Planting annuals or purchasing expensive hanging baskets are a good way to add color to your homes’ landscape. They do take a bit of care (especially the baskets) as they need daily watering during hot spells. How about flowering perennials to add some color while being relatively carefree? Following are some easy perennials to grow in almost any climate.
Rhododendrons are lovely plants that stay relatively compact, with medium to dark large blade-like leaves and flower clusters that bloom throughout the season. You can plant them right in the ground or in a large pot on the patio or deck. They reach about 36 inches in height and about the same around.
Salvia Leucantha produces masses of purple flower spikes on gray green shrubs that flower throughout the summer and stop with the first frost. These plants will grow 3-4 feet high and 4-6 feet wide. These are nice for a wide border or to frame a walkway. Gloriosa Daisy is another perennial flowering plant that’s ideal for a border. They produce golden petals that radiate from a chocolate center with 2-4-inch flowers. Plants reach 3-4 feet tall and 18 inches wide.
Clematis are easy growers that do well in almost any garden soil. They can be trained to climb in and around just about anything. They can go up a trellis or around the trunk of a tree. Try and find a variety that blooms throughout the year, as many varieties only bloom in spring.
Butterfly Bush is like a summer flowering lilac. They bloom from summer into autumn, especially if you pinch off the old flowers as they are spent. They love full sun and well drained soil. You need a large space for these bushes as they can reach 10 feet or taller.
Hydrangeas come in many varieties and colors. Some color depend on the ph of your soil. Untrained they can be huge, as much as 10 feet tall and wide. Some can be trained to fit a large pot. Hydrangea Paniculata is easy to grow. It’s rugged and produces white flowers that fade to pink and green.
Rose of Sharon provides lots of color during summers’ hottest months. They produce tropical looking blooms in lavender-blue, pink, and white. They reach 10 feet tall and wide. Choose a sterile variety that won’t produce a myriad of weedy seedlings.
Shrub roses are not like the high maintenance varieties. They bloom all summer up to 6 feet tall and wide and are disease resistant, easy growing plants. They come in many colors. Do keep away from high traffic areas as they produce thorns like regular rose varieties.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO