Hundreds of thousands of plant species exist, and all are wonderful and colorful. However, some plants are better adapted to some climates more than others, and the same goes for species in Maryland. The Old Line State has hundreds of native species that work well to fill out the flower bed or mix in with other ornamental plants. Below, you’ll find a sampling of some of Maryland’s best perennials for gardens.
Black-eyed Susans are a staple for Maryland flower gardens, especially since it is the state flower after all. These yellow-petaled perennials bloom in summer through fall and can grow up to three feet tall. They can be aggressive and push other plants out. They work well for cut flowers, edging, and containers.
Purple coneflowers, also known as Echinacea purpurea, have a similar structure and height compared to Black-eyed Susans, except for their petal color and orangish-brown centers. They are hardy enough to bear full sun and flower until fall. They make excellent cut flowers and are great for pollinators too.
Many species of asters grow all over the East Coast. Varieties include New England aster, New York aster, White Wood aster, Blue Wood aster, and Snow Flurry. Raydon’s Favorite aster, Stokes’ aster, and Maryland Golden aster are three others in Maryland. These starry-shaped, low-growing flowers bloom from summer to fall and are essential flowers for pollinators, especially in late fall.
Phlox, like asters, come in many varieties, and they are so versatile that they come as ground covers, medium height, and tall. These perennials have heads of multitudinous, little, starry flowers that come in a wide array of colors. They take varying amounts of sun exposure and bloom from spring to late summer.
If it’s height you’re looking for, look no further than lobelias. Maryland’s two most notable lobelias are the Cardinal lobelia and the Great Blue Lobelia. Their snapdragon-like blooms open on a conical head in late summer and are excellent for pollinators. They prefer meadow-like and wet conditions. It is important to remember that in preserving lobelias, one must not cover the basal foliage with mulch or leaf litter during the winter. This way, it can grow back next year.
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