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Great Plant Choices for Late Summer

August 18, 2011

By John Markowski

Listen, I love Black-Eyed Susans as much as the next gardener, but I have to admit, I do find them a bit boring. Yes, it may seem like there aren’t many plants in bloom this time of year, but if you search just a little bit deeper, you’ll find some phenomenal plant choices. These gems are native to our part of the country and are easily found at your local nursery or at local native plant sales. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

Lobelia siphilitica (Blue Cardinal Flower) is a perennial that grows 3 feet high and 2 feet wide, prefers moist soil, works in full sun or partial shade and draws butterflies and hummingbirds in droves:

Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed) is a perennial you may have seen in a ditch along a country road but never realized what it actually was. The most common type you’ll see at the nursery reaches a height of 6 feet and a width of 3 feet. The blooms are at their peak right now and will persist deep into the fall. Oh yeah, they attract mad wildlife as well:

My last sales pitch for today is for Helenium autumnale or Sneezeweed. Another perennial that thrives in our area, Sneezeweed can reach up to 5 feet tall, blooms profusely in late summer and prefers full sun. It is the perfect replacement for the aforementioned Black-Eyed Susan.

So, you with me? Out with the old and in with the … less known. Your neighbors will thank you.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2011 8:30 am

    Thanks for this. It is hard to find bloomers this time of year. Especially here when its been 105 – 107 deg since August began!

  2. August 18, 2011 11:29 am

    Hi John! I didn’t know Joe Pye Weed grows ‘in a ditch along a country road’. It should be a pretty ditch! My JPW reaches a sky this year. I bet it’s 8″ tall. It blooms wonderfully! Good recommendation!

  3. August 18, 2011 4:45 pm

    WOOT WOOT and Congratulations wonderful article and I look forward to reading more Annie <|;-)

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