These Flowers Will Do Best In Your Garden In The Great State Of Ohio

We described a list of wild and elegant flowers that will thrive in your garden, and where to locally shop for all gardening essentials.

red flowers in a field


Connor McCoy


Jan 21, 2021

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Out of the many rewards of purchasing a new home, creating the perfect garden is one of the most therapeutic. You and your family members have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while spending time together! If you would like to to learn more about gardening, workshops are are great way to start. This list describes flowers designed to perform well in your garden, native to regions of the Americas such as the Midwest.

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Blanket Flower

three red-orange blanket flowers
Courtesy of robbihoy

Native to the plains, blanket flower requires full sun and very little extra watering. In the shade, the blooms become weak and floppy. Their red-orange blooms will continue into the fall until the frost. Clip the blooms in the late fall to allow the plant to save energy for next year. The fall-colored flowers are perfect for a timely seasonal shift in your home’s decor. Remember to deadhead old blooms, and sprinkle them around the plant to encourage reseeding.

Three images of blanket flowers


close-up of a red daylily
Courtesy of peacedreamlady

Among the hardiest of flowering plants, daylilies thrive in sun and tolerate shade. Each bloom lasts one day, but many blooms continue throughout the summer. Clip the old blooms when they are finished to keep the plants looking fresh. At the end of the season, cut the stems to the ground so that the plant may save energy. Their leaves turn yellow in fall and may be clipped, or wait until spring to rake away the dead foliage. Divide the plants every five years to encourage more blooms.

Three images of Daylily flowers


field of poppy flowers at dawn

Plant poppies in your garden for a pop of color. They require full sun and watering during dry spells, but limit this watering once the plant is established to avoid unattractive overgrowth. Clip the old blooms to see brighter ones throughout the season. There are a variety of poppies with different needs. Armenian poppies are delicate and small, Oriental poppies’ bloom large but dislike excess summer heat. California poppies love to reseed and should be planted where more poppies are desired. Learn about this Ohio woman’s love of poppies.

field of poppy flowers
You can find these Califonria Poppies in Ohio! Image courtesy of Instagram.


Frances Williams hostas
Courtesy of MabelAmber

This leafy plant tolerates shade and dryness, plant them to beautify these troublesome areas of your garden. The leaves of the Pandora’s Box variety are white and fringed with light green. The larger leaves of the Frances Williams variety (pictured) are blue-green with yellowy edges. Deer love to feast on the leaves of hosta. The easiest way to prevent this is with an odor-based repellent spray or sprinkling human hair around your garden. Clip your hostas all the way to the ground at the end of the summer to protect them from disease.

Three hosta plants
Image courtesy of Instagram.


close-up of a pink peony

These fragrant beauties of ample bloom will thrive for a century given a sunny spot and well-drained soil. Named for a legendary French actress, the light pink flowers of the Sarah Bernhardt variety are absolutely stuffed with petals. Coral Charm variety are more orange and vibrant. If planted in the right spot, with full sun and good air circulation, a single plant may last for generations. Peonies can suffer from the disease botrytis. Treat this by removing blackened buds which may be a sign of the disease. It is recommended that you dispose of diseased materials in the trash rather than your compost pile, to prevent spreading.

A bouquet of Peonies
Image courtesy of Instagram.

Blue Flag Iris

violet colored blue flag iris
Courtesy of VickyPawPrince

Striking, violet colored flowers bloom from late spring to early summer. Its leaves are sword shaped and blue-green. The stems rise to over 2 feet and each present 5 to 6 vivid blue blooms, They are hardy plants that prefer wet soil: in the wild they are found near streams, swamps, or in wet meadows. This type of iris will do best in full sun but tolerates partial shade. Birds, bees, and butterflies are attracted to the blue flag iris, but fortunately, deer are not. It is best to divide the plant after the bloom to propagate. Wear gloves when dividing this type of root, called a rhizome, which may cause skin irritation. Native to the Americas, the blue flag iris has been made the official flower of both U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

Close up of a blue iris with a black background
Blue iris courtesy if Instagram.


close-up of a purple allium
Courtesy of manfredrichter

Also known as ornamental onions, these purple spherical blooms stand tall and add an interesting contrast to your garden. The Forescate variety have pink globes, while Nodding Pink offer a different look with dangling flowers. They thrive in full sun but tolerate areas in partial shade. Plant the bulbs in well drained soil to avoid rotting. When planted in fall, they bloom the following spring. While you await fall to plant your bulbs, check out classes and events at the Holden Arboretum, near Cleveland, for events and classes.

Allium flower in a field of green
Image courtesy of Instagram.


yellow yarrows

These sun loving plants bloom from early to late summer. The tiny yellow flowers of the Coronation gold variety of yarrow (pictured) appear together in clumps at the top of the fragrant grey-green stalks. Yarrow will not spread aggressively. If you plant more than one plant, place the plants 1-2 feet apart to give them room to grow. Yarrow’s scientific name, Achillea millefolium, is drawn from the legend of Achilles who used the plant to treat his soldiers’ wounds. Inspired yet? Join the Garden Club of Ohio who regularly hold tours and symposiums across the state.

A row of different yarrow flowers


red Shenandoah switchgrass
Courtesy of Northeast Pollinator Plants

Switch up the look of your garden with this fountain-shaped ornamental grass. They thrive in full-sun and moist soil, but tolerate partial shade and adapt to a variety of soil conditions. In too much shade, the blades will lean and flop. They remain upright during winter months, but should be cut down before spring to make room for new growth. Rabbits, deer, and grasshoppers will not feast on Switchgrass. Pictured is Shenandoah switchgrass. This useful plant is used as hay for cattle, and observed by scientists for its biofuel potential. It is often used to prevent erosion.

A row of three images of switchgrass in lansdscapes settings
If you've never heard of switchgrass, it's ok. Go for a hike after reading this article to see if you can spot it.


yellow Goldenrod
Courtesy of hansbenn

Surviving in various soil types, you can rely on the beautiful golden-yellow plumes of goldenrod to come back every year. They prefer full sun but will tolerate the shade. The golden fleece variety provides rich, thick spikes of bloom while the Fireworks variety will give more lacy delicate blooms. They bloom in late summer and early fall, giving your garden a bright and warm end of the season. They require no additional watering and attract butterflies to your landscape. Plant goldenrod near a vegetable garden to draw harmful insects away from the crops.

A row of different goldenrod plants
Images courtesy of Instagram.


blue Leadwort

Blooming at the end of the season, leadwort’s, or plumbago’s, blue flowers contrast nicely with fall’s warm bursts of red and orange. Leadwort’s foliage will change alongside the trees while its flowers continue to bloom. Leadwort likes full sun or part shade. It tolerates a wide range of soil types, and given optimum conditions will spread vigorously to create an attractive ground cover. Admittedly, leadwort is not a native plant. Learn more and shop for it here.

A row of three images of Leadwort

Bee Balm

red bee balm
Courtesy of leoleobobeo

Another late summer beauty, bee balm thrives in full sun or part-shade. Keep soil moist to keep your bee balm healthy. The tubular flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees to pollinate your garden. Deer do not eat bee balm, but you can: the edible leaves and flowers can be made into tea! Most of the flowers are between 2 and 4 feet tall, but dwarf varieties exist, great for the front of your garden or for container gardens. Pick the flowers and trim back old blooms often to encourage new growth on the plant. Bee balm sometimes suffers from a powdery mildew, prevented by planting in areas with good air circulation and treated by fungicide spray from any garden center.

Black-eyed Susan

yellow Black-eyed Susan flowers
Courtesy of spicetree687

Black-eyed Susans feature daisy-like blooms with yellow petals and conical black centers. This simple to care for and native wildflower can be found in prairies and open forests. Black-eyed Susans attract birds, butterflies and bees. They prefer full sun and average to dry soil. Care includes clipping old blooms in order to strengthen the plant, this process also prevents the fast spreading of the Black-eyed Susan. Planting this flower near wildlife repellent plants like lavender or rosemary will keep deer or rabbits that may be attracted to the plant at bay.

A row of three images of yellow Black-eyed Susan flowers
Photographs by Andrew Bent.

Blue False Indigo

Blue False Indigo flowers
Courtesy of Sunlight Garden

This native wildflower was used by early colonists as a dye. It will grow in average to moist soil, as long as it is well-drained. Its delicate purple flowers bloom in late spring and early summer and require full to partial sun. The plant grows 3 to 4 feet tall and develops extensive root systems once it is established. The blooms rise high above the clover-like base of foliage, whose clumps will slowly expand over time. When the blooms are gone, black seed pods then decorate the plant, once used by children as rattles. These stems are used in dried flower arrangements.

Three image of Blue False Indigo
Images courtesy of Instagram.

Blue Vervain

Blue Vervain flowers
Courtesy of

Also known as American vervain, this plant is hardy and drought resistant. They prefer average to moist soil and require full sun. Typically growing up to be between 2 and 4 feet, blue vervain can rise to 6 feet. The densely packed purple flowers are mounted on pencil-like spikes and bloom from mid to late summer. Bees and butterflies are attracted to the plant, and the seeds are a nutritious supplement for songbirds. This edible herb and its tea-form are known for health benefits such as anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and fighting insomnia.

Butterfly Weed

orange Butterfly Weed flowers
Courtesy of JamesDeMers

As its name reveals, butterfly weed attracts butterflies due to its abundant production of nectar. The orange flower especially attracts beautiful orange monarch butterflies. Blooming from mid to late summer, the flower requires full sun and thrives in poor, dry soil. If you wish to grow the flower from seed, you may not see blooms for the first couple of years. Its roots systems are deep and make transplanting difficult, so be sure to place the plant in its forever-home. Remove old growth every spring to keep the plant healthy.

Cardinal Flower

black butterfly on red cardinal flowers
Courtesy of University of Maryland Extension

The long, leafy stems of Cardinal flowers, or lobelia, grow 2 to 3 feet and produce vibrant red blooms. They are named after the traditional garb worn by the cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal flowers prefer morning sun and afternoon shade. During dry spells, water the plant so that the soil is never completely dried out: it is found in the wild around streams, springs, and swamps. The tubular flowers have two upper petals and two lower petals. Most insects find this hard to navigate so cardinal flowers rely on hummingbirds to pollinate.

Canadian Columbine

A lone Canadian columbine against a blurry emerald green tree

The bell-shaped flowers are prized for their yellow and red color. They will wilt in the sun, so plant them in partial to full shade and prefer average to dry soil. Growing from 1 to 2 feet, they will not overpower other plants. Given proper growing conditions, they happily spread. Canadian columbine’s foliage turns maroon in the fall. At the end of the season, this may be cut to the ground. This species of columbine is particularly resistant to leaf miner, which frequently damages other species and hybrids.

Three image of Canadian Columbine
Image provided from Instagram.

Culver’s Root

Culver’s Root in a bank of a lake
Image courtesy of eepaskus

1The pale purple flowers of Culver’s root bloom for one month in midsummer, attracting bees and butterflies. They grow tall, sometimes reaching 7 feet, and require full sun. Culver’s root grows in average to moist soil. Remove old blooms to lengthen bloom period. After flowering, cut down to its base foliage to increase chances of a second bloom in the early fall. Culver’s root’s biological name is Veronicastrum virginicum, for St. Veronica who in Christian legend gave her veil to Christ to wipe his forehead as he carried the cross.

Culver's Root flowers in field
Courtesy of Chestnut School of Herbs

Blazing Star

pink blazing star flowers
Courtesy of

Give your garden’s butterflies a treat by planting Blazing Star, or liatris. This unique flower shoots plumes of purple or white flowers in late summer. It requires full sun and performs best in moist, fertile soil. The fluffy tops of the blooms give the plant its other common name, gayfeather. The leafy stems stand erect, and its leaves tend to become smaller toward the top. After blooming, the stalks will stay erect but can be cut down to the base.

Watching gardens grow and caring for them season in and season out is a rewarding experience. A fun way to begin is choosing plants that bloom during different periods of the summer, giving your garden interest throughout the season. If you’re ready to start, check out this list of nurseries to find one in your region. Click here for more DIY ideas with your loved ones.

Nurseries Around Ohio

Scioto Gardens

3351 OH-37, Delaware, OH 43015

Near Columbus. The plants at this nursery are specifically chosen to prosper in the central Ohio region. Open on holidays like Easter and Mother’s Day for all your last minute gardening gift ideas.

Applewood Nursery & Landscaping

6274 S, 8998, OH-48, Maineville, OH 45039

Near Cincinnati. For 44 years Applewood has been growing 99% of the plants they sell onsite. Sowing these plants in local soils guarantees they thrive in your garden.

East Oberlin Nursery & Garden

43974 OH-511, Oberlin, OH 44074

Near Cleveland. East Oberlin is the home of the Oberlin Scarecrow Fest in October.

Vogel's Nursery

10290 Old Dayton Rd, New Lebanon, OH 45345

Near Dayton. Vogel’s offers coupons and deals: visit their Facebook page to participate in some Facebook only offers!

Garden Central

430 E Main Cross St, Findlay, OH 45840

Garden Central in Findlay has been family operated since 1977. Shop for perennials and vegetables in spring and summer, and holly and mistletoe during the Holidays.

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