Woldhuis Comprehensive Perennial Guide & Tips

Perennial Guides

HOURS | Monday thru Saturday: 7AM-6PM | Always Closed Sunday | Memorial Day: 7AM-3PM
 

Perennials are enduring plants that grace our gardens year after year. Discover a wealth of top notch recommendations below including drought tolerant perennials, fragrant perennials, deer and rabbit resistant, and much more.

Browse our massive selection of perennials, including sun & shade perennials, natives, hostas, vines, grasses, and more on our website.

Woldhuis-Perennial-Guide
 
 

Scientific Name Common Name Light
Achillea Yarrow Sun
Alcea Hollyhock Sun
Anemone Windflower Sun
Aster Aster Sun
Chrysanthemum Hardy Mum Sun
Echinacea purpurea Purple Coneflower Sun
Eupatorium Joe Pye Weed Sun
Hardy Geranium Cranesbill Sun
Helianthus Western Sunflower Sun
Hemerocallis Daylily Sun
Iris sibirica Siberian Iris Sun
Lobelia Cardinal Flower Sun
Mentha piperita Peppermint Sun
Monarda Bee Balm Sun
Oenothera Evening Primrose Sun
Phlox paniculata Phlox Sun
Physostegia Obedient Plant Sun
Primula Primrose Sun
Rudbeckia Black-Eyed Susan Sun
Sedum Stonecrop Sun
Solidago Goldenrod Sun
Stachys Lamb’s Ears Sun
Thalictrum Meadow Rue Sun
Tradescantia Spiderwort Sun
Veronica Speedwell Sun
Veronica Speedwell Sun
Ajuga Bugleweed Shade
Arisaema Jack-in-the-Pulpit Shade
Asarum Wild Ginger Shade
Astilbe False Spirea Shade
Athyrium Lady Fern Shade
Campanula Bellflower Shade
Dicentra Bleeding Heart Shade
Epimedium Horny Goat Weed Shade
Galium Sweet Woodruff Shade
Helleborus Lenten Rose Shade
Heuchera Coral Bells Shade
Hosta Hosta Shade
Lirope Lilyturf Shade
Polemonium Jacob’s Ladder Shade
Polygonatum Solomon’s Seal Shade
Pulmonaria Lungwort Shade
Clematis Clematis Sun
Honeysuckle Lonicera Sun

Pruning Types

Type 1:

Type 1 blooms only on last year's wood, meaning that the flowering shoots come off the vines that grew the summer before. Once it has finished blooming in mid-summer, prune it immediately, as hard as you want. Take off the wild shoots. Thin out the tangled vines. Create a good framework for the vine. It will then continue to grow the rest of the season and you should leave it alone to form a good crop of next year's flowering wood.

Type 2:

Type 2 blooms both on last year's wood and this year's wood. You can prune Type 2 Clematis in one of two ways. In the Spring, cut off only the obviously dead wood. The dead wood will not have any green sprouting off of it. The other option is to cut back, within a few feet of the ground, in the Spring. The Clematis will not have the first early bloom, but the fall bloom will be beautiful.

Type 3:

Type 3 blooms only on this year's wood. In early Spring, cut the Clematis back to the ground. This will not hurt them, since they bloom on new wood.

Planting

When planting your clematis, be sure to plant it two nodes below the soil. A node is where the leaves meet the stem. Adding Bumper Crop to your natural dirt will benefit the Clematis. Mulch about 2 inches around the base of the Clematis to ensure protection.

Shading the “Feet”

Clematis like cool feet and hot faces. This means that most Clematis prefer to be in full sun. However, they do not like it when their “feet” (roots) are in full sun. To shade the Clematis’ feet, be sure to give it a good mulch around the base. You can also shade the roots by planting a leafy plant in front of the Clematis, to create shade for the roots.

Feeding

Starting off your clematis with a small handful of Bone Meal each Spring is the best way to feed your Clematis. While your Clematis is coming up in the Spring, you can give it an application of all purpose (flower or vegetable) liquid fertilizer. Don’t get the leaves or flowers wet, just the soil around the roots. Once it has grown and before it flowers, you can give it a boost with some bloom booster. Do not feed it when buds have formed. All Fertilizing should stop mid-August. This gives the plant time to settle down for Winter.

Diseases

Clematis Wilt is when the branch of a Clematis suddenly turns brown and wilts away. This can happen at any time during the season. When you see this process starting, follow the wilting branch down and cut it 1 inch below the brown. Do not compost these branches. Bag them up and throw them away.

Scientific Common Light Scientific Common Light
Achillea Yarrow Sun Helenium Sneezeweed Sun
Agastache Hyssop Sun Heliopsis False Sunflower Sun
Ajuga Bugleweed Shade Helleborus Lenten Rose Shade
Alcea Hollyhock Sun Hemerocallis Daylily Sun
Alchemilla Lady’s Mantle Shade Heuchera Coral Bells Shade
Alyssum Sweet Alyssum Sun Hosta Hosta Shade
Amsonia Blue Star Sun Iberis Candytuft Sun
Aquilegia Columbine Shade Kniphofia Red Hot Poker/Torch Lily Sun
Arabis Rock Cress Sun Lamium Spotted Dead Nettle Shade
Armeria Thrift, Sea Pink Sun Lavandula Landscape Lavender Sun
Artemesia Wormwood Sun Leucanthemum Shasta Daisy Sun
Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly Weed Sun Liatris Blazing Star/Gayfeather Sun
Aster Hardy Aster Sun Lychnis Arctic Campion, Catchfly Sun
Baptisia False Indigo Sun Monarda Beebalm Sun
Bergenia Pig Squeak Shade Nepeta Catmint Sun
Brunnera Siberian Bugloss Shade Oenthera Evening Primrose Sun
Calamintha Nepeta or Catmint Sun Origanum Ornamental Oregano Sun
Callirhoe Common Winecup Sun Pachysandra Japanese Spurge Shade
Campanula Bellflower/Harebell Sun Paeonia Peony Both
Catananche Cupid's Dart Sun Papaver Iceland/Arctic Poppy Sun
Centaurea Bachelor’s Button Sun Penstemon Beardtongue Sun
Centranthus Red Valerian Sun Perovskia Russian Sage Sun
Cerastium Snow-In-Summer Sun Phlox Garden Phlox Sun
Cerastostigma Plumbago/Leadwort Sun Physostegia Obedient Plant Sun
Chrysanthemum Hardy Mum Sun Potentilla Cinquefoil Sun
Coreopsis Tickseed Sun Pulmonaria Lungwort Shade
Delosperma Ice Plant Sun Rudbeckia Black Eyed Susan Sun
Delphinium Larkspur Sun Ruellia Prairie/Hairy Petunia Sun
Dianthus Garden Pinks Sun Salvia Meadow Sage Sun
Echinacea Coneflower Sun Saponaria Rock Soapwort Sun
Echinops Globe Thistle Sun Scabiosa Pincushion Flower Sun
Epimedium Barrenwort Shade Sedum Stonecrop Sun
Erygium Sea Holly Sun Sempervivum Hens & Chicks Sun
Eupatorium Joe Pye Weed Sun Stachys Lamb's Ear/Betony Sun
Euphorbia Cushion Spurge Sun Stokesia Stokes Aster Sun
Gaillardia Blanket Flower Sun Thalictrum Meadow Rue Sun
Galium Sweet Woodruff Shade Tradescantia Spider Wort Sun
Guara Whirling Butterflies Sun Verbena Blue/Rose Vervain Sun
Geranium Cranesbill, Hardy Geranium Sun Veronica Speedwell, Spike/Creeping Sun
Geum Avens Sun Vinca Periwinkle Sun
Scientific Common Light
Achillea Yarrow Sun
Agastache Hyssop Sun
Alyssum Sweet Alyssum Sun
Anemone Windflower Sun
Artemesia Wormwood Sun
Centaurea Bachelor’s\nButton Sun
Chrysanthemum Hardy Mum Sun
Convallaria Lily of the\nValley Shade
Dianthus Garden Pinks Sun
Digitalis Foxglove Sun
Echinacea Coneflower Sun
Galium Sweet\nWoodruff Shade
Guara Whirling\nButterflies Sun
Geranium Cranesbill,\nHardy\nGeranium Sun
Hemerocallis Daylily Sun
Hosta Hosta Shade
Iberis Candytuft Sun
Iris Iris Sun
Lavandula Landscape\nLavender Sun
Lilium Asiatic &\nOriental Lily Sun
Lupinus Lupine Sun
Monarda Beebalm Sun
Nepeta Catmint Sun
Oenthera Evening Primrose Sun
Origanum Ornamental Oregano Sun
Paeonia Peony Both
Papaver Iceland/Arctic\nPoppy Sun
Penstemon Beardtongue Sun
Perovskia Russian Sage Sun
Phlox Garden Phlox Sun
Primula Primrose Sun
Salvia Meadow Sage Sun
Datura Devils Trumpet Sun
Pieris Andronmeda Shade
Lilac    

WHO?

You! Anyone can plant native plants, they are easy to grow.

WHAT?

Plants native to our area have evolved over thousands of years and have adapted to geography and climate.

There are several types of native plant communities:

  • Dry Prairie: Well-drained sandy/gravelly soils with sharp drainage; often hillsides; full sun.
  • Mesic Prairie: Well-drained but consistently moist soils; usually flat terrain; full sun.
  • Wet Prairie: Soils which are intermittently wet and are saturated at some times of the year; lowland or flat terrain; sun.
  • Savanna: Well-drained soils; a transition from prairie to woodland, dominated by grasses or sedges with scattered trees; full sun to partial shade.
  • Woodland: Dry, well-drained soils; wooded; full shade.
  • Wet Woodland: Moist to wet soils which are saturated at certain times of the year; can be in flood plains and/or in flat terrain; wooded; full shade.
  • Wetland: Soil is wet and saturated all year.

WHEN?

Native plants can be planted spring through fall. Just make sure they are watered regularly for the first year until their roots get established.

WHERE?

Check out our new native aisle on ELM Street.

WHY?

  1. Native plants are lower maintenance. Not a lot of care or fussing!
  2. Native plants require no fertilizer and no pesticides so they are environmentally friendly.
  3. Native plants are more drought tolerant, disease resistant, and vigorous than non-native plants.
  4. Native plants attract wildlife by providing food and shelter.
  5. Native plants provide an environment of diversity. This helps maintain many different species of insects and wildlife.
Season Plants
SUMMER Achillea
Agastache
Alcea
Armeria
Aruncus
Asclepias
Astilbe
Belamcanda
Callirhoe
Campanula
Catanancne
Centaurea
Centranthus
Cerastium
Cerastostigma
Chelone
Coreopsis
Corydalis
Crocosmia
Delosperma
Delphinium
Dianthus
Confetti
Digitalis
Echinacea
Erygium
Filipendula
Gaillardia
Gaura
Geranium
Geum
Hemerocallis
Heuchera
Hibiscus
Hosta
Kalimeris
Knautia
Kniphofia
Lathyrus
Lavendula
Leontopodium
Leucanthemum
Lewisia
Liatris
Ligularia
Lilium
Lobelia
Lupinus
Lychnis
Lysimachia
Malva
Monarda
Nepeta
Oenothera
Origanum
Pardancanda
Penstemon
Perovskia
Persicaria
Phlox paniculata
Physalis
Platycodon
Polemonium
Potentilla
Prunella
Ratibida
Rudbeckia
Ruellia
Sagina
Salvia
Saponaria
Scabiosa
Silene
Silphium
Sisyrinchium
Stokesia
Tanacetum
Thalictrum
Tradescantia
Thyme
Verbena
Veronica spicata
Veronicastrum
Yucca
SPRING Ajuga
Alchemilla
Alyssum
Anemone sylvestris
Antennaria
Aquilegia
Arabis
Ariaema triphyllum
Astrantia
Baptisia
Bellis
Bergenia
Brunnera
Convallaria
Dianthus Chedder Pinks
Dianthus Indian Carpet
Dicentra
Epimedium
Euphorbia
Galium
Helleborus
Iberis
Iris
Lamium
Mazus
Mertensia
Myosotis
Paeonia
Papaver
Phlox subulata (creeping)
Primula
Pulmonaria
Pulsatilla
Saxifaga
Veronica repens
Vinca
Viola
FALL Aconitum
Anemone
Aster
Boltonia
Chrysanthemum
Cimicifuga
Eupatorium
Helenium
Heliopsis
Hosta
Physostegia
Sedum
Solidago
Trycyrtis

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red. It’s best to have a lot of red flowers in your garden. They also like purple and pink. Hummingbirds use their long, narrow beak to drink from tubular flowers that are full of nectar. Keep that in mind when shopping for flowers to plant. Resist the temptation to hang a feeder with the hummingbird plants. It’s best for them to get the natural nectar out of the plants around them. If you hang a feeder, please don’t add red food coloring to the food. This is unhealthy for the hummingbirds.

Butterflies

Brilliant colored flowers are magnets for butterflies, bees, and many other beneficial insects. To attract as many butterflies as possible plant large groupings of flowers they eat. Include plants that bloom throughout the growing season so butterflies have a choice from spring to fall. There are two different types of plants you can grow for butterflies; nectar food sources and larval food sources. Nectar sources attract the adult butterfly and many different types of flowers will serve as a nectar source. Providing larval food plants is where butterfly gardening diverts from all other types of gardening. With these plants you are feeding the caterpillars that eventually turn into adult butterflies.

Black Swallowtail Larval Food
  • Dill, Parsley, Fennel, Carrots
Monarch Larval Food
  • Milkweeds, Butterfly Weed
GENUS NAME COMMON NAME GENUS NAME COMMON NAME
ACHILLEA YARROW EUPATORIUM JOE PYE WEED
AGASTACHE LICORICE MINT-HYSSOP GAILLARDIA BLANKET FLOWER
ALCEA HOLLYHOCK HEMEROCALLIS DAYLILY
AQUILEGIA COLUMBINE HEUCHERA CORAL BELLS
ARABIS ROCK CRESS HIBISCUS ROSE MALLOW
ASCELPIAS MILKWEED IRIS IRIS
ASTER HARDY ASTER LIATRIS GAYFEATHER
BAPTISIA FALSE INDIGO LOBELIA CARDINAL FLOWER
BUDDLEIA BUTTERFLY BUSH LUPINUS LUPINE
CAMPANULA BELLFLOWER MALVA MALLOW
CAMPSIS TRUMPET VINE MONARDA BEE BALM
CENTRANTHUS JUPITERS BEARD - VALERIAN NEPETA CATMINT/ CALAMINTHA
CERATOSTIGMA PLUMBAGO/LEADWORT ORIGANUM OREGANO
CHELONE TURTLEHEAD PAPAVER POPPY
CIMICIFUGA ACTAEA SNAKEROOT PENSTEMON BEARDTONGUE
CLEMATIS CLEMATIS PHLOX UPRIGHT GARDEN PHLOX
COREOPSIS TICKSEED -THREAD LEAF PHYSOSTEGIA OBEDIANT PLANT
DELPHINIUM LARKSPUR RUDBECKIA BLACKEYED SUSAN
DIANTHUS GARDEN PINKS SALVIA MEADOW SAGE
DIGITALIS FOXGLOVE SAPONARIA ROCK SOAPWART
ECHINACEA CONEFLOWER SCABIOSA PINCUSHION FLOWER
ECHINOPS GLOBE THISTLE SEDUM STONECROP

Starting a butterfly garden is easy. When starting a butterfly garden there are two goals; thefirst is to attract adult butterflies and the second is to ensure further generations of butterflies are created. The right location, type, and amount of plants is what draws the butterflies in. Then providing host plants in addition to nectar plants guarantees butterflies will reproduce. Some of the most common butterflies seen in Northern Illinois are Swallowtails, Monarchs, Red Spotted Purples and Viceroys.

Garden Location

You need to be able to easily grow the correct nectar producing flowers butterflies need. That means locating a sunny site (at least 6 hours of d irect sunlight is best) which preferably is protected from intense wind. It’s best to avoid very windy areas like hilltops or wide open spaces that receive west wind. Remember that butterflies expend less energy flying in sunny, calm air. They also use the sun for orientation and to warm their wings. Hence why location truly is important! In addition to a sunny, less windy location butterflies need to be able to find your garden. Don’t hide it from them in small areas or behind large bushes. If the bed is near a fence or bushes plant their nectar sources a few feet out from them

Site Soil

Soil Type and Preparation

After choosing a proper location, check the soil type. Is your soil loamy black dirt or hardpan clay? Most butterfly plants thrive in soil rich in organic matter that drains well. Adding compost will improve the soil structure and add the nutrients necessary for plants to thrive. A standard practice is to add 3 inches of aged compost to the top of your soil and mix it in at least 8 inches deep. Plan on adding an additional 12 inches of aged compost each spring to feed the soil food web.

Weed Control

Another thing to consider is how you will keep weeds at bay. The use of herbicides in pollinator beds is highly frowned upon. After planting, 3-4 inches of finely shredded mulch should be added. The mulch can be old grass clippings, chopped up leaves, or wood chips. Try to avoid using dyed mulch (like the bright red wood chips) or ink-covered mulch (like shredded newspaper).

Attracting the Butterflies

Plant in masses! That means a minimum of 3-4 plants each. The more, the better! Aside from the amount, you also need to consider color. Adult butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, orange, pink, and purple blossoms. Large plantings of brightly colored flowers draw the butterflies in like magnets. It’s also better to plant flowers that are flat-topped (like echinacea) or flowers that are clustered with short tubelike blossoms (like salvia). Butterflies use a proboscis to eat. A proboscis is like a curled-up straw they extend into flowers to absorb nutrients.

After the butterflies eat, they’ll need a place to rest. Consider adding flat-topped stones in your garden for the butterflies to nap and bask in the sun. Also, consider adding a place for butterflies to go “puddling”. Butterflies often congregate on wet sand and mud for “puddling”, which is essentially drinking water and extracting minerals. You can easily add a butterfly puddle by placing coarse sand in a shallow pan (or birdbath) in the bed. Mist the sand daily to keep it moist.

Host Plants

A host plant is what butterflies lay their eggs on. When those eggs hatch, the caterpillars eat said plant. To have a successful butterfly garden, it MUST contain nectar sources and host plants.

Butterfly Host Plants
Monarchs Swallowtails Red Spotted Purples
Scientific Common Scientific Common Scientific Common
Asclepias i. Swamp Milkweed Anethum Dill Amelanchier Serviceberry
Asclepias s. Common Milkweed Foeniculum Fennel Betula Birch Tree
Asclepias t. Orange Milkweed Liriodendron Tulip Tree Prunus Cherry Tree
    Petroselinum Parsley Salix Willows


Nectar Sources

To attract and keep butterflies to your garden, you’ll need plants that are sources of nectar that bloom throughout the season.

Accessibility to the nectar is key. Some flowers just don’t work well for butterflies. For example, think of trumpet vine. The flowers are perfect for hummingbirds but too deep for butterflies to feed on.

Flowers that have been cultivated for eye-catching beauty might have been bred out of the food-providing category. Some just no longer produce enough nutritious nectar, and some don't allow butterflies to feed properly. Modern marigolds have been cultivated as bedding plants with double and triple blooms which, while lovely to see, won't let a butterfly proboscis enter. A perennial example is echinacea with the pom-pom-like, double-flowered blooms. The traditional-looking coneflower is still a good nectar source. In choosing the plants for your butterfly garden, you may find it helpful to think like a hungry butterfly.



Butterfly Nectar Sources
Early Season Mid Season Late Season
Scientific Common Scientific Common Scientific Common
Agastache Hyssop Achillea Yarrow Allium Ornamental Onion
Baptisia False Indigo Asclepias t. Orange Milkweed Aster Hardy Aster
Callirhoe Winecups Asclepias i. Swamp Milkweed Chelone Turtlehead
Campanula Bellflower Echinacea Coneflower Chrysanthemum Hardy Mum
Coreopsis Tickseed Echinops Globe Thistle Eupatorium Joe Pye Weed
Dianthus Garden Pinks Hemerocallis Daylily Helianthus False Sunflower
Lupinus Lupine Leucanthemum Shasta Daisy Lobelia Cardinal Flower
Nepeta Catmint Liatris Blazing Star Physostegia Obedient Plant
Penstemon Beardtongue Monarda Beebalm Origanum Ornamental Oregano
Phlox Creeping Phlox Phlox Garden Phlox Sedum Stonecrop
Primula Primrose Rudbeckia Blackeyed Susan Solidago Goldenrod
Pulmonaria Lungwort Salvia Meadow Sage Verbena Blue Vervain
Scabiosa Pincushion Flower Stokesia Stokes Aster Vernonia Irownweed

Deer Resistant Perennials

Scientific Name Common Name Light Plant Type
Achillea Yarrow Sun Flower
Agastache Butterfly Mint/Hyssop Sun Flower
Anemone Wind Flower Sun Flower
Artemisia Wormwood Sun Groundcover
Aster Hardy Aster Sun Flower
Baptisia False Indigo Sun Flower
Ceratostigma Plumbago/Leadwort Sun Groundcover
Chelone Turtlehead Sun Flower
Coreopsis Tickseed Sun Flower
Crocosmia Montbretia Sun Flower
Delphinium Larkspur Sun Flower
Dianthus Garden Pinks Sun Flower
Digitalis Foxglove Sun Flower
Echinacea Coneflower Sun Flower
Eupatorium Joe Pie Weed Sun Flower
Gaillardia Blanket Flower Sun Flower
Geranium Cranesbill Sun Groundcover
Hardy Hibiscus Rose Mallow Sun Flower
Iris Most Iris Sun Flower
Kniphofia Red Hot Poker Sun Flower
Leucanthemen Shasta Daisy Sun Flower
Liatris Gayfeather Sun Flower
Lobelia Cardinal Flower Sun Flower
Monarda Bee Balm Sun Flower
Oenothera Evening Primrose Sun Groundcover
Origanum Ornamental Oregano Sun Groundcover
Paeonia Peony Both Flower
Physostegia Obedient Plant Sun Flower
Rudbeckia Black Eyed Susan Sun Flower
Salvia Meadow Sage Sun Flower
Sedum Stonecrop Sun Flower
Sempervivum Hens & Chicks Sun Groundcover
Stachys Lambs Ear/Betony Sun Flower
Veronica Speedwell Sun Flower
Yucca Adam's Needle Sun Flower
Aconitum Monkshood Shade Flower
Ajuga Bugleweed Shade Groundcover
Alchemilla Ladys Mantle Shade Flower
Aquilegia Columbine Shade Flower
Aruncus Goats Beard Shade Flower
Astilbe False Spirea Shade Flower
Bergenia Pig Squeak Shade Flower
Brunnera Siberian Bugloss Shade Flower
Campanula Bell Flower/Harebell Shade Groundcover
Certastium Snow-In-Summer Shade Groundcover
Cimicifuga Snakeroot Shade Flower
Convallaria Lily Of The Valley Shade Flower
Dicentra Bleeding Heart Shade Flower
Ferns Ferns Shade Flower
Galium Sweet Woodruff Shade Groundcover
Helleborus Lenten Rose Shade Flower
Heuchera Coral Bells Shade Flower
Ligularia Ragwort/ Leopard Plant Shade Flower
Polemonium Jacob's Ladder Shade Flower
Polygonum Silver Lace Vine Shade Flower
Pulmonaria Lungwort Shade Flower
Tiarella Foamflower Shade Groundcover
Vinca Periwinkle Or Myrtle Shade Groundcover

Rabbit Resistant Perennials

Scientific Name Common Name Light Plant Type
Scientific Name Common Name Light Plant Type
Achillea Yarrow Sun Flower
Anemone Wind Flower Sun Flower
Aster Hardy Aster Sun Flower
Baptisia False Indigo Sun Flower
Delphinium Larkspur Sun Flower
Digitalis Foxglove Sun Flower
Geranium Cranesbill Sun Groundcover
Kniphofia Red Hot Poker Sun Flower
Lobelia Cardinal Flower Sun Flower
Lupinus Lupine Sun Flower
Malva Mallow Sun Flower
Myosotis Forget Me Not Sun Flower
Papaver Iceland Poppy Sun Flower
Salvia Meadow Sage Sun Flower
Sempervivum Hens & Chicks Sun Groundcover
Stachys Lambs Ear Sun Flower
Yucca Adam's Needle Sun Flower
Aconitum Monkshood Shade Flower
Alchemilla Ladys Mantle Shade Flower
Astilbe False Spirea Shade Flower
Bergenia Pig Squeak Shade Flower
Certastium Snow In Summer Shade Groundcover
Cimicifuga Snakeroot Shade Flower
Corydalis Hollowart Shade Flower
Ferns Ferns Shade Flower
Helleborus Lenten Rose Shade Flower
Most Hostas Most Hostas Shade Flower
Polemonium Jacob'S Ladder Shade Flower
Pulmonaria Lungwort Shade Flower
Aquilegia Columbine Both Flower
Artemisia Wormwood Both Groundcover
Campanula Serbian Bell Flower Both Groundcover
Clematis Clematis Both Vine
Climbing Hydrangea Climbing Hydrangea Both Vine
Iris Most Iris Both Flower
Vinca Periwinkle Or Myrtle Both Groundcover

Grasses for Shade

  • Sedges (Carex)
  • Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium)
  • Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa)
  • Moor Grass (Sesleria)

Variegated Grasses

  • Giant Reed Grass (Arundo donax 'Peppermint')
  • Golden Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra)
  • Porcupine Grass (Miscanthus senensis)

Rose Companion Grasses

  • Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus) annual
  • Variegated Japanese Silver Grass (Miscanthus sinensis)

Pots and Planters

  • Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium)
  • Fiber Optic Grass (Isolepis cernau) annual
  • Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus)
  • Fountian Grass (Pennisetum Burgundy Bunny, Hameln, 'Little')

Hot Dry Sites

  • Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca)
  • Little Blue Stem (Schizachyrium)

Moisture Lovers

  • Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Karl')
  • Switch Grass (Panicum)
  • Miscanthus species, Rushes and Sedges

Fall Color

  • Red Flame Grass (Miscanthus 'Purpurascens')
  • Little Blue Stem (Schizachyrium)

Ground Covers

  • Golden Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa)
  • Fountian Grass (Pennisetum alopecroides 'Little')
  • Blue Moor Grass (Sesleria)
  • Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)
  • Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica 'Red')

Salt tolerant

  • Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Karl Feather Reed Grass
  • Eragrostis spectabilis Purple Love Grass
  • Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue Fescue
  • Miscanthus species and cultivars Maiden Grass
  • Panicum virgatum Switch Grass
  • Sporobolus heterolepis Prairie Dropseed
  • Chasmanthium latifolium Northern Sea Oats
  • Erianthus ravennae Grass

Tolerates seasonal changes (from flood to drought)

  • Calamagrostis acutiflora 'K arl Foerster'
  • Panicum virgatum
  • Schizachyrium scoparium
  • Sesleria autumnalis
  • Sporobulus heterolepis

CARE OF GRASSES

GROWING AND MAINTAINING GRASSES

  • Low maintenance and easy to care for
  • Not bothered much by pests or diseases

SOIL PREPARATION

  • Loosen and weed area before planting
  • Dig hole just deep enough that the crown of the grass is even with the soil. Apply a layer of mulch
  • Best time to plant is Spring. Wait until night temperatures average 45-50 degrees for 2 weeks, which is usually beginning of May

FERTILIZATION

  • Do not really need much. Excess fertility can result in grass becoming floppy
  • A layer of good compost or other organic matter once a year is OK

WATERING

  • First year after planting, water regularly to get a good root system established
  • Their roots run deep; many are drought tolerant
  • Sedges and rushes do good in moist soil

MULCHING

  • Good for controlling weeds and conserving soil moisture
  • Do not mulch close to the crown (it can rot)
  • Mulching especially needed if grass was planted later in the Fall

CUTTING BACK

  • Tools needed: pruners, shears, bow saw, electric hedgers or sawsall
  • Tie a rope or plastic tie around grass clump
  • Cut through right below rope (leave about 4”-6” of grass)
  • Time to cut is early spring

DIVIDING

  • Rejuvenates overgrown grass
  • Tools needed: sharp spade, knife and strong back
  • The time to divide is spring

Designing

  • Grasses are the dancing notion in your garden
  • They provide: color, texture, movement and height

Let's start with a recipe for a good garden loam.

Material Amount
Sphagnum Peat Moss 3 Parts
Topsoil 1 Part
Coarse Sand 1 Part
Mushroom Compost 1 Part
Manure Compost (Aged) 1 Part

Shade Loving vs Shade Tolerant

  • Hostas are shade tolerant and not shade loving as many of us had thought. The irony about Hostas is that they actually grow and bloom more vigorously in full sun. However, the leaves also become scorched and unattractive. While some varieties are said to be more sun tolerant, I do not recommend their use in full sun due to our Midwest summer sun intensity, hot temperatures and drying winds. Nonetheless most Hostas will benefit from a couple hours of morning sun, provided they are on a good watering program.
  • Blue Hostas do well in all shade because their blue coloring comes from a waxy coating on their leaves. Too much sun will melt their wax. For the most part, thicker hostas are more sun tolerant.
  • Hostas from the ‘Plantaginea’ family are more sun tolerant provided they’re kept on a good watering program. Visit www.hostalibrary.org and view all the varieties from this species.

Hosta Pests

  • Slugs can be a problem in the shade garden. Here are some organic and inorganic ways to control slugs:
  • Encourage reptiles to take up residence in your garden. Toads, turtles, and snakes all prey on slugs. If you see evidence of these pests, avoid dense groundcovers and mulches that provide a hiding place. Leaf mulch will deter slugs as will long pine needles. Broken eggshells and coarse sand are physically difficult for slugs to get across either through being scratchy and sharp or by drying up the mucous glands that are necessary for their movement.
  • Heavier soils support higher slug populations. Looser soils are harder for them to move through and more frequently cultivated soils expose their eggs to predators and environmental damage.
  • Handpick slugs and snails at night, use a flashlight, and drop them into a bucket of soapy water. Lay boards in the garden or a scooped out grapefruit half to trap slugs and snails. Check your trap early in the morning and remove the slugs as they collect.
  • Drench the soil around the plant with cold coffee, or coffee grounds. Line the garden with copper strips. Slugs receive a shock when they touch copper, and they will not cross the barrier. When using this method, make sure you trap the slugs OUT and not IN.
  • Slugs love beer. Bury a shallow container of beer in the garden, with just the lip above the ground. When they go in for a drink, they will drown. Some commercial products that really work without harming the environment include Sluggo and Diatomaceous earth. Fall is a particularly important time of the year to control slugs because it is one of their major egg laying times.
  • Several manufacturers have toxic slug baits. When using chemicals, read the label carefully. They may be harmful to four-legged pets and fish and cannot be used around standing water.
  • Deer can eat all your Hosta plants in one evening, leaving just the stalks standing. Ten-foot tall fencing and trained guard dogs are the only reliable method to keep them out of the garden. Gardeners also use deer repellant, a bitter-tasting chemical that is sprayed on the leaves. These products need to be reapplied after several rainfalls. Motion detector garden sprinklers have also been used with some success.

Fertilizing

  • A balanced granular fertilizer such as 10-10-10 can be applied in early spring, then again every 6 weeks. A liquid fertilizer can be applied every 7 to 10 days. Remember to stop feeding around the first of August, to harden them off before cold weather sets in. Many gardeners do not need additional fertilizer if a soil test shows the soil has sufficient amounts of the necessary nutrients. In this case, an addition of compost over the bed once a year, applied in the fall, is usually sufficient.
  • Hosta prefer soil with a pH in the range of 6.5 to 7.5.

Health Issues

  • Diseases and viruses are of concern and are an emerging and important issue in growing Hostas. Symptoms include irregular mottling of the foliage, yellow ringspots, or small yellow dots or flecks on the leaves. If a virus is present, the plant(s) should be discarded and tools used in the Hosta planting or digging should be disinfected. If there is a specific need for diagnosing viruses in a Hosta plant or planting, contact your state university’s plant and/or pest diagnostic lab to discuss the testing procedures and fees that are involved. Hostalibrary.org has a section dedicated to diseases.
  • Other problems may show up as chemical damage, cold or frost damage, sunburn, and “melting out” of the leaf. These problems are not infectious.

Extending the Bloom Season for Hemerocallis Enjoyment

Things You Might Not Know About Daylilies (Hemerocallis)

You can extend the bloom season for Hemerocallis enjoyment by planting plants together of differing bloom times.

Bloom Time Categories

  • Early Bloomers: Begin blooming in June.
  • Mid-season: For daylilies is July -- around the 10th is peak in this area.
  • Late Season Bloomers: Begin when the rest of the blooms are tapering off, say end of July to August.
Early Bloomers Mid Bloomers Late Bloomers
Always Afternoon Lavender Blue Baby Cherokee Star
Baby Moon Café Mauna Loa Chicago Apache
Blackthorne Night Embers El Deperado
Bright Sunset Passion for Red Marque Moon
Custard Candy Pink Tangerine Mighty Chestnut
Daring Deception Red Hot Returns New Tangerine Twist
Diva's Choice Rocket City Parian China
Early Snow Romantic Returns Primal Screem
Earlybird Cardinal Rosy Returns  
Elegant Candy Ruby Spider  
Funny Valentine Stella De Oro  
Golden Plover Strawberry Candy  
Happy Returns Sunday Gloves Joan Senior

Fragrant Daylily Varieties

Variety
Adorable Tiger
Mighty Chesnut
Baby Moon Café
New Tangerine Twist
Big Smile
Night Embers
Blueberry Candy
Nosferatu
Bright Sunset
Pardon Me
Diva's Choice
Passion for Red
Early Snow
Pink Tangerine
Elegant Candy
Romantic Returns
Fragrant Returns
Rosy Returns
Garden Show
Siloam Peony Display
Happy Returns
Snappy Yellow
Hyperion
South Seas
Lavender Blue Baby
Stella De Oro
Marqye Moon
Storm Shelter
Midnight Raider
Sunday Gloves

Many varieties of daylilies also provide an additional show each season by re-blooming. These are registered as reblooming:

Re-blooming Varieties
Always Afternoon
Lavender Blue Baby
Blueberry Candy
Midnight Raider
Custard Candy
Moses' Fire
Daring Deception
Night Embers
Desert Flame
Pardon Me
Diva's Choice
Parian China
Early Snow
Passion for Red
Elegant Candy
Red Hot Returns
Fragrant Returns
Romantic Returns
Garden Show
Rosy Returns
Going Bananas
Scottish Fantasy
Happy Returns
Stella De Oro
Joan Senior
Strawberry Candy
Just Plum Happy
Sunday Gloves

For something a bit out of the usual, try these varieties which display a double form:

Double Form Varieties
Moses' Fire
Night Embers
Siloam Peony Display

If you are looking for plants with really BIG flowers, check out these:

Variety Size
Cherokee Star 6"
Garden Show 6"
Golden Plover 7"
Midnight Raider 6 1/2"
Moses' Fire 6"
New Tangerine Twist 6 1/2"
Parian China 6 1/2"
Primal Scream 7 1/2"
Ruby Spider 7"