perennial flowers for iowa

27 Best Perennial Flowers for Iowa Gardens

Welcome to our guide on the best perennial flowers for Iowa gardens. If you’re an Iowa gardener, you know that choosing the right perennials is essential for a thriving garden. With the unique climate of the Midwest, it’s crucial to select flowers that can withstand the fluctuating temperatures and other environmental factors. In this article, we’ll explore a variety of perennial options that offer enduring beauty season after season. Whether you’re looking for full sun varieties, low maintenance options, or plants for borders or flower beds, we have you covered.

But first, let’s understand why perennials are a smart choice for Iowa gardens. Unlike annuals that need to be planted every year, perennials come back year after year, providing a cost-effective and sustainable way to maintain a beautiful garden. They also develop deep root systems, which enable them to withstand harsh weather conditions, such as Iowa’s cold winters and hot summers. By investing in the right perennial flowers, you can create a visually stunning garden that requires less maintenance and offers long-lasting beauty.

Top 27 Perennial Flowers for Iowa Gardens

Now, let’s dive into our top choices for perennial flowers in Iowa gardens:

Full Sun Perennials for Iowa Gardens

When it comes to selecting flowers for your sunny Iowa garden, full sun perennials are a fantastic choice. These plants thrive in areas that receive direct sunlight for at least six hours a day, adding vibrant pops of color to your outdoor space. Here are some top options that can withstand the Iowa climate and provide enduring beauty.

1. Allium

These tall, showy globes of purple, pink, and white flowers are eye-catching and attract pollinators.

2. Beardtongue (or Penstemon)

With their tubular-shaped flowers in shades of red, purple, and pink, Beardtongue plants are a favorite among gardeners.

3. Black Eyed Susan

These cheerful yellow flowers with their dark centers bring a burst of sunshine to any garden.

4. Coneflowers

Coneflowers, also known as Echinacea, feature daisy-like blooms in various shades of pink, purple, and white.

5. Coreopsis

Also known as Tickseed, Coreopsis plants offer bright yellow or golden flowers that bloom all summer.

6. Daylilies

These hardy perennials come in a wide range of colors and can tolerate a variety of soil conditions.

7. Garden Phlox

Garden Phlox plants produce clusters of fragrant flowers that come in shades of pink, purple, and white.

8. Russian Sage

With its silvery-gray foliage and tall spikes of lavender-blue flowers, Russian Sage adds an elegant touch to any garden.

9. Salvia

Salvia plants feature spiky flowers in vibrant hues of red, purple, pink, and blue.

10. Yarrow

Yarrow plants have feathery foliage and clusters of flat-topped flowers in shades of yellow, pink, and white.

These full sun perennials are not only beautiful but also hardy and easy to manage, making them excellent choices for Iowa gardens. Incorporate these vibrant flowers into your landscape to create a visually stunning and colorful outdoor oasis.

Perennials for Iowa Borders

perennial flowers for iowa borders

When it comes to creating borders in Iowa gardens, we recommend planting a variety of perennial flowers that can add both visual interest and attract pollinators and butterflies. These native perennials are well-suited to the Iowa climate and will thrive in your garden.

11. Daffodil

One popular choice for Iowa borders is the Daffodil. Not only do they provide cheerful blooms in early spring, but they also come in a range of colors and sizes to suit your preference. Daffodils are low-maintenance and will naturalize over time, creating a stunning display.

12. Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox is another great option for border plantings. With its colorful, spreading blooms, it adds a vibrant touch to any garden. This versatile perennial is drought-tolerant and can adapt to a variety of soil conditions.

13. Siberian Iris

The Siberian Iris is known for its elegant flowers that bloom in shades of blue, purple, and white. They are perfect for adding height and structure to your border, and they are also deer-resistant.

14. Peonies

For a bold and showy display, consider planting Peonies. These fragrant flowers come in a range of colors and varieties, and their large blooms make a stunning statement in any garden. Peonies are long-lived and easy to care for, making them a favorite choice among gardeners.

As mentioning above, Purple Coneflowers are a native perennial that is not only beautiful but also beneficial for pollinators. These vibrant flowers attract butterflies and bees, adding movement and life to your border. They also have a long blooming period, providing color throughout the summer. Daylilies are also a popular choice for borders due to their wide range of colors and hardiness. These perennials come in a variety of heights and bloom sizes, allowing you to create a unique border that suits your style. They are low-maintenance and can tolerate a range of growing conditions.

15. Joe-pye Weed

Another great option is Joe-pye Weed. This native perennial boasts clusters of pink flowers that attract butterflies and other beneficial insects. It can grow quite tall, making it ideal for the back of a border or to create a naturalistic look in your garden.

Black Eyed Susan ‘Goldsturm’ is a classic choice for borders. With its bright yellow flowers and dark centers, it adds a cheerful and vibrant touch to any garden. This hardy perennial is low-maintenance and can tolerate a variety of soil conditions.

16. Tall Sedums ‘Autumn Joy’

Tall Sedums, such as ‘Autumn Joy’, are perfect for adding texture to your border. These succulent perennials feature fleshy leaves and clusters of star-shaped flowers that change color as the season progresses. They are drought-tolerant and easy to grow.

17. Asters

Asters are another great option for Iowa borders. These daisy-like flowers come in a variety of colors and bloom in late summer and fall, adding a splash of color when many other plants have finished blooming. They are also attractive to pollinators.

By incorporating these native perennial flowers into your Iowa borders, you can create a beautiful and sustainable garden that will thrive year after year. These plants not only offer visual appeal but also provide important habitat and food sources for local wildlife. Experiment with different combinations and arrangements to create a border that reflects your personal style and enhances the overall beauty of your garden.

Low Maintenance Perennials for Iowa Gardens

For busy gardeners looking for low maintenance options, consider planting Everblooming Bleeding Heart, Virginia Bluebells, Columbine, Coral Bells, Lily-of-the-Valley, Astilbe, Lamium, Goatsbeard, Ligularia ‘The Rocket’, and Hosta. These perennials are known for their resilience and ability to thrive with minimal intervention.

These low maintenance perennials are an excellent choice for Iowa gardens, as they require little effort to keep them looking their best. Whether you have a busy schedule or simply prefer a more hands-off approach to gardening, these flowers will provide a stunning display year after year without demanding too much of your time.

One of the benefits of planting low maintenance perennials is that they require less watering and fertilizing compared to other plants. This not only saves you time but also helps conserve water resources.

18. Everblooming Bleeding Heart

The Everblooming Bleeding Heart is a versatile plant that can tolerate different soil types and light conditions, making it perfect for a variety of garden settings. Its heart-shaped flowers add a touch of romance to any landscape, and the plant blooms continuously throughout the season.

19. Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells, with their beautiful bell-shaped flowers in shades of blue and pink, are another great option. They thrive in shaded areas and provide a burst of color early in the spring. These flowers can be planted alongside other shade-loving perennials to create a captivating display.

20. Columbine

Columbine is a popular choice among gardeners for its delicate, nodding flowers and attractive foliage. This perennial comes in a variety of colors and can easily naturalize in your garden, creating a charming and low maintenance perennial bed.

21. Coral Bells

Coral Bells, also known as Heuchera, are valued for their colorful foliage, which ranges from deep burgundy to lime green. These perennials are easy to care for and can add texture and interest to your garden even when they are not blooming.

22. Astilbe

Astilbe is a shade-loving perennial that features feathery plumes of flowers in shades of pink, white, or red. With its airy foliage and vibrant blooms, Astilbe adds a touch of elegance to any garden. This plant is also tolerant of occasional drought, making it an excellent choice for low maintenance gardening.

23. Lily-of-the-Valley

Lily-of-the-Valley is a fragrant perennial that thrives in shady areas. Its dainty, bell-shaped flowers and glossy, green leaves create a charming carpet of green in your garden. This plant spreads quickly and can be a beautiful ground cover in low maintenance flower beds.

24. Lamium

Lamium, commonly known as Dead Nettle, is a ground cover perennial that thrives in shady areas. It features silver and green foliage and produces small, delicate flowers. This plant is not only low maintenance but also deer-resistant, making it an ideal choice for gardens with deer problems.

25. Goatsbeard

Goatsbeard, also known as Aruncus, is a tall perennial with feathery plumes of white flowers that resemble a goat’s beard. This plant is an excellent addition to cottage-style gardens and requires minimal care to flourish.

26. Ligularia ‘The Rocket’

Ligularia ‘The Rocket’ is a striking perennial that features tall spikes of yellow flowers and large, heart-shaped leaves. It thrives in moist, shady conditions and can add a bold statement to any garden. Despite its impressive appearance, Ligularia ‘The Rocket’ is surprisingly low maintenance.

27. Hosta

Hosta is a classic perennial that is renowned for its beautiful foliage. With a wide variety of leaf colors, textures, and sizes to choose from, there is a Hosta variety that will fit in any garden. These plants are incredibly versatile and can withstand neglect, making them an excellent choice for low maintenance gardening.

By incorporating these low maintenance perennials into your Iowa garden, you can create a stunning and vibrant landscape with minimal effort. These plants offer enduring beauty and require little intervention, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the beauty of your garden year after year.

Perennial Flower Beds for Iowa Gardens

To create stunning perennial flower beds in Iowa gardens, you can mix and match different varieties. Some popular choices include Daffodils, Creeping Phlox, Siberian Iris, Peony, Purple Coneflower, Daylilies, Joe-pye Weed, Black Eyed Susan ‘Goldsturm’, Tall Sedums, Asters, Everblooming Bleeding Heart, Virginia Bluebells, Columbine, Coral Bells, Lily-of-the-Valley, Astilbe, Lamium, Goatsbeard, Ligularia ‘The Rocket’, and Hosta. These combinations will provide a colorful and diverse display throughout the growing season.

Where to Buy Native Perennials for Iowa Gardens

Conclusion

Enhance your Iowa garden with a wide variety of perennial flowers that are perfectly suited to the region’s climate. By selecting the right perennials, you can enjoy stunning blooms year after year with minimal maintenance. Whether you prefer full sun varieties, low maintenance options, or plants for borders or flower beds, there are numerous choices available to cater to every gardener’s preferences. Embrace the opportunity to experiment with different combinations and create a breathtaking garden that will leave your neighbors envious.

FAQ

What are the best perennial flowers for Iowa gardens?

Some of the best perennial flowers for Iowa gardens include Allium, Beardtongue, Black Eyed Susan, Coneflowers, Coreopsis, Daylilies, Garden Phlox, Russian Sage, Salvia, and Yarrow.

Which perennials are suitable for full sun in Iowa gardens?

Full sun perennials that thrive in Iowa gardens include Allium, Beardtongue, Black Eyed Susan, Coneflowers, Coreopsis, Daylilies, Garden Phlox, Russian Sage, Salvia, and Yarrow.

What are some perennial flowers for Iowa borders?

Perennial flowers that work well for borders in Iowa gardens include Daffodils, Creeping Phlox, Siberian Iris, Peony, Purple Coneflower, Daylilies, Joe-pye Weed, Black Eyed Susan ‘Goldsturm’, Tall Sedums, and Asters.

Which perennials are low maintenance for Iowa gardens?

Low maintenance perennials for Iowa gardens include Everblooming Bleeding Heart, Virginia Bluebells, Columbine, Coral Bells, Lily-of-the-Valley, Astilbe, Lamium, Goatsbeard, Ligularia ‘The Rocket’, and Hosta.

What are some recommended perennial flower beds for Iowa gardens?

Recommended perennial flower bed combinations for Iowa gardens include Daffodils, Creeping Phlox, Siberian Iris, Peony, Purple Coneflower, Daylilies, Joe-pye Weed, Black Eyed Susan ‘Goldsturm’, Tall Sedums, Asters, Everblooming Bleeding Heart, Virginia Bluebells, Columbine, Coral Bells, Lily-of-the-Valley, Astilbe, Lamium, Goatsbeard, Ligularia ‘The Rocket’, and Hosta.

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