Garden Topics: Perennials

10 Best Flowering Sun Perennials for the Pittsburgh Area

Everyone has their favorites, but we at Reilly’s have found these 10 perennials are perfect for the beginning Gardner and pro alike. They are dependable, long blooming, and easy to grow. Give them a try, and come in and see us for additional help or questions.

'Goldsturm' black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm')

Goldsturm' black-eyed Susan can handle even Pittsburgh's  hottest, driest summer seasons.  It works well with your other native plants and adds a bright spot of color to any flower arrangement. It blooms for 7 or 8 weeks beginning in midsummer with plants reaching 18-30 inches tall.  Black-eyed Susan plants will self-sow too.  They grow in average, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade.

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm) are native to the the meadows and woods of North America. They are suitable for mixed borders, meadows, native gardens, open woods, and large annual displays. 
‘Goldsturm’ black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’)
'Magnus' purple coneflower (Echinacea 'Magnus')

Want to attract goldfinches and butterflies?  These beautiful purple daisy-like flowers bloom from midsummer into early autumn.  Butterflies hover around and and birds enjoy the seeds of this striking bloom.  This derivative of a native meadow flower has a prominent rusty center cone surrounded by plenty of pink daisy like petals - up to 7 inches across.  "Magnus" purple coneflowers grow in deep, well-drained solid in full sun.  Note that deadheading prolongs flowering.  And if you cut back stems, it promotes more flowering and reduces self-seeding.
‘Magnus’ purple coneflower (Echinacea ‘Magnus’)
'Autumn Joy' sedum (Sedum 'Autumn Joy')

'Autumn Joy' sedum is just that - a joy in autumn.  As summer flowers start to fade in August, this hardy plant starts to bloom.  With pink flowers maturing to the copper colors of autumn, Autumn Joy sedun brightens your garden from August to October - and as a bonus, it attracts butterflies as well.

'Autumn Joy' sedum is hardy enough to handle the cold, drought tolerant, disease resistant, and pest resistant.  At 2 foot tall, it looks wonderful with your ornamental grasses.

Autumn Joy sedum prefers somewhat fertile, moist soil in full sun, but is hardy enough to handle drier weather.  'Tips can be pruned at 6 to 8 inches to shorten the plant, but this will also delay flowering.  
‘Autumn Joy’ sedum (Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’)
'Rozanne' hardy geranium (Geranium 'Rozanne')

This award winning geranium is a great addition to any garden.  From full sun to partial shade, the Rozanne hardy geranium provides large blooms and attractive foliage for a full season. The striking blue-violet booms have a white center with darker veins through the petals.  The plant grows between 1 -2 feet tall and wide and spreads foliage around surrounding plants.  It works well for borders, containers, and rock or cottage gardens.  Rozanne prefers moderately fertile, moderately moist soil.
‘Rozanne’ hardy geranium (Geranium ‘Rozanne’)
'Becky' Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x 'Becky')

Who doesn't love the bright yellow centers and beautiful white petals of the Shasta daisy.  The Becky Shasta is a cultivated variation with especially large blooms on a 3-4 foot tall stem that doesn't require staking.  It's very adaptable, though it prefers full sun or light shade and moist, well-drained soil.

The Becky Shasta daisy blooms from midsummer through early fall.  Deadheading regularly and plan to divide every 2-3 years to maintain a beautiful summer border.  These blooms also attract butterflies.
‘Becky’ Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum × ‘Becky’)
'David' garden phlox (Phlox 'David')

Fragrant, abundant blooms from early summer to early fall make the David garden phlox a very popular choice.  It's grows sturdily and resists powdery mildew that attacks so many phlox.  This variant grows up to 3 1/2 feet tall and 2-3 feed wide in consistently moist soil and full sun to partial shade.
‘David’ garden phlox (Phlox  ‘David’)
'Walker's Low’ catmint (Nepeta x 'Walker's Low')

Walkers Low catmint makes a beautiful edging or border to your herb garden, rock garden, or walls.  The mass of lavender-blue flowers and grayish green leaves share their pleasant aroma for the entire summer (if you dead head them).  It can reach 2 foot tall and 3 foot wide.  Walkers Low catmint does well in almost any well-drained soil in full sun.  It tends to attract bees and butterflies, but deer seem to avoid it.  Trim after flowering to encourage more blooms.
‘Walker’s Low’ catmint (Nepeta × ‘Walker’s Low’)
'Firewitch' cheddar pink (Dianthus 'Firewitch')

This compact dianthus features bright magenta blooms with a white center and blue-gray linear leaves.  Ideal for a rock garden, the flowers bloom from mid spring through early summer and have a spicy scent.  Firewitch cheddar pink does well in loose, well-drained soil. If you have clay soil, make sure you add plenty of compost.  This dianthus prefers full sun, but can tolerate a little shade and even a light period of drought.
'Firewitch' cheddar pink (Dianthus 'Firewitch')
'Caradonna' salvia (Salvia 'Caradonna')

The striking flowery spikes of the Caradonna salvia bloom in early summer and sporadically after if the spent flowers are deadheaded.  Bright indigo blooms on a dark purple-black stem give this plant a particularly unique appearance.  The flower spikes rise to 2 feet in height over a mound of soft, hairy leaves.  The Caradonna salvia works very will in containers and on borders.  It does well in moist, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade.  Butterflies are also attracted to the blooms of the Caradonna salvia.
'Caradonna' salvia (Salvia 'Caradonna')
'Zagreb' coreopsis (Corepsis 'Zagreb')

Bright yellow stars in a field of green.  Zageb coreopsis bloom from early summer on.  The bright flowers on sturdy stems stand 12 inches tall and offer a beautifully textured foliage that adds variety to your garden.  The coreopsis is hardy too. It thrives in poor soil and is tolerant of heat, humidity and drought.  It does best in well-drained solid in full sun or partial shade.  Plan on deadheading throughout the summer to encourage reblooms and prevent self-sowing. 
'Zagreb' coreopsis (Corepsis 'Zagreb')

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