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wind tolerant perennials?

Posted by jenigardener z5 NE IL (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 26, 05 at 10:05

I need ideas for wind tolerant flowering perennials. I have a small area that gets sun most of the day but also gets a lot of wind. I want something small to medium height. Any suggestions appreciated; thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: wind tolerant perennials?

I've had nothing but luck with Black-Eyed Susans (but they can get tall).... Coreoposis is very hearty too.


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RE: wind tolerant perennials?

I live in a pretty dry and windy area and I've had good luck with lavender, purple coneflowers, daylilies,dwarf iris and asiatic lilies. My daffodils and tulips regularly have their stalks broken by the breeze though.


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RE: wind tolerant perennials?

Russian sage, daylilies, Ivory queen allium, sea thrift, Lewisia (love this one, it is easier to find now, i believe i saw it at walmarts the other day). Zagreb COREOPSIS. I'm going to try a shorter Delphinium this year, I saw seeds at one point for a bush form of Delph. from Parks or T&M. I will try that next.
Sedums for autumn color. The coneflowers and Alaska daisies do well. I'm hoping my crazy daisy and snowlady (shorter) bloom this year. Gallardia. Rudbeckia.

I don't think I get as much wind as peach fuzz. My daffs and tulips do fine. A lot of things taller than 2 ft. get pushed over here.


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RE: wind tolerant perennials?

Not only is it windy at my house, it is like the JET STREAM itself blows across my front lawn. Last year on Mother's Day, a chokecherry tree toppled. Turns out it had a strange trunk that was horizontal for a bit before it turned skyward, but that's the kind of wind we get.

My biggest problem is that plants that make it through the coldest part of the winter just fine tend to DIE from the cold, dry winds in March. It is a huge disappointment to see happy buds in February, then see them wither and dry out as the weather warms up.

I am zone 5b nearly 6a, by the way. Nearly 6a by the temperature, but probably closer to 4 in regards to the wind. We are planning to plant more trees upwind, as a wind break. Spruces and Amelanchier and such.

This spring I learned which plants were truly tough. Ajuga dried out to cinders, but Dianthus such as "cheddar pinks," 'Artic Fire' and 'Fire Witch' made it through, by virtue of their needle-like leaves. The 'Siberian Blues' blue Dianthus crumbled to dust. It had wider leaves. I had started it from seed last year and it never even had a chance to flower.

Russian Sage just made it. Coreopsis dried out, except for one place where it was shielded from the wind a bit more. The bark of the Butterfly Bushes cracked and peeled. Muscari leaves dried out at the tips, but then the wind lessened and the flowers looked fine. 'Powis Castle' Artemesia made it through last winter, but was a fragrant, crumbly mess this spring.

Stachys byzantina had no trouble. I "fluffed" the dead leaves out and it looks great now. Some of the Daylilies in one gallon pots didn't make it. (Now I know better.) The ones in the ground were unaffected.

I had a nursery of plants in pots--lots died, but the hostas were fine. Except that I wouldn't recommend hostas for windy areas, since the leaves shred. Ferns did not make it, but Astilbe was fine. The dissected leaves fare better in the wind.

Here is some advice I got from a garden book:

Look for plants with fine, feathery leaves, since they are less likely to be damaged by wind. 'Sensation' Cosmos did very well for me last year, but it's an annual.

Also, stiff stems might or might not work. Achillea can get too tall in rich soil, and then the stems are likely to fall over, but it is very drought tolerant and my soil is poor so it stands up to the wind for me.

Watch out for plants drying out over the winter. I don't know how windy your place can get, but that is always a consideration, especially if you aren't able to water during the windy part of the year.


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