Answer: There are a number of perennials that will do well in containers during the summer, but you will also need to make provisions for protecting their roots from excessive cold during the winter. Most perennials also need a relatively large container compared to annuals because the perennials need to to gain some size and maturity before they will bloom with much of a show.
Having said that, here are a few perennials to try. For shade, hostas do beautifully in containers and are available in a wide range of foliage colors and textures. Astilbe will also thrive and bloom in a container of very rich, moist soil in partial shade. For a sunny location, you might try ornamental grasses, purple coneflowers, lance-leafed coreopsis, smaller daylilies and the taller sedums. Many of the herbs also do particularly well in containers.
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