Zones/Perennials - Knowledgebase Question

Biddeford, Ma
Question by mshl_7
October 8, 2009
I live in New England and it says the zones are 3-6. I'm looking for a few perennials to put in front of my house which gets about 5-7 hours of direct sunlight. I looked at the Top 5 Perennials and really liked the Lilyturf which says zones 6-10. Does that mean I should not buy that one? Do you have any suggestions on other perennials? I don't want them to be taller than 4 feet, and I like blooms.


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Answer from NGA
October 8, 2009

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Your zip code places you in USDA zone 5A so you will want to look for perennials that are hardy to zone 5. I'm afraid the lilyturf is not hardy down to zone 5 so you'll need to find a replacement. When you are browsing through plant catalogs or online, choose plants rated hardy to at least your zone. Anything rated hardy to lower zones will be fine in your garden (such as zones 2, 3, or 4) but anything rated hardy to a zone higher than yours will not survive your winter weather.

Some great performers for sunny spots in zone 5 include;
Aster - Daisy like perennials in shades of pink and purple - fast growing - full sun - blooms early fall.
Bee Balm - Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and bees - partial sun - blooms July-August.
Black Eyed Susan - Easy to grow - full sun - blooms July - September.
Clematis - Prefers heavy mulch - full sun - blooms June- September.
Cone Flower - The famous Echinacea purpurea that is used as a herbal remedy - attracts butterflies and bees and grows in partial sun - blooms July - October
Geranium - Cut back in early summer for repeat bloom time in fall - full sun with partial afternoon shade - blooms in fall.
Hibiscus - Tropical looking large blooms - plant in full sun.
Iris - Tons of colors and varieties on this tall flower that likes full sun and blooms in late spring - summer.
Peony - Big Bushy blooms with a subtle scent - partial sun - bloom in mid spring.
Sedum - Hardy perennial plant attracts butterflies and bees - partial sun - blooms August - September.
Verbena - Clumps of colorful flowers - it's cascading trails are perfect for planters and baskets - full sun - can bloom from spring to frost if dead flowers are trimmed.

Hope these suggestions are helpful.

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