you live outside the intermountain west?

If you live in another region of the country, ask at your local garden center whether Jupiter’s Beard can be grown where you live.

Jupiter’s Beard can spread aggressively in maritime regions (like the West Coast), so there are places where it isn’t allowed.

Related tips that may interest you:

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Ann from Go West Gardener with her flowerpots and garden

Hey there, I'm Ann

I’m a Certified Colorado Gardener, dog mama and Midwesterner-turned-Colorado girl. I help budding gardeners in the intermountain west skip the “Why didn’t anyone tell me that phase?”, so they can get pretty results faster. More about Ann >>

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