Dianthus, also called ‘Pinks’, or ‘Sweet William’ are small, sun loving perennials that are in the same family as Carnations. They have beautiful, fragrant flowers that smell spicy, or cinnamon like. Dianthus can be considered a perennial, annual, or biennial depending on variety and growing zone.
Dianthus can easily be grown from seed. Sow Dianthus seeds indoors, 8-10 weeks before moving outside.
For popular Dianthus varieties: Dianthus Varieties
So many things to love about these short lived perennials/biennials.
Because of their height (3′-4′), and upright growing habit, they make a great addition to the back of perennial garden beds. Their beautiful blooms attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
Hollyhocks have so many different varieties, each with very different flowers.
Hollyhocks have large seeds and are easily started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost.
3. Garden Phlox
Garden Phlox is a popular perennial that has been in gardens for over 100 years. It has beautiful clusters of trumpet shaped flowers that bloom throughout the summer. They make a great cut flower and are often used in floral arrangements.
Their fragrant blossoms attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Sow Garden Phlox 8 weeks before the last frost.
For popular varieties and more info: Garden Phlox
Coreopsis, also known as Tickseed, is a low maintenance perennial that is a reliable bloomer throughout the summer. Flowers are usually some form of yellow with a rigid tooth shape. To maximize flower production pinch off spent blooms.
Coreopsis can grow in a wide range of soil conditions and can tolerate full sun and drought conditions.
Coreopsis is easy to start from seed. Start 6-8 weeks indoors before the last frost.
5. Coral Bells
Coral Bells is a hardy perennial with both beautiful flowers and foliage. They have such varying appearances depending on the variety. ‘Palace Purple’ is a common variety that can add beautiful red foliage to shade gardens. Check out some popular varieties: Coral Bells.
Coral Bells is easy to grow and a great choice for cold climates since they can tolerate cold winters. They can even be considered semi evergreen and their leaves can sometimes retain color throughout the winter
Start Seeds indoors 8 weeks before last frost date.
Yarrow is a tall, very easy to care for perennial with fern like foliage. Their flowers have a pleasant aroma and are great in cut flower arrangements.
Yarrow can tolerate dry soil and heat. They require little maintenance and can be seen in wildflower mixes.
Yarrow is very easily grown from seed. Start seeds indoors about 6-8 weeks before last frost.
Starting perennial seeds indoors is a great winter activity. For instructions on starting seeds indoors check out this tutorial: How to Start Seeds Indoors.
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