Perennial Selection and Care Guide

Botanical name (Common name)

Other common name(s)

(feet)

Mature spread and form (inches)

Bloom period

Light

Hardiness (zone)

Division

(time of year; Special notes frequency in (cultural uses, years) major pests, etc.)

Aster novae-angliae, Aster novi-belgii (Hardy aster)

Michaelmas daisy New England aster

Blue, pink, purple, red, white

2-5

24-48; mound

September-October

Sun

4-8

Spring; 2

Grows best in rich, well drained soil. Pinch back in late spring. Aster yellows and powdery mildew are common problems. North American native.

Astilbe X arendsii (Astilbe)

False spirea

Pink, red, white

2-4

12-24; mound

JuneAugust

Shade

4-9

Spring; 3

Grows best in deep, fertile soil high in organic matter. Protect from wind.

Aubrieta deltoidea (Purple rock cress)

Purple

1/2

18-24; spreading

April-June

Sun to part shade

4-8

Ground cover. Trim back halfway after flowering. Prefers well drained soil.

Aurinia saxatilis (Basket-of-gold)

Goldentuft alyssum

Yellow

1/2-1

trailing

May

Sun to part shade

3-7

No

Long-lived. Trailing habit. Syn. Alyssum saxatile.

Baptisia australis (False indigo)

Wild indigo

Blue

3-4

24-48; mound

May-June

Sun to part shade

3-9

Self-seeds. Pods are attractive. North American native.

Belamcanda chinensis (Blackberry lily)

Orange

3-4

September

Sun

5-10

Spring; 2

Self-seeds. Iris borer can be a problem. Clusters of black seeds are attractive.

Bergenia cordifolia (Bergenia)

Pink, white, red

1-1 1/2

basal leaves

May

Part shade to shade

3-8

Spring; 4

Slugs can be a problem. Foliage often damaged by winter or spring frost or drought.

Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian forget-me-not)

Blue

1-1 1/2

12-18; spreading

April-June

Part shade to shade

3-7

Self-seeds and can be invasive. Tolerates dry soil and tree roots.

Calamagrostis acutiflora (Feather reed grass)

Golden seedheads

4-6

vertical

June-frost

Sun to part shade

4-9

Non-spreading ornamental grass. Very easy but very showy. Needs no staking.

Campanula carpatica (Carpathian harebell)

Bluebells

Blue, white

1

basal leaves

JuneAugust

Sun

3-8

Needs good drainage.

Campanula glomerata (Clustered bellflower)

Bluebells

Blue, white, violet

1-2

12-18; mound

JuneSeptember

Sun to part shade

3-8

May need staking. Brilliant massed flowers.

Centaurea macrocephala (Golden century)

Yellow

3-4

upright

July

Sun

3-7

Basal leaves. Excellent cut flower.

Centaurea montana (Mountain bluet)

Blue, white, pink

2

mound

JuneSeptember

Sun

3-8

Spring; 2

Cut back after flowering.

Centranthus ruber (Red valerian)

Jupiter's-beard

Pink, white

2-3

mound

May-August

Sun to part shade

4-8

Spring; 3

Tolerates poor soil. Self-seeds easily.

Cerastium tomentosum (Snow-in-summer)

White

1/2

18-24; spreading

May-June

Sun

2-7

Spring; 2

Trim back after flowering. Silver foliage. Can be invasive. Dies back in hot weather.

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Leadwort)

Blue

1/2-1

September

Sun to part shade

5-9

Spring; 3

Mulch in winter. Shoots emerge late.

Chelone spp. (Turtlehead)

Pink, white

2-3

12-24; mound

August-October

Sun to part shade

3-8

Tolerates moist soil. North American native.

Chrysogonum virginianum (Green-and-gold)

Goldenstar

Yellow

1/2-1

spreading

AprilSeptember

Any

5-9

Spring; 4

Ground cover. Prefers moist soil.

Convallaria majalis (Lily-of-the-valley)

White, pink

1/2-1

6; dense clump

May-June

Part shade to shade

2-7

Flowers are fragrant. Berries are poisonous. May be invasive.

Coreopsis grandiflora, C. lanceolata (Lance-leaf coreopsis)

Butter daisy Tickseed

Yellow

1 1/2-3

mound

June-October

Sun

3-9

Spring; 2-3

Dead-head to prolong bloom period. Powdery mildew can be a serious problem. North American native.

Coreopsis verticillata (Thread-leaf coreopsis)

Yellow

1 1/2-3

mound

July-October

Sun

3-9

Doesn't need deadheading. North American native.

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