10 Sun-Loving Plants For Your Midwest Garden

May 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm  •  Posted in Blueprint, Home Maintenance by  •  0 Comments


Whether you’re an avid gardener or a beginner, your garden will be more successful if you stick to plants that actually want to thrive in the Midwest. I have lost count of how many times I have been dazzled by a beautiful, exotic, perennial flower at the garden center only to have it shrivel up and die. It just didn’t want to be in my backyard!

So I would like to share my top ten recommendations for perennial plants that are beautiful and will also thrive in your Midwest (Zone 5) garden if you plant them in the sun. Although there are many varieties, these are my favorites:

  1. Peony – has huge fragrant double blooms in spring. The Peony in our garden is pale pink. Plant in full sun but away from the house because this plant will attract ants. Good for cut flowers.

    Ants opening a peony bud in my garden

    Ants opening a peony bud in my garden

  2. Bee Balm – pinkish red mounding flowers in the summer. Plant in sun or part shade.

    Bee Balm via Bonnie Plants

    Bee Balm via Bonnie Plants

  3. Aster – lavender flowers in late summer or early fall. Plant in full or part sun. Pinch back once or twice early to encourage bushiness.

    Aster flowers via Bluestone Perrenials

    Aster flowers via Bluestone Perrenials

  4. Black Eyed Susan – tall yellow flowers with dark center. Plant in full or part sun. Good cut flower.

    Black Eyed Susan via Better Homes and Gardens

    Black Eyed Susan via Better Homes and Gardens

  5. Phlox – there are many varieties and colors. The Creeping Phlox is low growing with pink, blue or white flowers that bloom in early spring. Garden Phlox is an upright plant that blooms in mid-summer. Plant both in full to part sun.

    Creeping Phlox

    Creeping Phlox in my garden

  6. Coreopsis – several varieties. We have bright yellow flowers that bloom all summer. Plant in full sun.


    Coreopsis beginning to bloom in my garden

  7. Coneflower – tall flowers with raised centers that flower summer into fall. Plant in full sun. Our Coneflowers are bright pink.

    Coneflower via Botanical Garden

    Coneflower via Botanical Garden

  8. Dianthus – many colors and varieties of “pinks” in my garden that bloom spring through summer. Plant in full sun.


    Dianthus in my garden

  9. Sedums – many different sizes and varieties. We have the upright Sedum Autumn with large dark red late summer to fall blooming flowers that fade to rust. We also have the ground cover variety in our rock garden.

  10. Sweet Alyssum – very fragrant, low growing plants ideal for borders in white, dark and light purple flowers. This is actually not considered a perennial plant in the Midwest but I would like to argue the point. The Alyssum border we have on the south side self-sows (drop seeds) and comes back every single year. We do add a few new plants to fill it in. Plant in full sun where you will walk past it and smell the flowers from spring through fall. This is the easiest plant ever!


    Alyssum popping up in my garden

There are many more plants that will do well in your Midwest garden. Just do a little research before choosing the plants for your garden!

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