Planning a flower garden is one of the gardener’s great joys. With careful planning, landscaping has the potential to provide stunning color almost year-round, while attracting pollinators. to pick Perennial flowers for the Northeast must consider space, hardiness, maintenance, light levels, and disease and pest resistance. For example, the best shade perennials for some New England must be tolerant to USDA Hardiness Zones 3. These cold temperatures require Northeast perennials that are frost tolerant and have a stable nature and we expect consistency year after year from perennials.
Perennial flowers deserve great value for their annual display. It is important to maximize our purchases by choosing plants that suit their environment, in shape and color, but also in temperament. New England perennials must adapt to some fairly harsh weather, with deep freezes being common, but summer heat can be oppressive. Fortunately, breeding programs always come with hardy plants that are tolerant of deep freezes and resistant to disease, deer, and other pests.
Choosing New England Perennials
In northeastern North America, summers are hot and humid, while winters are cold and usually snowy. Temperatures can range from 26 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (-3.33 to 29.4 degrees Celsius). In severe winters, temperatures can drop below freezing. There is a need for such hardy plants that can take on these wild ranges.
To encourage blooming plants, choose flowers that attract a variety of pollinators such as bees, moths, and hummingbirds. Bright colors are often the key to bringing in these beneficial organisms, but so is the duration of flowering and the shape of the flower. By choosing a variety of attractive plants, flowers bloom for a longer period of time, and feed these important insects and animals. As they feed, they will transfer pollen, allowing the flowers to set seeds and fruit and reproduce. New England pollinator plants can be:
- Blanket flower
- Stone Harvest
- Bee balm
- Butterfly weed
- Golden Rod
Deer Resistant Perennials Northeast
Deer are part of the Northeast Parks. Wild animals are fascinating and beautiful, but they can be a nuisance to observant gardeners. Their browsing habits can deplete entire plants, and they seem to prefer young stems and flowers the most. Plants like hostas and yews suffer the most because animals enjoy the flavor, but in tough times, deer will eat almost anything. Thorny or prickly plants, such as barberry, seem to ward off pesky rumors. attempt:
- Haakon Grass
- Japanese paint fern
- Broken heart
- Mrs. Vern
Shade Tolerant Perennials for Northeastern Gardens
New England is home to many forests and wooded areas. This means a lot of shade, a condition that makes plant selection difficult. Most flowering perennials prefer at least 6 hours of sun, but there are still some plants that thrive in lower light conditions. These plants also often thrive in consistently moist soil, a situation many of our popular perennials avoid. Plants that do well in shade are:
- Wild ginger
- Sweet Woodruff
- Ostrich fern
- Sulaiman’s ring
- Bean Berry
Caring for Perennials in New England
Every plant has different water and light needs, so it’s important to consult the plant’s tag when purchasing. Cut spent flowers on flowering plants to encourage new flushes as much as possible and to keep them tidy. Early in the spring, prune herbaceous, deciduous plants to provide place for new growth. Many perennials benefit from division every few years. Because of the cooler temperatures, mulching in the fall with organic matter such as bark, leaf litter, or grass clippings can help keep the roots warm and protected. Don’t put mulch on the crown of a perennial plant, as it can trap moisture and cause rot.