Ask the Master Gardener: Late summer is a great time to add perennials

Dear Master Gardener: Are there flowering perennials that I can add to my garden now to get more continuous bloom into fall?

Answer: Late August through early September is a great time to add flowering perennials to your garden. Here is a list of some perennials that bloom late summer into fall:

Echinacea purpurea, or purple coneflower. Photo by Jennifer Knutson

Echinacea purpurea, or purple coneflower. Photo by Jennifer Knutson

  • Aconitum (monkshood) grows best in part to light shade and in moist soil high in organic matter. The most commonly available cultivars come in blue or purple and the flowers resemble a monk’s hood, hence its common name. Aconitum attracts hummingbirds and is considered “deer resistant.” As a caution, every part of Aconitum is highly toxic, so wear gloves when handling this plant.

  • Aster is a large and diverse group of perennials available in a wide range of colors and heights. This plant requires full sun and attracts butterflies.

  • Cimicifuga, also known as Actaea, performs best in part shade and rich, moist soil. It gets spikes of fluffy, bottlebrush-like, fragrant flowers that start at the base and move up the stalk, so the effect can last for weeks. It may take a few years for this plant to reach its full potential, but it is worth the wait!

  • Chelone (turtlehead) likes moist soil and part shade. It is noted for its dark green, glossy foliage, and unique flowers that are either pink or white. Chelone glabra (white) is a native plant. It attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

  • Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower) has a long bloom period and comes in pink or white. There are many new Echinacea cultivars that come in a variety of colors also. This plant performs best in full sun and well-drained soil.

  • Eupatorium (Joe-Pye weed) is a North American native that attracts butterflies. It needs moist soil and grows best in full sun to part shade. The flowers are purple, white, or pink.

  • Garden Mums come in a wide array of flower sizes, forms and colors. The University of Minnesota’s mum breeding program is one of the oldest public sector breeding programs in the world and the only one in North America. These breeding efforts, which began in the 1920s, have brought a wide range of colors and shapes in hardy mums to northern gardens. Prior to that, no mums bloomed before Minnesota’s killing frosts. Mums should be planted in full sun and mulched for winter protection.

  • Helenium (sneezeweed) produces small, daisy-like flowers in various shades of red, orange, or yellow over a long period and attracts butterflies. It likes moist soil and does well in a rain garden. Avoid overly rich soil and fertilization.

  • Platycodon (balloon flower) comes in single, semi-double, or double flower forms and shades of blue, pink, or white. It prefers full sun; however the pink and white cultivars produce longer lasting color in part sun.

  • Sedum is an easy to grow, long-lived succulent. It should be planted in full sun. The flowers attract bees and butterflies.

For full article, go to: Brainerd Dispatch

Source, image(s), credits & more: Brainerd Dispatch | Jennifer Knutson