Gardening recommendations from DU’s horticulturalists

Perennials for plots with full sun and dappled shade

Filigree daisy provides long-stemmed blooms from May through July. They have good drought tolerance and work well as a dry border. Even after the blooms fade, the well-branched, grayish–white foliage provides an interesting texture throughout the growing season. Filigree daisies grow 4-10 inches tall.

Phlox is considered a staple of any garden. Phlox paniculata grows upright and can reach 2-4 feet with full round heads of fragrant white, lavender, pink, rose, red and bicolor blossoms. It blooms from July to September.

Phlox subulata grows short, to about 13 centimeters, and works well as a colorful border planting and groundcover, blooming from May to June.  

Stella de Oro daylily, a compact plant that grows 9–12 inches tall, is known for its long blooming period from May through July. It requires little care. Colors range from yellow to gold. 

Becky shasta daisies

Becky shasta daisy really holds up in hot weather and does best in full sun. Its blooming period is from July through September. The flowers, white with yellow centers, can reach 2–3 feet tall.

Rudbeckia are cheerful flowers in the sunflower family with 3-inch yellow petals and a black raised disc in the center. They grow 2–3 feet tall and bloom from mid-summer to fall. Rudbeckia do well with at least six hours of full sun.

Perennial salvias generally produce blooms all season long if deadheaded. The variety that produces the longest blooms is Salvia x sylvestris. The blue to violet flowers bloom on spikes that grow 18–36 inches tall, depending on variety. They are drought-resistant and do best in full sun.

Firefly amethyst yarrow has the showiest flowers of all the yarrows. Its flowers are a bright lavender pink, and it grows 18–22 inches tall. Other yarrow varieties include white, yellow, red, pink and rust brown. Yarrows are the easiest perennials to grow. All they need are full sun and well-drained soil to bloom from early to late summer.

Ice plant is another low-lying perennial, growing 3–6 inches tall. Drought hardy and fond of full sun, it has red to purple flowers and an interesting texture. The blooms last from June through September. 

Russian sage is a tall, attractive and wispy sun-loving plant with silvery foliage and lavender/blue blooms. It can grow up to 5 feet tall and blooms from July through October.   


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