Planting flowers - Knowledgebase Question

philadelphia, Pe
Question by marcia_bullo
March 11, 2010
Greetings:
I trying to plant colorful flowers. I am a beginner. I just brought my first house. I want flowers that when one begin to die the others will bloom then when they will die another may bloom. Something that will make my front look beautiful all year long. Is it good to have tropical plants outside if so. Which ones are great for the Northeast section of the USA. I am from PA.


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Answer from NGA
March 11, 2010

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I agree, a succession of blooms is what makes a garden attractive! Here are some long blooming, easy to care for perennials to consider:
Achillea sp. (yarrow) - Long period of bloom, varying heights (18-36?) and colors (white, yellow, reds, and pink) depending upon species and variety; fern-like pungent foliage; excellent for cutting and drying; prefers poor, dry soils in full sun.

Aster sp. - Great color variation for late-season bloom; Sturdy 3-5? plants for the background, 12-15? plants for the front border. Requires full sun.
Astilbe sp. - Feathery pyramidal flower spikes that stand 1 to 2-? feet above clumps of rich green dissected foliage; blooms range from white to pink, red, and purple during June and July; requires deep rich soil, preferably in shade. If grown in sun, will not tolerate drought.

Epimedium sp. - A slow growing ground cover or for edging; light green heart-shaped leaves appear rose-tinted in spring and change to crimson in fall; numerous delicate blooms appear in spring as the leaves unfold; does well in sun or shade and never needs division.

Hemerocallis sp. (daylily) - One of the easiest and most satisfactory perennials for sun or part shade; with proper selection of cultivars, continuous succession of bloom is possible from May to October; an incredible array of colors and size of blooms (3-8?).

Hosta sp. (plantain-lily) - Grown primarily for their interesting foliage; white or lavender flowers in summer provide additional interest; best appreciated when grown singly as a specimen, but also appropriate as a ground cover in shade or sun.
Iris kaempferi (Japanese iris) and I. sibirica (Siberian iris) - Both species have finer upright foliage, more reasonably sized clumps, and are less demanding than the bearded types. The former with 6-8? flat-topped blooms comes in shades of white, blue, and rose. The latter, in white and shades of blue and purple, comes before Japanese iris but after the bearded ones; both species tolerate part shade but prefer full sun, as well as rich, moist, and slightly acid soils.

Liriope sp. (lily-turf) - Semi-evergreen clumps of green or variegated grasslike foliage 10-15? tall for sun or shade; grow as a grouping of 3-5 plants in a border, as an edging, or slow growing ground cover; narrow spike-like flowers in white, blue, or lilac appear in summer.

Sedum spectabile - This indestructible species forms a compact mound about 18? high and produces numerous flat-topped flower clusters in shades of pink or carmine from late summer to frost; grow as single specimens or groups of 3 in the border, rock garden, or container; requires a well-drained soil in full sun.

Veronica sp. (speedwell) - With proper selection of different varieties, a succession of bloom can last from June through September, heights can vary from 6-24?, and colors from blue and purple to pink and white; flowers are borne on densely numerous erect spikes that are excellent for cutting; an open sunny location with a well-drained soil is preferred.

You'll find many, many more at your garden center - just check back every 6 weeks to see what's in bloom. If you like it, include it in your garden. Enjoy!

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