Late-Emerging Perennials

As the growing season progresses, there are noticeable changes in the flower garden. This spring with the sudden appearance of 80-degree temperatures, perennial flowers seem to be emerging and blooming in short order. Yet, sometimes we worry when some of our prized perennials have not shown any evidence of life.

Don't worry. There are several perennials that are perpetually tardy every year. These perennials require warm soil and air temperatures to get started in the spring. Sometimes they do not emerge from the soil until June!

This means the gardener must be patient with some of their flowers. Don't remove or plant other perennials on top of these belated beauties. They will likely poke their heads up when you least expect it. Mark their locations in the garden so you know where they are located and wait. Your patience will be richly rewarded with loads of flowers in late summer.

Common Name Scientific Name
Hardy Hibiscus Hibiscus hybrids
Russian Sage Perovskia atriplicifolia
Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa
Balloon Flower Platycodon grandiflorus
Blue Spirea Caryopteris x clandonensis
Red-Hot Poker Kniphofia hybrids
Crocosmia Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora
Whirling Butterflies Guara lindheimeri
Maiden Grass Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'
Black eyed Susan Rudbeckia sp.
Joe Pye Weed Eupatorium sp.

This article originally appeared in the May 4, 2001 issue, p. 49.


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