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:
- 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.
- Bee Balm – pinkish red mounding flowers in the summer. Plant in sun or part shade.
- Aster – lavender flowers in late summer or early fall. Plant in full or part sun. Pinch back once or twice early to encourage bushiness.
- Black Eyed Susan – tall yellow flowers with dark center. Plant in full or part sun. Good cut flower.
- 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.
- Coreopsis – several varieties. We have bright yellow flowers that bloom all summer. Plant in full sun.
- Coneflower – tall flowers with raised centers that flower summer into fall. Plant in full sun. Our Coneflowers are bright pink.
- Dianthus – many colors and varieties of “pinks” in my garden that bloom spring through summer. Plant in full sun.
- 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.
- 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!
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!