My List Of Underused Annuals/Perennials

lfellow(Zn4 TwinC)January 27, 2006

Please add to this...I could always use more suggestions:

-4 o'clocks a.: They grow about anywhere, take very poor soil and do not need a lot of water. Their pastel colors are very beautiful in the mornings and evenings. I start them from seed about 2 weeks before they go outside. They're also easy to overwinter- just dig their tuber-like roots and store in vermiculite in a cool place.

-Heliotrope a.: Absolutely beatiful foliage and nice smelling purpal bunched flowers- likes am sun/afternoon shade.

-Elephant ears a.: Great in wet shade or in large pots on a shaded patio or deck. They love fertilizer and lots of water. The leaves are easily 2 feet wide- if you want a conversation starter -grow these guys.

-Moss rose a.- I like growing this on the very front edge of a hot border- last year I did a double white flowering variety (all one color) everyone was asking what kind of flower it was. The white was especially eye catching off the edge of the sidewalk. It likes full sun/fast draining soil and is relatively trouble free.

-False indigo p.- This is a great plant that gets bushy very quickly. The flowers look a little like lupines in late spring- and it has great folliage. It likes to be neglected- I saw some growing in gravel underneath pine trees in downtown mpls!

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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

How about Knautia macedonica- this little beauty pumps out blooms all year long!!! And once established- is care and worry free!
Dicentra exemina- fernleaf bleeding heart, for the shade to part shade- another one that blooms and blooms- without worries-
Nicotiana for the shade to part sun beds- brings both color and heavenly scent to your hosta beds.
Impatients balsamenia, or Balsam is another for color for your shady side....
Why not try tall sunflowers as stakes for your tomatos or as a trellis for annual vines like morning glories....

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 8:40AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Great subject. In this day and age, where everyone has to have the "latest and greatest" plants, the "tried and true" basic annuals and perennials are sometimes overlookedÂ

Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower): easy to grow and blooms from approx mid August to October.

Maltese cross: sure, the red color is not for everyone, but this is a very hardy fuss free plant.

Lambs ear: I love the greyish soft foliage. Some websites recommend removing the blooms, that they take away from the plant, but I disagree.

Lamium: between my back deck and the rocks of my small pond, I had a one foot by six foot strip of soil. Lamium filled in the area completely and looks striking as it starts to grow a bit over the rocks of the pond. I alternated ÂWhite Nancy lamium with ÂAurea (gold leafed) lamium. My Mom had hostas surrounded by ÂWhite Nancy Lamium. Speaking of hostas, there is another perennial you probably canÂt go wrong with. Once established it looks very striking.

Regarding annuals, geraniums and impatiens still do it for me. Especially the bold colors available now.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 10:36AM
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Lots of native plants! They are well-adapted to our climate (of couse, one still needs to match the plant to the soil, light, and moisture conditions). And many of them are quite attractive year-round, not to mention providing benefits to wildlife.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 2:08PM
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cheri_mn_524(zone4 -MN)

I finally planted Balsem last year , loved it and want more this year.
Never see enough Jack in the Pulpit and Lugularias, Trillium,Anemone.
I can Never seem to get Canteberry Bells to grow but would love to use lots of those..
Sweet Pea Vine
Lots more but I will stop,, I love them all, There is no such thing as an over used plant in my opinion....
Have a great Day

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 9:08AM
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dentaybow(Z3A MN)

stachys monnieri
Stachys grandiflora (aka macrantha)
calamintha grandiflora
Persicaria polymorpha
Symphyandra hoffmannii - Thanks to Lori for introducing me to this neat reseeding biennial (? a short-lived perennial?)
Ratibida pinnata
Inula ensifolia - and some of the other Inula's
epilobium fischeri
Galium mollugo ÂVictor Jones'
Scutellarias alpina, S. orientalis, (low growing types)
Primulas in the Cortusoides Section


    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 6:18AM
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birdwing(z4 MN)

I was going to start a thread that makes basically the same point so I'll add to this one..

Nicotiana -mutabilis & cranberry island (the 4-5ft kind)

Kiss me over the garden gate (last summer mine were close to 8ft)

Delphinium (all of em but especially royal blue)

annual Scabiosa (ace of spades especially)

I also love Elephant ears; mine were huge last summer & people were floored by them. I dug them up and have them in the basement so we'll see if they make it.

These are the things I can't wait for..

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 2:18PM
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