The Q&A Archives: Perennial Substitution For A Shrub Rose

Question: I have relocated my shrub roses and now have bare spots to fill. Can you recommend a perennial that has vibrant red or pink color which would ultimately take up the same room --height and ground space-- as a shrub rose. The spot is full sun all day. Any help would save. Nearby perennials are salvia, short and tall ornamental grasses.

Answer: Monarda (bee balm) is a great perennial because it attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. There are many varieties, most flowering in some shade of red, pink, or purple. They reach about 2-3 feet tall and wide. Phlox is a possibility, although it is susceptible to powdery mildew so needs good air circulation. Both are rated to zone 4. If you had taller types of shrub roses, butterfly bush (Buddleia) reaches about 6 feet tall and comes in pinks and reds. Butterflies flock to this plant. It is rated only to zone 5, though, and I wasn't sure what part of Wis. you were in. Hope this gives you some ideas.

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