Perennials for June/July?

emmi331(7)May 30, 2012

I live in SW Virginia. Right now my little back garden looks lovely, with all kinds of flowers coming out. But I don't really have much that will bloom later (until late August, when goldenrod and rudbekia show up). Any suggestions for perennials that bloom in June and/or July?

I don't want to just look at greenery those months! Thanks.

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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

My favorite is spirea Japonica; I have Shiboru (sp?) and it is covered with masses of blooms in shades from almost-white to a soft rosy pink from spring to frost. All it asks is to be watered during droughts and a standard gentle pruning (just to remove crossed branches) in late water. Mine is in near-full sun beside a south-facing brick wall and is now about 15 years old; I had it in a huge pot for a couple years, but unless you like to water daily in the heat, don't bother with a pot. It is now about 40" tall.

Lilies are always reliable: Asiatic and Longiforum for [usually] June & July; Oriental and trumpet for July into August; some species bloom most of the season. Mild winters seem to activate early blooms, my asiatics are now showing color. Warning: read labels carefully, some (such as Regale Trumpet) get very tall and require staking. I put a 30" tall plastic-covered wire fence just house-side of the lilies and tie when they are about 2' and again at 3' tall. The lily leaves hide the fence. Lilies can quickly use up your budget, so watch for end-of-season sales; JohnScheepers usually runs one in late November.

Hydrangeas, of course for semi-shade. Read the labels, newer varieties now bloom almost all summer. I have Nikki, which is just now starting to bloom; as long as it gets enough water, it will keep on blooming to frost. ~ enough from Nikki's viewpoint is rather more than I usually think of during the August droughts, but it always starts more blooms as soon as it gets a good drink. Some varieties do quite well in full sun, so again, read the labels to be sure you get what you want.

Garden phlox are reliable in light shade to full sun; again, water during droughts! It's worth it to get mildew-resistant varieties. I've never had much trouble with mildew, but I've noticed those seem to endure dry conditions just a bit better.

You might consider a multi-colored leaf viburnum. Spring blossoms and winter berries, so it's interesting most of the year. (See; sorry I've forgotten the variety name.)

Garden hibiscus, the soft-stemmed shrubby type not the tree. DH grew 5 plants from seed and they are still doing well after a couple decades. However, seed can be a bit tricky, it's easier just to get a plant. (See for Pink Swirl plants) They aren't as water-demanding as hydrangeas, but the more water they get during hot spells, the more flower they produce. In July and August I run a hose from the clothes washer to the hibiscus bed, they seem to thrive on rinse water, lol.

Cannas are always reliable; I mulch 12 inches for winter, but in zone 7 you might not have to do that.

I hope that gives you some ideas. You might want to check the catalogs for a plant nursery such as BlueStone; they do an excellent job of estimating bloom times and growing requirements. (I am not affiliated with BlueStone other than as a very satisfied customer.)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 2:20PM
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Many thanks, meldy, for your excellent suggestions! I already have hydrangea; I believe it's the Nikki variety. It's blooming beautifully - I had to move it several times over the years before finding a spot where it would do well.

When I lived in Panama, we had gorgeous hibiscus everywhere. The only attention they needed there was your eyes on them admiring them!

Anyhow, I appreciate your taking the time to respond, and I apologize for being so delayed getting back here.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 4:15PM
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What about echinaceas (they come in so many colors now!) and coreopsis- also available in a few different colors and heights? My blazing stars are also blooming prolifically right now, too :)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 8:07PM
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vajeff(7b VA)

Butterfly Bush, buddleia, does well for me. The 'Dark Knight' variety has been blooming for weeks, and the scent is pleasant. However, I have heard that buddleia is notorious for not coming back after a random winter, but that has not been the case for me.

Butterfly Weed, asclepias, is great! Some are not hardy to VA, I believe (asclepias curassavica?). They have a nice fragrance and are host plants for Monarch caterpillars, which is why I grow them. Mine have been blooming for a little over a month now, and they have lots of new buds forming. Watch out, as aphids can be a problem. They absolutely love milkweed. Asclepias is also rather toxic, so use caution and try not to come in contact with the sap.

Lantana might survive. If it does, it will bloom from early summer until fall. It is also drought tolerant.

I would say chrysanthemums since they do seem to want to bloom at the start of summer, but I'm not sure how they would look without all the pinching. Their blooms don't last too long either.

4 O'clocks are nice. I grew them from seed this year and they're just now blooming. They form a tuberous root that can be dug up and stored over winter. They are poisonous.

Gerbera daisies might survive. Mine flowered in the spring and took a bit of a break before sending up new flowers a week or two ago.

Evening primrose is flowering now. Gaillardia is too. Knock Out roses and dianthus (keep dead headed) have not stopped. A friend has ornamental honeysuckle blooming, but it did most of that in June. Hibiscus are great! My Luna Pink Swirl is absolutely covered in blooms... so much that the rains last night made the branches too heavy and they broke off!

Our delphinium have been in bloom since early June.

Agastache blooms from early summer until fall. It attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. I tried 'Golden Jubilee' and 'Blue Fortune' this year, and they're coming along just fine. Great scent from the foliage! It's like anise and spearmint. The lime-like foliage color of 'Golden Jubilee' adds a showy bit of interest to part shade/part sun locations.

Monarda blooms from late spring to early fall.

Kniphofia, or red hot poker, will bloom from early summer to late summer.

Blackberry lilies are nice for summer.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 4:50PM
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Rose of Sharon is also reliable as are daylilies

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 9:54PM
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Thanks to all for your great ideas! I am so grateful; I will be posting this page on my Favorites list. Right now the rudbekia are looking wonderful, and the campion continues to produce flowers; everything came out early this year. At this point I'm almost reluctant to plant anything due to the extreme dryness we've been going through, with no relief in sight. Because this happens nearly every summer, in recent years I've pretty much stuck to drought-tolerant plants. Fortunately, there are plenty of them. Again, thanks to all!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 1:47PM
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