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Choosing the Right Perennial for Your Garden

Perennials for Hot, Dry Soils

Hot, sun-baked soils are difficult places to plant. The following should be able to tolerate those kinds of conditions.

  • Achillea
  • Alyssum saxatile
  • Antennaria
  • Anthemis
  • Arabis
  • Artemisia
  • Asclepias
  • Catanache
  • Cerastium
  • Coreopsis
  • Cytisus
  • Dianthus plumaris
  • Echinacea
  • Echinops
  • Eriogonum
  • Euphorbia
  • Gaillardia
  • Gypsophila
  • Helianthemum
  • Hemerocallis
  • Iberis semper.
  • Iris, Bearded
  • Kniphofia
  • Lavenders
  • Liatris
  • Linum perenne
  • Lychnis chal.
  • Opuntia
  • Penstemon
  • Potentilla
  • Ratibida
  • Salvia
  • Santolina
  • Sedum
  • Sempervivum
  • Veronica
  • Yucca

Perennials for Moist Soils

Prefer Sunny Location

  • Carex
  • Eupatorium
  • Iris, Japanese
  • Lobelia
  • Monarda
  • Myosotis
  • Physostegia

Prefer Part Shade-Shade Location

  • Astilbe
  • Bergenia
  • Brunnera
  • Cimicifuga
  • Heucherella
  • Hosta
  • Japanese Painted Fern
  • Lady Fern
  • Ostrich Fern
  • Royal Fern
  • Lysimachia
  • Thalictrum
  • Tiarella
  • Tradescantia

Perennials Requiring Shade or Part Shade

These perennials work well in dried bouquets. Dried perennials can be combined with Wildflowers, ornamental grasses or shrubs with interesting branching habits to make attractive autumn arrangements.

  • Aegopodium (Snow-on-the-Mountain)
  • Ajuga (Bugleweed)
  • Aquilegia (Columbine)
  • Astilbe (Garden Spirea)
  • Bergenia Mahonia (Oregon Grape Holly)
  • Campanula (Bellflower)
  • Convallaria (Lily-of-the-Valley)
  • Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)
  • Euonymus (Wintercreeper)
  • Fern Polemonium (Jacob’s Ladder)
  • Fragaria (Wild Strawberry)
  • Galium (Sweet Woodruff)
  • Geranium (Cranesbill)
  • Glechoma (Ground Ivy)
  • Hedera (English Ivy)
  • Hemerocallis (Daylily)
  • Heuchera (Coral Bells)
  • Hosta (Plantain Lily)
  • Iris (Bearded/Siberian)
  • Lamium (Silver Nettle)
  • Liriope (Lily-Turf)
  • Lobelia (Cardinal Flower)
  • Monarda (Beebalm)
  • Myosotis (Forget-Me-Nots)
  • Pachysandra
  • Parthenocissus (Virginia Creeper)
  • Primula (Primrose)
  • Ranunculus (Creeping Buttercup)
  • Sagina (Irish/Scotch Moss)
  • Sisyrinchium (Blue-eyed Grass)
  • Tradescantia (Spiderwort)
  • Veronica repens (Speedwell)
  • Vinca (Periwinkle)
  • Viola (Wild Violet)

Perennials That Tolerate Dry Shade

Dry shade areas are often the most difficult to plant. Plants suffer from lack of sunlight and available moisture is taken by neighboring trees and shrubs. To overcome such conditions, it is a good idea to add large amounts of organic mulch and begin a regular watering and feeding program, because such soils are also depleted in plant nutrients.

  • Alchemilla (Lady’s Mantle)
  • Brunnera (Summer Forget-Me-Not)
  • Epimedium (Barrenwort)
  • Geranium (Cranesbill)
  • Lamium maculatum (Dead Nettle)
  • Pachysandra (Japanese Spurge)
  • Pulmonaria (Lungwort)
  • Stachys (Lamb’s Ear)
  • Vinca (Periwinkle/Myrtle)

Perennials That Make Good Ground Covers

The following list includes perennials that make good ground covers. They have a wide range of hardiness and are relatively easy to maintain.

  • Achillea tomentosa (Woolly Yarrow)
  • Aegopodium var. (Snow-on-the-Mountain)
  • Ajuga (Bugleweed)
  • Alchemilla (Lady’s Mantle)
  • Arabis (Rockcress)
  • Arenaria (Sandwort)
  • Artemisia (Silvermound)
  • Bergenia (Saxifraga)
  • Cerastium (Snow-in-Summer)
  • Convallaria (Lily-of-the-Valley)
  • Dianthus deltoides (Maiden Pinks)
  • Euonymus ‘Colorata’ (Wintercreeper)
  • Festuca (Blue Fescue)
  • Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
  • Lamium macalatus (Dead Nettle)
  • Lysimachia (Moneywort/Creeping Jenny)
  • Myosotis (Forget-Me-Nots)
  • Nepeta Mussinii (Catmint)
  • Pachysandra (Japanese Spurge)
  • Persicaria (Creeping Fleeceflower)
  • Phlox subulata (Creeping Phlox)
  • Potentilla (Cinquefoil)
  • Sedum (Stonecrop)
  • Stachys (Lamb’s Ear)
  • Thymus (Thyme)
  • Veronica (Speedwell)
  • Vinca minor (Periwinkle/Myrtle)

Perennials That Dry Well

These perennials work well in dried bouquets. Dried perennials can be combined with Wildflowers, ornamental grasses or shrubs with interesting branching habits to make attractive autumn arrangements.

  • Achillea
  • Gypsophila
  • Catanache
  • Physalis
  • Delphiniums
  • Roses
  • Echinacea
  • Sedum
  • Echinops
  • Solidago

Perennials That Cut Well

Your satisfaction is increased by being able to bring in frequent bouquets of cut flowers. If flowers are cut often, plants increase production and bloom over a longer period of time.

  • Alchemilla
  • Anthemis
  • Aquilegia
  • Aster
  • Astilbe
  • Campanula
  • Centaurea
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Coreopsis
  • Delphinium
  • Dianthus barb.
  • Dicentra
  • Erigeron
  • Eupatorium
  • Gaillardia
  • Geum
  • Gypsophylla
  • Helenium
  • Heliopsis
  • Heuchera
  • Hosta
  • Kniphofia
  • Leucanthemum
  • Liatris
  • Lupinus
  • Lychnis chal.
  • Lysimachia
  • Monarda
  • Myosotis
  • Paeonia
  • Physostegia
  • Rudbeckia
  • Scabiosa
  • Stokesia
  • Veronica

Perennials That Provide Garden Fragrance

Perennials that provide fragrance as well as beauty can greatly enhance gardening pleasure. An attempt should be made to place these plants where they can be enjoyed; near a walkway, as a border edging, or in patio containers. Plants with aromatic foliage are included with an asterisk (*)

  • Achillea *
  • Artemisia *
  • Aubrieta
  • Centranthus
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Clematis
  • Convallaria
  • Delphinium
  • Dianthus barbatus
  • Dictamnus
  • Hemerocallis
  • Hosta
  • Hyssop
  • Incarvillea
  • Iris
  • Lavenders *
  • Lupinus
  • Monarda *
  • Nepeta mussini *
  • Paeonia
  • Phlox pan
  • Rue *
  • Santolina *
  • Tanacetum
  • Thymes *
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