Your home’s flowers can offer quite the spectacle if properly planted and maintained. Here are 10 of my favorites (five annuals and five perennials) that have great color all through the growing season:
- Geranium: Geraniums are widely used, and for good reason. It is a diverse group of flowers containing types that can grow in a variety of sun and soil conditions. They work great in flower beds, containers, baskets, and just about any other place you can think to plant them. They should be deadheaded and fertilized regularly to produce steady blooms. Geraniums also love hot and dry conditions, so water well, and then allow the soil to thoroughly dry before watering again.
- Salvia: Salvia—commonly called sage—is a large group of plants consisting of annuals, biennials, and perennials. It is easy to grow in the central Indiana area and is known for having abundant blooming spikes of blue and purple. Most varieties of salvia are very drought tolerant and have a pleasant aroma. The trick to growing salvia is knowing which variety is best for your landscape conditions.
- Coleus: Unlike the other plants mentioned in this article, coleus does not flower, but rather produces beautiful foliage. Traditionally this plant thrives in shade; however, newer varieties have been bread to be more tolerant of the sun. The amount of sun it receives, the pH of the soil, and other factors contribute to the many spectacular color variations of the leaves. Coleus works great in container arrangements or flower beds, but it should be kept evenly moist. A water soluble fertilizer every other week is also recommended.
- Petunia: Petunias are an old favorite, but with the many hybrids available today—over 35 species and more than 400 varieties—there are more options than ever. They bloom profusely all summer and spread quite quickly. The “wave” series are among my favorite. They grow quickly, bloom like crazy, and offer a variety of growing patterns from upright to trailing. As long as there is full sun, petunias will grow in just about any soil condition, making them very versatile and relatively easy to care for.
- Begonia: Begonias are popular in flowerbeds, hanging baskets, or as container plants. While begonias have a wonderful flower, their leaves are equally as showy. When not in bloom, their attractive, waxy green or chocolate colored leaves steal the show wherever they are placed. Begonias do well in a variety of conditions, but in this case, the better the growing conditions, the better the performance. They should receive light shade, rich soil that is well-drained, and ample water. Don’t be afraid to use a water soluble fertilizer either.
- Coneflower: A robust and drought tolerant perennial, coneflowers are native to the Midwest and bloom throughout the summer—sporting daisy-like flowers with raised centers. Once established and depending on the variety, they can reach 16 inches to four feet in height. Traditional colors are pink-purple and white, but as with most flowers, cultivators have injected a variety of new colors options.
- Black-Eyed Susan: The cheerful, bright-gold flowers bloom throughout the summer and into August. The spiky seed heads offer winter interest and bird food. They should be planted in full sun and can be expected to reach about three feet tall. The best thing about these beauties is that they require very little maintenance.
- Sedum: Sedum comes in many varieties and is easy to grow. Its rich texture, color, and shape make it a unique edition to any garden. Sedum consists of dense flower clusters on sturdy stems that rise above bright green leaves by midsummer. Its blooms start out blush-colored, aging to coppery pink, then rust as weather cools. Several good varieties to try are “autumn joy,” “purple emperor,” and “vera jameson.”
- Russian Sage: Russian sage creates a wonderful lacy mix of gray and amethyst. It bursts forth in late summer or early autumn, rising three to five feet tall. It’s an excellent companion to plants such as roses, ornamental grasses, or tall sedums. As long as it has good drainage, it is extremely low-maintenance.
- Daylilies: Daylilies are a very popular plant in our area. Each bloom only lasts for a day, but the blooms are so numerous that its flowers appear all throughout the growing season—particularly if you deadhead regularly. The plants are very easy to grow and they spread quite quickly, allowing for them to be divided and replanted at appropriate times. The blooms come in a variety of colors including purple, orange, red and yellow. They should be planted in areas that receive a good amount of sunlight.
This is merely a small sampling of annual and perennial flowers that are great for the central Indiana climate. If you’d like to speak to a landscape professional about your property, give us a call at 317-575-1100 or simply fill out the form below.