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Low growing perennial suggestions?

Posted by Karolina11 6b Central PA (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 10, 13 at 14:39

I find myself constantly being drawn to perennials 36"-48" high. Thus the fronts of all of my beds seem bare. I do have a few coreopsis, sedums, and dianthus planted but not enough. What are your favorite perennials under 2 feet tall? I would like them to be hardy to zone 6 and able to flourish in full sun. Any suggestions are welcome! Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Low growing perennial suggestions?

Calamintha nepeta, campanula poscharskyana,ceratostigma, corydalis, dicentra eximia, geranium cantabrigiense. heucheras, phlox stolonifera, all the low growing sedums, saxifraga, stachys.


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RE: Low growing perennial suggestions?

Also, tall, but very narrow see through plants like Callirhoe digitata or Pardancandas look great in front. You could also look at Penstemons and many salvias.


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RE: Low growing perennial suggestions?

For the front as someone already mentioned, salvia works well, like 'East Friesland', 'May Night', etc......I also use good old mums from the farm stand. I find the rust-colored varieties overwinter with no problem. I cut them way back in June. Dracocephalum is a great plant and so is Geum 'Cooky'. A handful of nasturtium seeds poked into the soil in early spring goes a long way in summer and well into fall. There are some good lower amsonia varieties. I really like a particular oenothera. I think it's 'Gold Crick'. Gentian is a good option and also solidago 'Golden Fleece'. I don't know if you get too hot down there, but I find aquilegia does just fine in full sun here. I really like camassia 'Blue Danube' and while the flower spikes are tall, the plant itself is not too tall, and I think this is underused. People go gaga when they see this in bloom. Do you have any room for shrubs? One of my favorite front of border shrubs is deutzia gracious 'Nikko'. Profuse white flowers. Looks great with amsonia.


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RE: Low growing perennial suggestions?

I have winter sown Stokesia laevis/Stoke's aster growing in both full and part sun that I like for its low habit + season-long healthy foliage. Also there are several types of perennial geranium--'Rozanne,' 'Biokovo' (among others) growing along the edge of my concrete & granite walkways. Dwarf astilbe may also be an option if the soil retains moisture--they handle more sun when their feet are wet. Euphorbia polychroma likes full sun as well and is virtually care-free.


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RE: Low growing perennial suggestions?

I love the dwarf asters, and dwarf veronica (in white, pink and purple). They are great for the front of the border. Also sweet william and dwarf phlox.


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RE: Low growing perennial suggestions?

Some plants tha work for me in the front of the sunny borders :
- Sedum Touch of Class - dense, compact grower 12"
- Sedum Lemon Ball
- Dwarf lavender varieties
- Allium Summer Beauty - flowers get about 18" but the shiny, strap-like foliage only gets 12-14"
- Siberian iris Baby Sister - dwarf variety, 8-10" in bloom
- Veronica Trehane - bright yellow, little mounds in the spring,
- Armeria - many different varieties
- Germander


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RE: Low growing perennial suggestions?

Shadeyplace, have you had luck with dicentra eximia in full sun? I've grown the plant for awhile but always in partial shade. Would love to use it at the front of these beds if possible!

Laceyvail, I had not even considered the narrow plants. That opens up a lot more. I really like the Pardancandas!

Thyme2Dig, I had never even heard of deutzia gracious 'Nikko.' Definitely an add. I am also glad you mentioned camassia 'Blue Danube.' I've walked past it and admired it before but never knew what it was! I am having trouble, however, finding anything on the internet about amsonia 'Gold Crick.' User error on my part I am sure, but you wouldn't by any chance have any photos or have bought it from an online nursery would you?

Gardenweed, has Stoke's Aster done well for you in full sun? I had always grown it in part shade but had moved some to the sun this fall and am hoping they do well next year. Unfortunately for the Astilbe, I don't think I would be able to keep it moist enough. Great call on the Euphorbia though, I think I have it around somewhere, just need to divide and move. I underutilize it.

Ryseryse, I have some of the veronicas further in the beds and now that I am thinking about it, they definitely are hard to see from the path. Putting that on my list of things to move this weekend. Thank you!

Felisa, ohmygosh, the Veronica trehane is wonderful looking! I definitely need to get my hands on that. Also, don't you absolutely love sedum lemon ball?

Thank you for the suggestions everyone! I am happily creating my Christmas list!


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RE: Low growing perennial suggestions?

I like hardy Mums and low asters along the edge of a bed. I do pinch them back, so they end up a little more than a foot tall, but definitely under 2ft. I find them a very neat edger and they stay healthy all summer then they bloom. So they never have an ugly stage. And there is plenty going on behind them to keep things interesting. I like something more interesting though than solid green all summer, so I add some annuals around them. I've had Callirhoe winding around them sometimes. Dark leaved Sweet Potato Vine.

I love colorful Euphorbias but they don't grow well for me. How about groundcover roses? The Drift series is supposed to be healthy and always blooming. Apricot is supposed to be the best of them. No fragrance I don't think though.


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RE: Stokesia & Euphorbia

As a novice gardener when my kids were very young (they're both now over 40), I bought Polychroma spurge euphorbia and planted it in the back yard where it got full sun. Back then I knew this much ( ) about gardening/perennial plants. Fast forward nearly 30 years and watch me dig it up from where I'd been living and move it here. If ever there was a perennial that thrives on neglect...

The Stokesia was planted in both mostly sun to part sun conditions and has done equally well in both situations. Since I grew it from seed via winter sowing, the plants are extraordinarily hardy. That said, to be fair, the Stokesia plants I purchased via mail order from Bluestone Perennials have been equally robust.

Soil in both locations tended toward acidic which may or may not have been a factor.

Karolina11 - the reason Euphorbia may be underused is that it's in the poinsettia family and can cause a rash/skin irritation in some gardeners.

Enjoy your Christmas shopping!!!


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RE: Low growing perennial suggestions?

gardenweed, I managed to kill my Euphorbia polychrome in one season, have no idea how. Who knew it was that hard to kill. (g)


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RE: Low growing perennial suggestions?

Low growing artemisia has a neat growing habit and makes a pretty contrast planted among blooming perennials and it loves full sun.

Artemisia 'Nana' Silvermound
Artemisia Powis Castle
Artemisia Silver Brocade.


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RE: Low growing perennial suggestions?

I do not have full sun anywhere, but have afternoon sun in one area. I certainly have seen this Dicentra in full sun and it is worth a try as it blooms forever. Euphorbias can be tricky unless in a pot (which you could try), unless E. Robbiae which will take over your entire garden! when you say full sun, do you mean from early morning until sunset?


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RE: Low growing perennial suggestions?

also meant to add>>>camassia in front of border is dealing with all that dying foliage after the blooms. Unless under planted with something to cover it. I have had terrible luck with the white double...it NEVER opens all the way and I end up just cutting the stems to the ground. arrrrgh


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