Summit Turf Services would like to take the opportunity to list some of the best and most hearty midwest flowers and plants for gardens like yours. It is good to keep in mind that unusually cold winters can expose the plants in your garden to northern conditions. We recommend winter protection for your midwest flowers and plants to make certain your perennials survive. Hearty perennials, if surrounded by mulch, can survive snow cover.
Midwest Flowers and Plants
Known also as a ladybell or a granny bell, Liliifolia can spread quickly by seeding or by aggressive runners.They love sun or shade and look best in large groupings. Purple and blue bell-shaped flowers perch atop light green foliage. They bloom in the late summer through the fall and feature tall and strong stems. This perennial adapts to and tolerates a variety of light exposure and soil, but make sure your soil has good drainage. Adenophoras do great in warm climates and they will grow to 12” wide and 18” tall. Deep roots make dividing is difficult. Adenophora Liliifolia is a perennial with a long life.
Asiatic lily (Oriental Lily)
The Asiatic Lily Great is a great perennial in full sun or part shade. They have striking bunches of blooms in whites, pinks, reds, and yellows. Oriental lilies are large overall, have slightly bigger blooms, and usually, blossom later than Asiatics. Asiatics can be found in many colors and will multiply fast. They are easy to grow and can tolerate a wide variety of soils. Orientals are fragrant and have a variety of tropical looking blooms. These blooms come in June and July and are fantastic flowers when cut. They multiply quickly and divide easily. Divide Orientals every 3 to 5 years. Lilium is hearty and strong unless grown in too much of a shady environment. If so, the stems might become spiney and have difficulty. Its best to avoid wet soils and clay soil should be tended with organic peat for better drainage. Liliums don’t need protection in the winter and actually like the snow cover when prepared with mulch which makes them an excellent choice from all the different midwest flowers and plants. Most Lilies grow to about 4 feet.
Asters appreciate full sun to light shade. A hearty perennial, asters have a long life and are simple to care for. Summers in the midwest can be busy, so an aster may be the perfect midwest flower for you! Asters bloom in late summer and early fall and are a nice addition in a garden when perennials and annuals begin to fade. Asters like fertile soil but do not like drought, so be sure to water during dry spells. In rich soil, the Aster gets very tall. Divide about every four years in the spring. Asters make beautiful cut flowers.
Novi-belgii has a double reddish purple bloom with vibrant yellow in their centers. Known as the “traffic stopper,” this perennial has a lengthy blooming
period, from August and lasting into October across most regions. The Novi perennial makes for an excellent border in the front yard, planted in containers, or cut for a beautiful arrangement or centerpiece. Plant them in full sun and moist, fertile soil. The richer the soil, the taller the Novi. At maturity, their height is 11 – 16” and spreads to about 20”. For fuller branching and a greater amount of blooms, pinch them back until July 4th. They have a long life and can resist disease and mildew. Allow for good air circulation by providing them space. Divide every three years during the spring.
Novi will attract beautiful butterflies.
Azalea, deciduous (Rhododendron canescens)
Azaleas are shade loving shrubs with spectacular blooms and are perfect when placed in the garden bed to begin your springtime perennial showcase. Azaleas are known for a variety of species. One such species is the Golden Light, which can withstand very cold climates and can resist mildew. Azaleas are rooted in shallow soil and prefer it cool and moist. They do not tolerate dry periods, so be sure they get plenty of water. They will grow well into fall and can withstand an early freeze. Water thoroughly, but when the ground freezes, allow them to acclimate to winter. When choosing flowers and plants in the midwest, the azalea is a great choice if an early winter is predicted. Both Evergreen Azaleas and Rhododendrons can dry out from winter wind and a lack of moisture.
Balloon Flower (Platycodon)
Balloons are great in full sun or partial shade. Lovely puffy buds will open into bell-shaped, five-pointed flowers of white, pink and blue. Balloons are slow to wake from dormancy in the spring, but be patient, as they will not appear until late spring. They grow anywhere from 18-24” tall, so stake them while they are flowering to avoid breaks in the stems. They prefer sun but can tolerate some shade. Pinch back to spur repeat flowering. You can divide the bunched blossoms in spring or fall, but it isn’t necessary. The Balloon will reseed itself, but pinching will lessen the seed production. Balloon flowers are a long-living perennial and will benefit from winter protection.
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
Summit Turf’s favorite midwest flowers and plants include Black-Eyed Susan loves full sun. It has striking and vivid gold blooms from summer through the first frost. They make great cut flowers and arrangements. Susan’s are very easy to grow and tolerate drought. They spread easily, so be ready to keep thinning them out. Fall is the best time to divide Black-Eyed Susans. They grow 3 to 4 feet tall.
Bleeding Hearts need half to full shade. A North American perennial, it loves the shade and moist soil. Gorgeous bunches of heart-shaped blooms of white, rose and pink will appear in mid-spring and through the summer months. Look for the striking arched stems. Bleeding Hearts do best in acidic soil that is rich and moist. Include a good amount of peat moss when you are planting. Divide in the early springtime. The common Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) will present a beautiful pink and white flower. The King of Hearts displays a pink rosy flower throughout the summer. They will tolerate full sun to light shade. Try the dwarf varieties for a change of pace: Snowdrifts, Luxuriants and Zestfuls.
Clematis love full sun and some light shade. With few climbers in the ever-changing climate, clematis is a must have when it comes midwest flowers and plants. At 4-5 feet tall, they are perfect for pots and other containers like a mail post or an old milk can. Clematis are long bloomers that tolerate light shade and look handsome on posts, pillars, frames or arches. Follow the recommended pruning advice from your plant center or you could lose the blooms during the following season.
Jackmanii do best when cut back a few inches in early spring. Plant them deep and keep the roots cool by planting other shrubs nearby for shade. Feed every 5 or 6 weeks with a 10-10-10- fertilizer, but do not use manure or mulch. If your soil is acidic, add lime when planting.
A full sun plant with hundreds of mum species. Unknown to most gardeners, blooming mums which are planted in the fall, do not overwinter well. Plant in the spring so they can take hold over the summer. Continue to mulch heavily during the first winter. Leaves will be aromatic and the stems will hold up the beautiful flowers. Pinch back through July 4th for a bushy bloom-filled plant.