Not all flowers thrive in our Northeastern climate, and it can be hard finding the best perennials to come back year after year in your garden.
That’s why we’ve picked five of our favorite floras, to brighten up your Massachusetts landscape, all summer long. Check out these beautiful buds:
Homeowners love the soft, pastels of the full, flowering hydrangea. While there are seven types, six are most common in the Northeast— featuring stunning blue or pink blooms. These perennials flower in spring, and keep their glorious spheres of color throughout the summer, sometimes even into the fall. Talk about a long bloom!
Though hydrangeas produce large floral globes, they’re actually considered a shrub and can reach up to 15 feet in height. With proper care, your hydrangea can shine for many years. Make this acid-loving shrub happy with these fertilizing tips and follow these pruning best practices for getting the best blooms, from the Massachusetts Flower Growers Association.
Astilbes, more casually referred to as “false goat’s beard,” is a fern-like plant which produces feathering, tall stalks of flowers and rich green foliage. These perennials can grow up to two feet high, depending on the variety, and produce their red, pink, white or lavender flowers every spring.
While they only bloom once a year, their spring flowers last well into the summertime in Massachusetts. The great part about Astilbe is that even after the bloom has lost its color it still provides interest in the garden and we recommend not deadheading them. With no pruning necessary, they require little maintenance— just cutting back any dead leaves in the fall. Plant these vibrant, delicate stalks in an area that receives moderate shade and keep them in moist soil, and you’ll enjoy the wispy, breeze-blown flowers for months to come.
While these perennials will grow in full sun, they do best in part shade and are prone to dormancy in the heat of the summer if planted in full sun. They often look dead at this time, but they will come back next year!
3. Russian Sage and Catmint (it’s a tie!)
Grace your garden with a pop of purple and silvery blue-green, with a lovely Russian Sage plant. This fragrant plant produces the same woody smell of household sage spice, with beautiful color that the traditional herb lacks.
Russian Sage requires a hard pruning in the spring, when its buds are about to open, as it blooms best on new growth. This pruning allows its flowers to grow big and bold throughout the summertime. It needs little watering and basks in full sun. The lavender floral pods are also a favorite of friendly bees, making the perfect addition to your pollinator garden!
Nepeta (catmint) is very similar to Russian Sage in its shape and color. Some varieties like Walkers Low can grow to be a mound 3-4’ in width and 3’ in height! We love to use these as an anchor plant at the start of a walkway or next to steps because they fill in these areas with tons of color. They die back to the ground for the winter, so shoveling snow on them isn’t an issue either.
These guys are also rebloomers! After the blooms have faded, shear them off and the plant will put out a secondary bloom. This will be much less prolific than the first, but help you to extend the season. Much like the Russian Sage, bees love these perennials, also making them a great addition to a pollinator garden.
Daylilies are large flowers that can steal the show in any garden. These tropical-looking blooms love the sun and produce more buds in direct exposure, though they’ll still grow in the shade. You can find their petals in yellow, gold, orange, red and deep purple colors, oftentimes mixed to create picture-perfect blends.
You can expect your daylilies to flower all throughout the summertime and come back year after year with little maintenance. The daylily’s thick roots help it survive Massachusetts winters, and they’re extremely drought-tolerant. They can even be divided every five years to add a touch of vibrancy to a new location in your yard!
Reblooming varieties of Stella D’Oro Daylilies have become hugely popular to create and sustain color throughout long periods of the season. They make great border planting too!
5. Black-Eyed Susans
Rudbeckia hirta, more easily remembered as “Black-Eyed Susans,” is a daisy-like wildflower that adds a burst of yellow to your landscape. Resembling mini-sunflowers, Susan’s dark centers give them their black-eyed name, and their vibrant petals last from June to October.
Butterflies and bees love landing on this flora for their sweet nectar, and homeowners love bringing this field flower from the open pasture to their garden. If you admire the look of the daisy, be sure to check out the Coneflower, AKA Echinacea, as well.
Bring Your Garden to Life
These are some of the best perennials to plant this summer in Massachusetts, and our customers enjoy their long-lasting blooms for many seasons to come.
Looking to brighten up your landscape? Planting beautiful blooms is just one way to enliven your property. Download our Ultimate Guide to Curb Appeal for six ways to instantly increase your property value.