perennials minnesota

Minnesota Perennials Guide: Best Hardy Plants

When we talk about gardening in Minnesota, we tackle a big challenge. Can perennials really do well in the cold here? We’re looking at plants that don’t just make it through winter. They thrive in all Minnesota seasons. Since 1977, over 5,000 Master Gardeners have learned to grow these plants1.

Expert gardeners show us the way to the best perennials for this area. These plants are more than just strong against the cold. They bring beautiful colors, shapes, and help the environment. For example, the ‘Emerald Triumph’ viburnum grows up to 10 feet tall, defying the common soil here1.

We’ve got a special list for the toughest spots in Minnesota gardens. It’s based on 30 years of gardening wisdom1. We use this guide to pick plants that will make your garden vibrant. Let’s dive into the world of perennials that show the true beauty of Minnesota.

Embracing the Blooms of the North: Hardy Perennials Minnesota’s Gardeners Love

Minnesota gardeners love winter-hardy perennials that thrive in cold climates. These plants are strong and beautiful, showing the best of Minnesota’s nature. We aim to share tips on gardening with perennials in Minnesota’s unique environment.

Understanding Minnesota’s Unique Climate for Perennials

Minnesota’s climate is special with very cold winters and warm summers. Only the toughest perennial plants in Minnesota can survive these conditions. These plants prove that a beautiful garden can last beyond spring.

In 2021, “The Perennial Kitchen” was published, celebrating these hardy plants through tasty recipes2. “Minnesota’s Bounty – The Farmer’s Market Cookbook,” released in 2013, also honors our state’s farming heritage2.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Perennials for Minnesota’s Zones

Choosing the right perennials for Minnesota involves more than liking their flowers. It’s about picking plants that can handle the cold and bloom again each year. We look for plants that stay strong in winter and lively in other seasons.

Michelle Mero Riedel has created a garden that is a haven for people and pollinators3. By choosing plants like sedum and bee balm, she proves a beautiful garden doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s the variety of plants that adds beauty.

Mero Riedel’s garden shows the value of adapting and keeping it simple3. She picks low-maintenance perennials, aiming for beauty without hassle. This approach is something every Minnesota gardener should consider.

Perennials Minnesota Gardeners Adore: A Tour of Resilient Plants

Shade Perennials Minnesota

In Minnesota, our gardens show how beauty and toughness go hand in hand. Thanks to shade perennials, we can overcome our tough climate. We love plants like Phlox subulata ‘Early Spring.’ They bloom early, bringing joy to our gardens4. Another favorite is the Agastache Acapulco Deluxe series. It’s bright, saves water, and looks amazing in our gardens4.

We also adore tough beauties like the Coreopsis ‘Li’l Bang’ series. Despite its small size, it’s tough against pests and disease4. Then there’s the Monarda ‘Balmy’ series. It fights off mildew and looks fabulous4.

Plants like Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Sun Up’ are beloved by bees and butterflies. They bloom long and brighten our gardens with their color4. The Echinacea ‘Butterfly Orange Skipper’ offers neon-tangerine flowers. It’s a feast for our pollinating friends4. And the Penstemon ‘Cha Cha’ series wins hearts with its beauty and attracts pollinators4.

Lastly, we admire the Veronica ‘Moody Blues’ series. It re-blooms reliably and draws in wildlife and garden lovers alike4. Each plant shows our love for gardening in Minnesota. Here, the right perennials turn our challenges into victories.

The Favorites: Most Beloved Perennials by Minnesotan Gardeners

As winter fades, Minnesota eagerly awaits the return of beloved perennials. These plants are perfect for the local climate, bringing color and life to gardens. They showcase the resilience and spirit of the region’s gardening community.

‘Sarah Bernhardt’ Peonies: A Show-Stopper with Historical Roots

‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peonies mark the start of spring with their lush blooms. These pink flowers are a favorite every year. Minnesotans keep an eye on the frost date, planting them at just the right time. When cared for properly, their beauty rivals the 40,000 tulips at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in May5.

Purple Coneflowers: A Magnet for Pollinators and Beauty Seekers

Purple coneflowers are a standout in Minnesota gardens. They attract pollinators with their daisy-like flowers and amber centers. By using fall leaves as mulch5, these blooms support bees in June. Their beauty and value make them a favorite for those who love pollinators5.

Eccentric Alliums: Ornamental Onions Adding Whimsical Charm

Eccentric alliums add a unique touch to gardens. They bloom in late spring, resembling lollipops among the flowers. After Mother’s Day, free from frost5, they stand out in gardens. They show a gardener’s love for the unusual, adding diversity and strength to the garden5.

‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peonies, purple coneflowers, and eccentric alliums are symbols of Minnesota’s spirit. They represent a love for history and the promise of new growth. These plants are the heart of local gardens, cherished by all.

Seasonal Considerations: Perennials That Thrive Year-Round in Minnesota

Understanding the local climate is key for Minnesota gardeners choosing perennials. Our plants must survive Zone 4’s extreme cold, with temperatures dropping to -20 to -30 degrees6. It’s crucial to select species that endure these conditions. Commercial catalogs often mislabel plant zones, which can lead to losses in harsh winters6.

Guides like the Minnesota Landscape and Nursery Association’s perennial booklets are very helpful6. They introduce us to hardy plants like delphiniums. These beauties offer tall blooms in blues, whites, and pinks, facing the cold bravely6.

Daylilies are a favorite for their ease and range of colors6. They come in many sizes and styles, adding beauty without much work. Irises and various lilies bring vibrant colors and are tough enough for Minnesota winters6.

Bee Balm attracts butterflies with its bright flowers and spreads easily6. Peonies offer fragrant blooms in many colors and last for years. Sedums, like ‘Autumn Joy’ and ‘Dragon’s Blood’, add interest all season6.

The University of Minnesota Extension Service’s Master Gardeners help us greatly7. They offer advice for gardening in tricky spots like dry shade and slopes. With their help, our gardens thrive in every corner of Minnesota7.

Less maintenance doesn’t mean less beauty. Minnesota’s perennials bloom beautifully with minimal care, even in winter6. We enjoy our gardens’ beauty and vitality all year long6.


In our look at perennial plants in Minnesota, we’ve found plants that fit well with the state’s varied climate. The state is diverse, from its lush forests in the northeast to its farming heartlands. We see that perennial coverage is low in the southwest and west, less than 40%. But in the northeast’s forests, it’s over 80%8. This shows how important it is to choose perennials that make our surroundings beautiful and help our water areas stay healthy.

Understanding the role of perennials can greatly help the environment in Minnesota. Soils with these plants hold water better and increase biodiversity8. Even with urban growth and farming challenges, we’re dedicated to making our state greener with beloved perennials. They bring year-round beauty and help the environment too.

Our work with perennials is about more than just looks; it’s about sustainability and caring for our land. Minnesota is a big player in farming, being the fourth largest corn producer9. Soybeans are also key, with 7-8 million acres valued at $3 billion a year9. As we enjoy these achievements, we encourage a mix of crops, including perennials. This approach enhances our gardens, ecosystems, and economy, making Minnesota a better place for everyone in the future.


What are some of the best perennial plants for Minnesota gardens?

For Minnesota gardens, ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peonies and purple coneflowers are great. Also, consider eccentric alliums, hostas, daylilies, and black-eyed Susans.

Are there any native perennials that thrive in Minnesota?

Yes, Minnesota’s native perennials include milkweed and butterfly weed. Wild bergamot, cardinal flower, and prairie smoke also do well.

What are some low-maintenance perennials that are suitable for Minnesota?

Low-maintenance perennials for Minnesota include sedum and Russian sage. Yarrow, coneflowers, and ornamental grasses are also easy to care for.

Can you recommend some shade-loving perennials for Minnesota gardens?

For shaded areas, astilbe, hostas, and bleeding hearts are perfect. Consider ferns and pachysandra for Minnesota gardens too.

How do I choose the right perennial plants for my specific hardiness zone in Minnesota?

Check the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to find your zone in Minnesota. Then, pick plants recommended for that zone.

What perennial plants are winter hardy in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, winter hardy perennials include coneflowers and sedum. Don’t forget about ornamental grasses, coral bells, and hellebores.

How can I create a thriving perennial garden in Minnesota?

Choose plants suited to Minnesota’s climate for a thriving garden. Prepare the soil well and ensure good drainage.Provide the right amount of sunlight or shade. Regularly water, mulch, and prune your plants.

Are there any perennial plants that attract pollinators in Minnesota?

Yes, purple coneflowers and bee balm attract pollinators in Minnesota. Butterfly weed, blanket flower, and Joe-Pye weed are also good choices.

What are some of the low maintenance perennials that thrive in Minnesota?

Low maintenance perennials for this state include sedum and Russian sage. Yarrow, coneflowers, and ornamental grasses also thrive in Minnesota.

Can you recommend any perennials that are suitable for Minnesota’s climate and provide year-round beauty?

For year-round beauty in Minnesota, consider coral bells and ornamental grasses. Hellebores, evergreen sedum, and winter-blooming heather are also great choices.

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