Reblooming Perennials for Months of Color
By Justin Hancock
Ice PlantBeautiful ice plant is an easy-to-grow perennial that creates a carpet of color in hot, sunny spots in the garden. A new series called Jewels of the Desert offers unprecedented bloom times -- from spring all the way through fall -- ensuring your perennial garden never looks dull.
Once established, ice plant is practically plant-it-and-forget-it perennial!
We love yarrow. There are a lot of reasons to grow this easy-to-grow perennial (especially if you're new to gardening or have a busy schedule!), including:
> Attracts butterflies
> Is ignored by deer and rabbits
> Loves hot weather
> Makes for a good cut flower
> Tolerates drought
> It also blooms a long time -- most of the summer -- if you remove the flowers as they fade (or use them in bouquets).
ConeflowerA practically unstoppable North American native wildflower, coneflower shows off a steady supply of gorgeous flowers for months in summer. Once established, coneflower is delightfully drought tolerant, beautifully attractive to butterflies, and among the best perennials for bouquets.
Though traditionally coneflowers come in purple and white, plant breeders have been working hard to produce new varieties in a range of other colors, including yellow, orange, red, and green. Some varieties are even fragrant!
GaillardiaA tried-and-true North American native plant, you know gaillardia is tough because survives all on its own in the prairies, making due without watering, fertilizing, or other special care. It brings this easy-growing nature to the garden and rewards you with a nearly constant show of blooms from early summer through fall, especially if you take the time to remove flowers as they fade.
GauraSome perennials produce big, in-your-face-type flowers. Gaura isn't one of those, but it's just as valuable in the garden. Gaura shows off delightful, fluffy wands of pink or white flowers from late spring all the way through fall.
Besides being adorable, gaura is also one of the toughest perennials around: It loves heat, doesn't mind drought, and is practically carefree.
Black Eyed SusanYou can't go wrong with black-eyed Susan -- this longtime favorite garden plant starts blooming in summer and continues all the way through fall. Native to areas of North America, it handles heat and drought with ease, and also attracts lots of beautiful butterflies. Plus, the flowers last a long time in bouquets.
Pincushion FlowerPincushion flower is fantastic for adding texture to the garden. It produces a low mound of foliage from which rise coaster-sized flowers on tall stems. The flowers start to appear in late spring and appear nonstop all the way through fall.
Pincushion flower is lovely when cut in bouquets -- and happily, it offers enough flowers you can enjoy them in the garden and the vase!
SalviaThere are a host of salvia varieties, both annual and perennial (and some either, depending on where you live). Most have impressive bloom seasons. One of the hardiest, May Night (which is hardy from Canada to Florida) blooms throughout the spring and early summer, especially if you remove the flowers as they fade.
Like other salvia varieties, May Night is ignored by deer and rabbits and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden.
Endless Summer Hydrangea Bonus ShrubWho doesn't love hydrangeas, with their big, petal-packed balls of flowers in breathtaking colors from sky-blue to ruby red (and just about every shade of purple in between). Old-fashioned hydrangeas were one-time bloomers, but new varieties, such as Endless Summer, start the show in June and continue on and off all the way through fall.
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