116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Many perennials start to bloom in June making it the perfect month to shop for plants. Garden centers are full of perennials that are blooming now. Derecho damaged yards and gardens will now have full sun, so it may be time to plant sun-loving perennials. Remember our pollinators when choosing your plants.
Sun-loving perennials that pollinators love include:
- Butterfly weed
- Achillea (yarrow)
- Monarda (bee balm)
- Garden phlox
- Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan)
- Veronica (speedwell)
- Shasta daisy
- Catmint (Nepeta)
- Campanula (bellflower)
- Russian Sage
- Echinacea (coneflower)
- Buddleia (butterfly bush)
- Penstemon (beardtongue).
Want blooms all season long? Plan a perennial bed so that you have something in bloom at all times. Early bloomers include:
- Creeping phlox
- Baptisia (wild indigo)
Baptisia is an old favorite that has been given new life by breeding new colors. The original variety was indigo blue with new varieties now available in yellow, purple, lavender, pink and violet.
When it starts to heat up these midsummer bloomers thrive. They include:
- Shasta daisy
It might be time to take a look a new look at some of these flowers and their new varieties. Achillea “Firefly Sunshine” is a great variety for blooms all summer long with its bright yellow color and its tall sturdy habit. Best of all, bees and butterflies love it.
“Pagan Purples” and “Pink Punch” Delphinium are the darkest pink and purple delphiniums on the market. These plants are very hardy and will bloom from June to August.
Echinacea “Magnus” has 6-inch wide magenta rose flowers that butterflies love. Not to be outdone, Shasta daisy “Banana Cream II” is very floriferous and has lemon yellow buds that open to creamy white.
Don’t forget to plant some late summer bloomers in your garden. They’ll make sure your garden remains colorful as we head into fall. Late-summer bloomers include:
- Garden phlox
Campanula “Church Bells” and “Angel Bells” are both clustered bell-flower types. “Church Bells” is violet purple and “Angel Bells“ are white. They have dark green foliage and are deer resistant and pollinators love them.
Liatris comes in white and purple and is a great cut flower that pollinators love.
Monarda (beebalm) comes in raspberry, purple, pink and red. Bees (hence the name) and butterflies love them.
Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) comes in shades of yellow and orange and is another plant that butterflies love.
The perennial plant of the year for 2022 is a grass called Little Bluestem. Little Bluestem is the common name for a genus called Shizachyrium. There are many varieties of this genus, including “Standing Ovation,” “Carousel” and “Twilight Zone.”
This grass is perfect for tight spaces as it is usually half as wide as it is tall. All these varieties have a blue cast to the foliage with great fall color in reds and purples. Plant this in combination with some of the sun-loving perennials and you will make an interesting bed. The movement of the grass with the silvery plumes will give your garden interest and provide cover and forage for the birds.
Al Pierson is owner of Pierson’s Flower Shop & Greenhouses Inc., in Cedar Rapids.