We know that deciding what to put in your garden can be daunting, there are so many choices. That's why having a plan, knowing how much light your garden gets, and putting the right plant in the right place can help you choose the correct plants. When you take these steps your gardening experience can be so much more rewarding. Check out our sections below to help you find the plants that are right for your needs.
All perennials, grasses, ferns, groundcover, and vines are subject to availability. Photos are courtesy of Growing Colors and Walter's Gardens, Inc.
Also called Butterfly Weed or Milk Weed. It has nectar rich flowers that are a favorite food source for butterflies, especially the Monarch. Grows 18-24" tall. Plant in full sun.
Hollyhocks are known for being tall, stately plants and depending on the variety, it can reach up to 9 feet tall. It adds a great vertical height to any garden. Although they are short-lived perennials, they will reseed themselves for continual growing.
Allium, an ornamental onion, comes in many varieties in both bloom sizes and bloom times. They have showy and large flower heads that help repel insects and pests. Plant in full sun.
Alyssum, also known as Madwort, is a drought-tolerant flowering groundcover that is great for rock gardens and other hard to reach areas. Flowers bloom in late spring and early summer and in such abundance the foliage is soon covered up. Plant in full sun, but will tolerate light shade.
Japanese anemone is a tall perennial that produces large saucer-shaped flowers in colors ranging from white to pink with a green button in the center. Blooms in summer and fall until the first frost. This perennial can tolerate full sun, but enjoys light shaded area where they are protected from the intense afternoon sun. Plant in an area where there is room to spread.
Favored by hummingbirds, the Columbine blooms in a variety of colors during the spring while the foliage turns a nice maroon color in the fall. Plant in full or part sun.
A unique gold-leaf perennial for part shade to shade. The color tends to be brighter yellow in part sun, and more chartreuse in the shade. Tiny white flowers soon turn to inedible berries. The Sun King reaches 30-36" in height and width.
Blooming in mid to late spring, round clusters of flowers on top of slender stalks that rise above the foliage. Forming a dense mounded tuft of grass-like leaves that spread slowly. Reaches 6-12" tall and wide, making it great for edging walks and borders. Plant in full to partial sun. Attracts bees and butterflies.
Also known as wormwood, Artemisia is an upright wood-based perennial with finely divided foliage that is usually a green-gray-silver color. Because it is highly aromatic, this plant is great at deterring most insects and pests. Plant in full sun. It is best to use gloves when planting, as some individuals have experienced skin irritation.
There are many varieties of Astilbe that come in colors ranging from white to dark purples, along with different bloom times. They also vary in heights, ranging from a few inches to a few feet. Astilbe can grow in shade, but tend to produce better in a dappled sun area where the sun can reach them for an hour or two.
Bellflowers typically have bell-shaped flooms that usually come in blue or violet, but can be white or pink. Coming in a variety of sizes ranging from groundcover to as tall as 6 feet! Plant in full sun to part sun.
Also known by Blue beard, Caryopteris is a compact, deciduous shrub with a rounded habit, with fragrant, deep purple-blue flowers in late summer and early fall. This plant reaches 3-4' tall and wide and attracts butterflies, bees but is deer and rabbit resistant. Plant in full sun.
A true hardy, perennial mum, this plant matures to form a mound that is 20-36" tall and up to 4 feet wide! It does take a few years to reach mature height and form. Blooms late summer/fall. Plant in full sun for best flowering.
Known for their bright, daisy-like flowers that are yellow, pink or bicolor that are highly attractive to pollinators. Sizes range from 12-36 inches tall with a spread from 12-24 inches. They are adaptable to a wide range of soil types and thrive best in full sun.
Mid to late summer flowering shrub averages 3-5' tall depending on variety. Pollinators love the long bloom panicles. It does die down to the ground each winter here in Ohio. Plant in full sun.
Also known as an Ice Plant due to petals and flowers shimmering as if covered in frost, Delosperma is a great drought tolerant, showstopper flower to fill in a dry, rocky area in your garden. This plant will bloom through summer to fall, but the foliage is mostly evergreen, making a great ground cover in the winter. Reaching 3-6" in height and spreading to 2-4' wide. Plant in full sun.
Delphinium feature tall, towering stems covered in blooms. They come in a range of shades and depending on the variety, may have single or double blooms. They reach 2-6' in height. They prefer gentle morning sun and a more shady afternoon. Deadheading the first spring blooms is key to get additional blooms in late summer or early autumn.
Dianthus plants are also known as Carnations, Sweet Williams and Pinks. They are characterized by their spicy fragrance similar to that of cinnamon and cloves. With many varieties, their heights can range from 6-36" with a 6-24" spread. They prefer full sun to part sun. This flower makes a great staple for any flower bed.
One of the first perennial bloomers of the season, green foliage emerges first then followed by heart-shaped blooms on an arching stem. Blooms tend to be either pink, red or white. This plant reaches 24-36" in height with a spread of 12-24". Plant in part to full shade.
Reaching only about one-foot high, this Leapard's Bane, is one of the earilest blooming perennials. Bright, yellow, daisy-like double flowers grow on short stems surrounded by dark green, serrated, heart shape leaves. Blooms in early to late spring and will thrive in mostly sunny to full shade.
Grows 2-3' tall. Shorter and more compact that the species Joe Pye Weed. Mauve-pink bloom clusters appear on top in late summer.
The easy to care for Euphorbia reaches 10" in height with green leaves but quickly turning burgundy contrasting with the bright yellow bracts in spring. Then turns a showy red, purple or orange in the fall. This has mounding form clump-forming habit that makes it great for borders.
Gaillardia is easy to grow, and is heat and drought tolerant. Blooming in late spring, daisy-like flower heads sit atop hairy stems with dandelion-like, coarse-tooth leaves. Attracts birds, bees and butterflies. Plant in full sun.
Gaura, also known as beeblossom, is a bushy, clump-forming perennial with long stems with airy, four-petaled white flowers with pink edges. Blooms in the late spring to early fall, the flowers resemble fluttering butterflies. Grows up to 24" tall and wide. Plant in full sun or light shade.
Geum, also known as Avens, is a hardy perennial that can flower from late spring into early summer and as late as autumn. They have semi-evergreen foliage and blooms are usually yellow, orange, or red in color. They reach a height from 18-24" in height and prefer fun to partial shade.
Extremely popular perennial due to their wide range of growing conditions and ease. Very drought and heat tolerant and are extremely long lived. There are many varieties that differ on heights, flower color, bloom times and rebloomers.
A clumping perennial with very colorful foliage and spikes of small bell-shaped flowers. With all the breeding efforts, there are many colors to choose from. All Heuchera grow well in part shade, but can tolerate more sun with sufficient moisture. Bloom in early to mid-summer.
Grown for it's decorative foliage, the Hosta comes in many different sizes and color variations. Most flower from mid-July to early August. They prefer partial shade, some will tolerate more sun with adequate moisture.
Large clusters of flowers atop a bushy mound of from mid-late spring. Reaching 6-12" tall and spreads 12-18" wide. Prefers full sun in average well-drained soils. Deer and rabbit resistant but pollinator friendly.
Many varieties of iris plants determine bloom color, shape, and size. They begin blooming in the late winter, early spring and spring up from rhizomes. Iris are abundant multipliers but once the rhizomes become crowding, blooms may be limited. Plant in full sun.
Kniphofia, also known as red hot poker, has dramatic, colorful flower spikes that reach a height of 3-4' and 2-3' spread. Tubular flowers are arranged densely on 6-10" spikes and usually display a gradient of color. Long narrow bluish-green grass-like leaves form the base clump. Prefers full sun and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
A perennial herb or a aromatic evergreen shrub that is easy to grow and drought-tolerant. Lavender flowers are available in a wide range of colors; blue-violet, white, pink, and a wide range of purples. Depending on the variety, blooms typically occur from late spring to fall, and last several weeks to several months. The size of your lavender can also range from 12" to a few feet. Lavender is great for edging, hedging or as an accent plant.
Shasta daisies have an abundant floral display with a large crop of white single daisy flowers and golden centers. They bloom for weeks from early to late summer. Thriving in full sun and reaching 24-36" in height and 18" wide, Shasta daisies are very easy to grow and robust.
Cardinal flowers form an upright, clumping form that produces flower spikes that are packed with cardinal red blooms. This perennial reaches 2-4' tall and 1-2' wide and blooms midsummer to fall.
They are also called bluebonnets, Lupines are attractive, spiky flowers that come in blue, yellows, pinks, and purples. They grow 1-4' in height from a long tap root and prefer not to be moved. Lupines are nitrogen-fixing and can improve your soil.
The Malva, also known as Zebra Mallow, is an erect, bushy perennial that produces flower spikes with soft pink flowers sporting raspberry-purple veins. The Malva grows 2-4' high and 1-2' wide and performs best in full sun. This perennial will self-seed if thriving in the garden.
Grasses & Ferns
Andropogon grass, or otherwise known as big bluestem, provides wonderful height and color in your garden. It forms an upright clump of stems with flatten leaves. This grass is drought tolerant, pest resistant, and requires very little care. This grass can reach up to 4-6' tall and 2-3' across. Plant in full sun.
Calamagrostis, or Feather reed grass, is a deciduous clumping ornamental grass that is one of the first to show foliage in early spring. Feather reed grass may grow from 3-5' in height and produces an inflorescence in June that starts green and slowly blushes to purple or pink. The flower head soon becomes grain-like seeds within a few days. They can grow in wet or dry areas, in both sun and partial sun.
Also known as Japanese sedge grass, Carex is a low-growing clumping plant with a tidy habit and can thrive in both bright and semi-shady locations. These grasses require consistent moisture, but once established, they are drought-tolerant for brief periods. Carex typically grows 12" tall with a tidy growth habit.
Blue fescue, or festuca, ornamental grasses are tidy evergreen grass. Considered a low-maintenance plant, you just need to find a sunny place to plant it. This grass forms low tight mounds and produces tall flower-tipped stems in the early summer months.
A member of the Hakonechloa family, Japanese forest grass is a slow-growing, attractive plant that reaches 18-24" tall and has an arching habit with long flat blades. This brightly colored grass is best planted in full shade. Sunlight tends to fade the leaves to a white color.
Best known as fountain grass, Pennisetum is a clump-forming grass that has cascading leaves giving it a fountain-like appearance. Depending on the variety, this grass can range from 12" to 3' high. Plant in full sun.
Miscanthus, or maidenhair, ornamental grass has clumping habit and arching stems. This group of grasses adds appeal to late summer with plumes and in fall with bronze to burgundy foliage. Depending on the variety, they may get 6' wide with a 10' spread. Plant in full sun.
Athyrium ferns, or better known as Japanese painted fern, feature silvery fronds with a touch of blue and deep red stems. This fern gets its name from the appearance to have been delicately painted with shades of green, red, and silver. Light to almost total shade and rich, moist, well-draining soil cause these ferns to thrive, reaching their optimum height of 12-18".
Dyropteris ferns (Autumn ferns) offer interest throughout the season by emerging a coppery red in spring and maturing to bright green by summer. This fern prefers partial to full shade and consistently moist soils. It will easily grow to 2' tall and wide.
Also known as bugleweed, Ajuga is a creeping evergreen that can quickly fill in a large area. Blooms are usually blue, purple or white and foliage can range from traditional green, to a stunning copper or purple color. This ground cover thrives in shady locations but can tolerate sunny areas too.
Galium (sweet woodruff) features star-shaped whorls of leaves and lacy white flowers. Planted in a shady area, they like moist, but well draining soil that is rich in organic mater. Sweet woodruff can reach 6-12" in height and spread 9-18".
Lamium, or spotted deadnettle, is an easy to grow ground cover that thrives in shade or partial shade. A herbaceous mat speckled leaves blooms in late spring in colors of lavender, pink, purple or white. It can reach a height of 6-12" with a spread of 2'.
Liriope, also known as monkey grass, is an evergreen clumping form that grows 10-18" in height and 12-18" across. From July to August you can expect to see spiked blossoms that are white, pink or purple. Use as a ground cover where maximum coverage is desired.
Lysimachia (creeping Jenny) is an evergreen perennial ground cover that works well in rock gardens and other hard to grow locations. Due to it's hardy nature, it thrives in full sun or shade. Like most ground covers, it quickly spreads and can become invasive. This plant reaches a mature height of 15" with yellow-green, coin-like foliage that turns bronze in the winter.
Trumpet vines add great color to any fence or trellis. Growing up to 40' long, they produce beautiful, bright trumpet-shaped flowers that are usually 3" in size. These flowers are highly attractive to hummingbirds.
One of the most popular flowering vines, Clematis comes in a variety of forms, colors, and blooming seasons. They can reach 3-12' in height with a spread of 3-20'. Plant in full sun.
Lonicera, or Honeysuckle if going by its common name, is a flowering vine that can reach 15-25' in length. It produces fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers that grow in clusters. The flowers themselves can be 1-2" in length and come in shades of red, yellow, and coral pink. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
A strong growing climber, Wisteria produces masses of drooping fragrant clusters that are upwards of 6" long. The vine itself can group up to 15-30' tall and 4-8' wide. Plant in full sun and be grown against a house wall, arbors, or pergolas, but must be sited and trained on sturdy structures.