Warm, sunny days have many people itching to get outside and work in their yards. From raking up dead grass and leaves to trimming bushes and planting new flowers, it’s time to prepare your yard for summer while enhancing its curb appeal.
If you’re looking to add color to your yard without a lot of maintenance, perennials are a great option. Perennials can save you money over time as they come back year after year, often bigger and better. Another benefit of perennials is they bloom at different times throughout the summer so you can create a unique garden that changes over the months.
Here is a list of the top perennials that grow best in Wisconsin, surviving our cold winters and hot summers.
Creeping Phlox – Known for its tiny blooms of pink, purple and blue, Creeping Phlox makes a great ground cover and does well in full sun and well-drained soil. Phlox bloom in early spring.
Bleeding Hearts have delicate red, white or pink heart-shaped flowers that dangle from the plant. It prefers partial sun and well-drained soil and is a spring favorite.
For show-stopping spring blooms with an amazing fragrance plant peonies. They are ideal for cut-flower arrangements and are easy to maintain (minus the ants). Peonies like full sun and well-drained soil and can grow up to four feet tall.
Salvia offers bright blooms and is an ideal perennial for attracting hummingbirds. The plant prefers full-sun and well-drained soils.
Coral Bells have burgundy-color leaves with bright pink or purple flowers. It’s ideal for rocky flower beds and can grow to three feet in height. While they are very low maintenance, they do prefer full sun.
Bellflowers do well in colder climate zones. Preferring full sun and moderate water, this plant can produce blooms in shades of purple, pink and blue.
Daylilies are easy to grow and prefer full sun and well-drained soils. Newer varieties bloom on and off throughout the summer.
Knock Out Roses can handle Wisconsin’s cold winters as well as our hot summers. They grow up to four feet and require little care other than spring pruning.
Russian Sage easily grows in Wisconsin in either full sun or shade, and does well in dry conditions.
Late Summer to Fall Flowers
Black-eyed Susan creates breathtaking black and yellow flowers and blooms between June and September. It tends to prefer full sun and well-drained soil.
Purple Coneflowers also like full sun and bloom all summer and into the fall.
Gayfeather helps create interest in a perennial garden when planted in the back by growing up to three feet high. It does best in full sun and produces purple flowers.
Rock Cress is a popular ground cover that grows well in a rock garden. It likes full sun, a lot of moisture and well-draining soil.
Native to North America, Bea Balm attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. It grows two to four feet tall, producing tubular red, pink, purple or white blooms. It prefers full sun and moist soil.
Hostas are best known for shade and offer a vast range of colors and range in size from six inches to six feet wide.
Bigroot Geranium not only likes the shade, but it is also heat and drought tolerant. Pink, purple and white flower varieties bloom in the spring and maintain its woodsy-scented foliage into the fall.
If you’re looking to add color to your landscape, consider one of the many varieties of perennials. Check out your local farmers markets or even your neighbors as most perennials benefit from dividing and sharing with others.