Best Plants to Grow in Your Survival Garden Part 2 – 16 Must-Grow Perennial Edibles

Grow these usual perennials in your survival garden: they’re the plants that keep on giving!

When building a survival garden, trying to organize planting schedules every year for your annual plants can get difficult. On top of that, if you don’t grow enough of something, or if you aren’t able to preserve the extra amount that you produce, you have to wait until the next growing cycle to start harvesting again.

See also: Best Plants to Grow in Your Survival Garden Part 1: The Basics

Unless you have a greenhouse with a somewhat stable climate, it is almost impossible to get high yields out of a plant all year round. Some plants, like kale, can be planted in cycles in order to have high yields but it is still governed by certain growing seasons.

This is why many plants are called annuals, meaning that they only produce in certain seasons every year, or they may need to be replanted every year. While growing annuals is rewarding and will be necessary to make any survival garden complete, it can get tiring and expensive to get new plants every year (especially if you are starting from seeds).

Many people enjoy having a certain number of perennial plants in their survival gardens as well, for that reason. Unlike annuals, perennials don’t have a specific growing season and they survive through many years. Typically, they are slower to grow than annuals, but these plants truly keep on giving and giving throughout the years.

Herbal Tea & Medicinal Herb Garden Starter… Grow your own fresh medicinal and tea herbs indoors or outdoors. Nothing beats having f… [More] – Price: $59.99 – Buy Now

Perennial Plants for Your Self-Sufficient Survival Garden

  1. Garlic
  2. Licorice
  3. Horseradish
  4. Moringa
  5. Stevia/Sweet Leaf
  6. Ginkgo biloba
  7. Rhubarb
  8. Artichoke
  9. Sweet Potato
  10. Choko/Chayote
  11. Kangkong/Water Spinach
  12. Cassava
  13. Goji Berry
  14. Fig
  15. Dates
  16. Huckleberry

Many gardeners already plant many perennials without even knowing it. For example, many common herbs like thyme, lemon balm, rosemary, and sage are perennials. Lemons and oranges can even be grown as a perennial in warmer climates (and in greenhouses in colder climates). Or grow them in a food forest self-sufficiency garden, which creates its own microclimate!

Recommended: Five Late Summer Growing Herbs

Perennials can be a great way to keep supplying your family with food all year round. In this article, I’ll take you through some of the more unusual perennials that can be planted in your survival garden to support you and your family on your self-sufficiency journey.

Perennial Herbs for Survival Gardens

1. Garlic (Allium sp.)

GARLIC BULB (9 Ounces), FRESH CALIFORNIA SOFTNECK...
  • A great tasting healthy. Organic, Heirloom, Non-GMO
  • Easy to Grow and Harvest from Bulb
  • Great Producer--Lots of Bulbs per plant
  • Better Than Anything in the Store
  • Buy only Country Creek Brand by Country Creek--Not Chinese...

Garlic, while not uncommon to see in a garden, is usually grown as an annual. To allow it to become a perennial, you should “forget” about it for 2-3 years after planting. By that time, each clove of garlic will have many green shoots coming out of the ground along with garlic scapes that you can use in your cooking.

If you have the patience and if you like garlic, try planting a few cloves as a perennial! This plant is hardy from zones 5-10.

2. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

SAFLAX - Liquorice - 30 Seeds - Glycyrrhiza glabra
  • The oldest crop and medicinal plant of old cottage gardens...
  • 30 seeds per packet
  • With detailed instructions for successful potting.
  • Originally the Liquorice was native in the Mediterranean...
  • The Liquorice is most certainly one of the oldest medicinal...

Licorice is a pleasant shrub that produces the sweetest roots. Licorice root is as sweet as syrup and has an amazing smell. It takes a couple of years to grow large enough to be harvested. Once it is old enough, you can either dig up the entire plant by the roots, or trim the roots as they grow if you want smaller harvests.

Hardy to zones 9-11, it can also be grown in a greenhouse or microclimate. 

3. Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)

Horseradish Roots Natural Organic Ready to Plant 1...
  • You are Buying 1 pound on Horseradish roots - Ready to plant
  • Plant in early spring or late fall
  • Can be planted almost anywhere in your garden except for the...
  • Will grow in all kinds of soil; however it is a good idea to...
  • Images are for reference only and are of mature plants * In...

Horseradish is a perennial that produces peppery and bitter-tasting leaves that can be used in salads. Cooking usually takes out the “spicy” taste, while eating it fresh can give you a peppery rush.

This plant is a must if you are prone to colds or congestion! Eventually, you can harvest the roots to make a tasty condiment. Horseradish can become a weed, so it would be a good idea to grow in a large pot or give it lots of space in the garden. This plant is hardy from zones 3-9 and actually does well in colder climates.

Recommended: What Makes a Seed “Bad”?

4. Moringa (Moringa oleifera)

Organic Moringa Seeds | 1000 Seeds Approx.|...
  • Each pack contains 1000 seeds approximately.
  • Our Moringa Seeds are rich in Vitamin C, calcium, potassium,...
  • These edible seeds are small, have a subtle flavor and are...
  • Meticulously harvested and packed you may rest assured that...
  • This Organic Moringa Seeds are from conventionally grown Non...

Moringa is a great tree that produces leaves that are full of vitamins and minerals. There are so many benefits that moringa is a must in every survival garden! This tree grows quickly and can survive in all warm climates as long as it is well taken care of. It may lose its leaves in colder climates, so it is best to grow it in a greenhouse if you live in zones 7 and below.

Recommended: Total Guide to Moringa – Why You Should Grow the Miracle Tree

5. Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)

Seeds: Stevia Sweet Herb Plant-7 Seed -Non… This sweet herb native to Sou… [More] Price: $2.69 – Buy Now

Stevia/Sweet Leaf is a great sugar substitute to have in your garden. It is especially good if you or anyone in your family has diabetes or high blood sugar since it does not increase your blood sugar or give you any calories.

This plant does best with plenty of sun, and the leaves can be harvested and dried when they are big enough. Hardy to zones 9-11, but does best in hot and humid conditions.

6. Ginkgo biloba

(2 Gallon) Ginkgo, Ginkgo biloba - Also Called The...
  • (2 Gallon) Ginkgo, Ginkgo biloba is also called the...
  • Full Sun, Partial Sun
  • Height 40 - 60 feet Width 30 - 40 feet
  • Pest and disease resistant
  • Beautiful fall color. Zones 4 - 9.

Ginkgo biloba is another great tree to have in your survival garden due to the benefits of the leaves. You can use these leaves to make a wonderful tea that uplifts mood and gives you a wakeful focus (without caffeination).

The ginkgo tree grows across North America, and you can choose to grow a female or male plant. The roots actually do well in salty soil, so definitely grow this if you live near the ocean. Hardy to zones 3-9 depending on the variety you choose.

Perennial Vegetables/Greens for Self Sufficient Gardens

7. Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)

Seeds: Rhubard Seeds. This variety was developed specifically to produce red sprouts. Sprout stems are a colo… [More] Price: $10.36 – Buy Now

Rhubarb is a great perennial to have in your garden because it is full of vitamins and can be used in both cooking and baking. It is especially good if you live in a cooler environment. According to UC Sonoma, Rhubarb does great in soil temperatures between 40-75 degrees fahrenheit.

Remember to only eat the stalks, and not the leaves! Hardy to zones 7 and below.

8. Artichoke (Cynara scolymus)

Seeds: Artichoke – Green Globe -1 Oz- Non-… Green Globe Artichokes contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants found in gree… [More] Price: $8.51 – Buy Now

Artichoke is a tasty plant that takes about two years to start flowering. This plant takes up a lot of space, and the flowers (edible parts) are harvested before they open. Artichoke hearts are a yummy treat to grow in your garden.

This plant will die back in frost, so it enjoys a warmer environment or a greenhouse. Hardy to zones 9-11.

9. Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas)

KOUYE GardenSeeds- 50pcs Sweet Potato Seeds Garden...
  • The sweet potato is an annual decorative plant.
  • Sweet potatoes are warm, cold and cold-resistant, the...
  • Soil: low-boiling soil, rich in organic matter Sandy loam,...
  • The sweet potato is a one-year decorative plant. Occasion:...
  • Sweet potatoes have a high dryness tolerance and the soil...

Sweet potatoes are, of course, a great and tasty perennial to grow, and many gardeners flock toward this one because it is relatively easy to grow.

This running vine can be planted just as easily as placing an old sweet potato on its side under 2-4 inches of soil. Make sure to plant these in early summer as it needs a few warm months to get started, and they are ready to harvest within four months. Hardy to zones 8-11.

Recommended: We’ve Got You Covered: A Guide to Cover Crops

10. Choko/Chayote (Sechium edule)

Chayote Live Plant aka Sechium Edule, Pear Squash,...
  • Instructions on how to plant are always available for every...
  • Our plants are all organic healthy and strong root system....
  • Photos provided are for preference only and do not...

Choko/Chayote is a perennial, vining vegetable that tastes like squash. The whole “fruit” can be eaten, seeds and all. To grow, plant an entire fruit under the ground and allow to sprout. It would be smart to use a trellis for this plant! Hardy to zones 8-11.

11. Kangkong/Water Spinach (Ipomoea aquatica)

2018 Hot Sale!! Maslin Thai Water Spinach Kangkong...
  • 100% Brand New & High Quality
  • Package includes: 30 seeds
  • Type: Perennial

Kangkong is full of protein, vitamins, and minerals so it is a great addition to all survival gardens. It is also known as water spinach, and is very easy to grow. It loves hot, humid, and wet climates, and produces delicious greens. It will spread easily, so grow it in a pot or make sure it has lots of room in the garden. It’s a great groundcover for your wild food forest!

In my opinion, Kangkong (water spinach) is the best perennial alternative to spinach, and definitely the best spinach to grow in warmer climates. I spent years trying to grow spinach but they always failed. Either it was too hot, the plants were attacked by bugs, or some other calamity.

It is genuinely mild-flavored and actually tastes like spinach, possibly even nicer. You can use it just like spinach in cooking, smoothies, sandwiches, etc. It’s not like other spinach alternatives where they tell you it’s such a lovely flavor but it actually tastes like pond slime… This spinach actually tastes yum!

Hardy to zones 10-11, but can be grown as an annual elsewhere.

12. Cassava (Manihot esculenta)

Cassava is a tuber-like plant that can be grown in all warm climates. These plants produce starchy root-vegetables that are similar to potatoes and are a good source of carbohydrates in your survival garden. This plant can be grown in pots and prefers warm, dry climates. Hardy outdoors in zones 8-11.

Fruits for Survival Gardens

13. Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum)

Big Lifeberry® Goji Berry
Big Lifeberry® Goji Berry – $15.95
from: Nature Hills Nursery, Inc.

Goji Berries are a great berry to grow in your survival garden because they are full of vitamins B and C, and they can even be dried and preserved. They have been touted as superfoods in recent years.

This plant grows like a spreading shrub and takes about two years to really give you a good harvest. These plants also do well in large pots, which can prevent it from spreading. Goji berries are somewhat freeze-tolerant and are hardy in zones 5 and up.

14. Fig (Ficus sp.)

Osborne Prolific Fig Tree
Osborne Prolific Fig Tree – $62.95
from: Nature Hills Nursery, Inc.

Figs are a great perennial fruit to grow in your garden as these fruits are sweet and can be dried. They are high in fiber, calcium, and other essential minerals. Fig trees can be grown both in the ground and in large pots if you live in a colder environment. Hardy in zones 8-11, but can be grown in a greenhouse or pots to protect it from frost.

15. Dates (Phoenix dactylifera)

Date Palm Seeds – Plant Your Own – Contains...
  • Grow Your Own Date Palm Tree
  • Can grow to over 100 feet tall
  • Great Southwes Gift or Souvenir
  • Dates are sweet, tasty, nutritional treats!

Dates are a great fruit to grow for those who have diabetes or want to keep their blood sugar low. They are high in fiber and can be good for heart health as well! These fruits are grown on a date palm tree, which takes about 4 to 8 years to mature and bear fruits. If you have the patience, these are a delicious snack to have around! Hardy in zones 9-11.

16. Huckleberries (Vaccinium sp.)

Huckleberries, which look like blueberries, are an incredible berry bush that has been the main recipe in many pies, jams, and candies in the US. These bushes are perfect for those who have a lot of shade, as the plant gives a greater harvest when it’s planted in the shade.

There are few different variations of this plant, some that do better in warmer climates, and those that do best in colder climates. They are of the Nightshade family to make sure you identify them correctly as some can be poisonous. 

It’s a good idea to plant perennials in all gardens because you can harvest the fruits of your labor all year. Other annual plants are good to harvest every year, and can give you enough food to preserve for later. Perennials, though, take out the guesswork of when to grow and harvest which plant. You plant them once, and they keep on giving!

Are you growing any of these perennials in your self-sufficient or survival garden? Share your tips with us below!

Last update on 2020-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dan-Elle-Meager-Outdoor-Happens-Self-Sufficient-Backyard-HomesteadsAffiliate Disclosure

Outdoor Happens is an affiliate with Amazon and some other companies we believe in. As an Amazon Affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. This article contains affiliate links. We hope you’ve enjoyed this article! Want to read more? Homesteading | Gardening | Outdoor Cooking | Tools | Vegetable Gardens | About OH | Favorite Products 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on print
Share on email

More Outdoor, Gardening, and Homestead!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find lots of unique solutions for your home, cabin or farmhouse at LEHMAN'S Old Time General Store! Shop now!

Salad starter Kit

Start your salad garden seeds indoors and get a jump on the growing season!

As low as $13.64

Free shipping over $45 (Lower 48 States)

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Send-Mail-1a.png

Love the Outdoors?

Get the best outdoor articles straight to your inbox!