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No fuss Perennials- List your favorites please

Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

Ok, so i'm new to gardening, and i'd really like to start off with some hardy perennials that will really thrive with little interference, or maintenance, ie; digging up, drying, dividing, etc.
this information would also be greatly appreciated because my boss asked ME! to do some landscaping at our... burger king... :) where i work. lol

i'm sure i'm not the only one looking for this kind of feedback, and i'd love to hear, and See! whats growing best for you guys. pirl recommended i start this thread, so here it is.

*your zone
*your choices
*any minimal maintenance required for optimal performance
(pictures not required, but always appreciated!:))
Thanks in advance! :)

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Can deadhead
daylily may need dividing in a few years

Victoria, TX(Zone 9a)

Hands down,............Daylily, gladiolas, morning glory, passion vine. All are very easy to grow , water when dry apply fertilizer peak season, I use simple water based kind. Serious growers may use other methods, my plants are just for my enjoyment and I don't exactly have the funds for large gardens. I can leave you a link to some of what is in my yard as the pics were posted yesterday.
Happy Gardening!


Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

I am in zone 8b/9a (on the border, grin)

I have to say Daylily, Echinacea (coneflower), sedum, Rudbeckia, bulb lillium (lillies) and Siberian irises. Pretty much the same as others mentioned, and all of them are hardy in your zone 5b garden.

I found this link


Gilmer, TX(Zone 8b)

I am in zone 8b, where we battle heat, drought, and humidity.

My favorite perennials requiring the least fuss:

Tiger Lilies

Athens, PA

Zone 5b

Lady's Mantle
Salvia May Night
Heuchera - likes shade...

Hamilton, ON(Zone 5b)

Zone 5b

Solomon's seal
Hosta (they'll require splitting every few years)
tiger lilies
black eyed susan (love!)

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

zone 6b
platycodon (balloon flower)
allium (the bigger, the better), but the small ones don't need support
dill (it reseeds)
monarda (bee balm)
centaurea (blue cornflower)

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

I forgot tree peonies - zone 6b

Kansas City, KS(Zone 5a)

5B/6A (Depending on what map you're looking at)

Japanese Maple (specifically Bloodgood and Osakazuki cultivars)
Satsuki Azalea
Dwarf Bamboo (can be quite invasive, though)

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

I love all the perenns, and have tons of them in my 1 acre flower garden, but by far the easiest is cosmos. It's an annual that happens to reseed, deadhead (removing spent blooms), or just let it go and bloom it's head off all summer til frost here in my z5 garden. They are bright and cheerful also have a light fragrance, which is more noticeable with more plants. Just make sure to let some seedheads mature and drop for next years crops. Good Luck, Kathy.

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Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Many of the post above have wonderful ideas also for perenns, many I have in my garden also, another great one might be a coreopsis, moonbeam blooms alll summer with no deadheading; or grandiflora Sunrise, again blooming late spring to frost, will drop seed for more babies next spring, but continue to bloom wonderfully without deadheading. Kathy.

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Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

beautiful photos and great lists here! :) so many beautiful perennials. and so many great annuals that reseed too! as a kid i thought that Marigolds were perennial because they came back from seed every year. :)

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi OutlawHeart81,
Just came across this thread so you've probably already done your planting, but I figured I'd stick in my "two cents" since gardening is an ongoing project.

I'm in Zone 5a.

Since there have been so many great suggestions, I thought I'd just give some input on some that I particularly like.

Echinacea (Cone Flowers) & Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susans) come in many varieties & bloom from Summer till frost. You can also crush the seed heads from Rudbeckia & plant them anywhere. they grow quickly.

I love Alliums. One of my favorites is Allium Purple Sensation. They bloom in late Spring or early Summer & last for a long time. Even when they're done, the seed heads add garden interest. These should be planted in the Fall.

Kong Coleus is a very large-leaf Coleus that can take full sun. It's an annual, but requires very little care & the colors are spectacular. They grow until frost. Coleus stems also root very easily so you can save some for next year.

You've already had so many great suggestions already, though.

Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

So many great recommendations. We went with Burgundy glow ajuga blue eyed grass and asters in one area and then we have some cauldrons to plant yet and since it's chittenango, the land of oz, home of the writer of the wizard of oz; I think we'll do a mix of poppies and rudbeckia; more specifically cosmic eye

Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

Look how pretty!!!! I'd like to add allium in the back I think....

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Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

The Burgundy glow has already nearly doubled in size!

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Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

OutlawHeart81 - that looks very pretty!!

Ajugas are easy to divide, also. You can probably do it by the end of the season if you want to make more plants since they grow very quickly.

Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

Here's a picture of the euphorbia we planted with the mini roses. How cute is that!? ;)

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Athens, PA

Nice combo -

Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

For my own garden, which is shady, to part shade with a few sunny spots, I have hostas, blazing stars, a tickled pink hydrangea (paniculata) and a lilac. I'm thinking cone flower and allium, I guess I like purple LOL and more hygrangeas! Which should compliment nicely whether blue or pink. :)

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

OutlawHeart81 -
It's almost hard to believe you're a new gardener! Your pictures look great & you have some really good ideas for your own garden too.

For the partly shady area you might consider one or two Heucheras / Heucherellas. I'm pretty sure you'll get hooked. I sure did & a little search through DG forums will show you that a lot of other gardeners are hooked as well.

The variations of colors is unbelievable! All of them bloom, but for most of them the attraction is the leaves since the blooms are generally small. There are some, though, like Bressingham or Firefly (& others) that don't have as colorful leaves, but have very pretty flowers that Hummingbirds really like.

They require very little care & can be evergreen in milder climates. In Zone 5 they will last pretty much until it snows than pop back up in spring.

Anyway, it's just another suggestion. I also live in Zone 5 & have more shady areas than sun so I'm always experimenting.

Fitchburg, MA

Zone 5a

Well, I hope you already have shrubs. After years of gardening I have come up with the fact that one really needs trees, shrubs, and flowers. At a burgerking, probably shrubs and flowers will suffice. I'm going to mix it up a little and also give advice to other than flowers.

Karl Foerster Grass, beautiful all year long but it's green in spring when you want to see green, and fall brown in fall when you want to see fall. Care free, drought tolerant.

Nepeta Walkers Low. Very cute plant that's almost indestructible, its seeds are sterile it won't spread, bees love the gorgeous purple flowers, and one of the fastest to bloom and longest blooming perennials.

False Cypress, vintage gold. Actually a shrub with no flowers, but it has the most interesting leaves. The leaves are pure to flourescent yellow, and glow all year long. It needs sun for the leaves to turn pure yellow, otherwise the leaves will be very bright green which is still beautiful. Typically after winter the leaves will be more of a bright green, but they quickly turn yellow again in Spring. Best complimented with dark mulch to really show it off. This is probably my favorite plant in my garden, compliment it with purple - dark purple plants/flowers.

Black Eyed Susans & Echinacea are sure bets that everyone loves to see. Though I would avoid the white echinacea White Swan as there's a caterpillar that targets its flowers where I live, mine always looked disgusting and after 4 years I yanked them out. Oddly, my purple Echinacea which I had about 18 plants were never attacked, that caterpillar year after year only goes after the white Echinacea flowers.

This message was edited Jun 13, 2011 8:40 AM

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Marshmellow - It appears we have similar tastes (& the same zone). I love Nepeta Walkers Low, Echinacea & Rudbeckia.

I just planted the Nepeta last Spring & it's huge this year & very pretty. It constantly has bees on it. Having never grown it before, I just learned that you can shear it back when it's done flowering & it will flower all over again.

I agree about shrubs & trees, which will add structure to the garden year 'round & give the birds protection as well.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Wow, what a great chance you have been bestowed upon you, what a wonderful challenge too,
Do you have a picture of the area /building you have to work on garden-wise??? that would help us to define what would be the best plants for back / front of the bed in question and is this in shade, what is the soil like, does it get lots of summer sun, all this would help us better.
My zone is 4-5-and 6, depending on the season and weather, I'm in Scotland UK and have traveled to many parts of USA, Like us, you have a wide diversity of climate, terrain and plants.
I buy plants for zone 5 as a small bit of heat / cold is normally acceptable to most plants / shrubs,
My own favorites are,
Back of border / bed
Hydrangeas, easy to grow and depending on PH soil can be pink, blue, cream.
Roses (shrub) all colours,
Roses (climbing) you need a support for climbing and tie to this.all colours.
Clematis, (climbers) all colours roots need planting in shade and top needs sun, Trouble free.
Buddleia, pink, white, purple, always cut back after flowering or will scatter seeds everywhere even into a parked car HA, HA, HA.
Lots more to help with winter colour/ berries, plant all those at back of border / bed.

Mid bed / border,
Peony, single / double flowers are pink, white deep red, don't plant deeper than a few inches under the soil.
Gypsophelia white used in flower arrangements with tiny flowers,
Lily's, lots of different colours and size (tall) I love the Asiatic ones like Stargazer because of the perfume, these are bulbs but you don't lift them every year, just when you want to split up the clumps when too big.
Crocosmia, tall slim yellow / orange and now red. Lucifer is a lovely one.
Poppies, the large flowering type, the red ones are wonderful, big paper thin petals ,
Phlox, Pink, blue, white ,
Fritilery, yellow, orange, You have to plant these huge bulbs on there side so the indent wont get filled up with water in winter and rot, they flower spring,
Ornamental onion, Small, large, med size flowers, all grow in a ball shaped flower, leaves die as the flowers open, wonderful from spring / early summer
Delphiniums, dark blue, purple, pink, white, pale blue, may need garden canes / support.
Lupind, purple, pink, white, red, they will flower for about 4 years then may need dug out and new plants put in, they are short lived plants but worth it.

Front,of bed / border.
Nepeta Cat Mint, it spreads it's flowering branches and looks wonderful, I like Six Hills Giant, it grows about 12-18 inches tall and wide, cut back in spring for new shoots to grow.
Lavender, French / English are the best perfumed. purple / pink / white.
Carnations (pinks, there are some that have a lovely smell like cloves, dead head flowers after flowers fade.
Day lily, lots of colours,
Hosta lots of coloured leaf and flowers, different sizes of plants too, wonderful, slugs / snails eat them and some other plants too.
Geraniums, purple, blue. pink etc.
Iris, there are dutch Iris, china, Asian, all are wonderful and different sizes and colours.
There are hundreds more but it all depends on shade, wind for tall plants, soil type etc.
If I were you I would go to library / book store and pick up a book on beds / borders, they give zones for each plant, conditions of soil etc, you will see pictured of how to plant the beds and how to lay out the plan, there are very few plants that don't need some attention over the seasons, like cut back winter, feed / weed summer and you wont go wrong.
Good luck. you go for it, remember shrubs can be planted in one single plant, but all the others are best plants either 3, 5, or even 7, otherwise they get lost and look silly, the label will tell you what space to leave between each plant,
Best of luck. WeeNel.

Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

I took some pictures for you WeeNel! This is the part the owner planted. There's a Japanese maple, Hydrangea, cone flower, daisy, campanula, Hostas and, and ornamental grass. Some of it would do much better in shade but for the most part it looks good.

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Amesbury, MA

I pretty much love all the ones that have been listed and have most of them but my favorite for shade and places I just don't want to fuss with is Bishop's weed (zone 5) and also evening primrose. I am sure many would consider them too invasive but I just let them duke it out next to the driveway! I always have plenty to share with friends and neighbors eac year as well.

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Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Sorry Outlawheart, I have just got to the site, we had a real storm end of May beginning June and have been sooooo busy trying to clear up the devastation from that, all along the West Coast where I stay looks like it is autumn and my sea facing beds, borders and wooded area is burnt dry, leafless and lots of debris scattered around, I am uses to this in winter but, summer, never and all my hard work has been completely lost, bedding plants etc ripped out the ground by the strong wind, burnt plants from the salty wind, all my Rhododendrons, Acers etc have been decimated, OH well I just have to appreciate no one anywhere was killed or seriously injured so were lucky in some ways, damage to my home though.

I absolutely LOVE what has been done to the garden area as it is, you have colour, space for the plants/ shrubs to grow up and out, the ground cover tones in with the plants and once everything gets growing and matures, by next year it will look good and you can add more things as you go along, if you cant plant into the soil, you can grow the likes of lilies or spring bulbs and sit them in between the shrubs to give more colour for the different seasons and these can be stored (in their pots) to die back and reuse the following year, this way the garden wont cost too much as you do it bit by bit.
Well done you, hope everyone is proud of this area and will be encouraged to keep it looking good. Bet you will get offered plants from all around, just be careful as some plants can be invasive, others prone to bring deceases while others give so much pleasure.
Good luck your boss don't know how lucky he / she is to have you and all that extra work / research you have done. Enjoy. WeeNel.

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Good thoughts to you WeeNel. It seems no place is immune to the ravages of Mother Nature this year. Sorry for all the loss and damage, but pleased you are safe and sound, even if a bit heartsore for the garden.


(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Happy birthday to Kelly (OutlawHeart). Hope all your gardens thrive!

Chesapeake, VA(Zone 8a)

Fabulous pictures OutlawHeart!

Nice touch for a Fast Food franchise!

Keep up the great gardening:)

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Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Indeed, Happy Birthday, Kelly. Best wishes for many happy days in the garden. Moon

Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

Awe thanks guys!!! :) it's been a good day but we just had a storm here too, nothing like WeeNel, knocked our power out. No dinner for us! Doh!
I am sorry to hear about your garden WeeNel. A little environmental anarchy in the UK. :( I hope that everything comes back nicely for you. If not I'd love a plant pen pal from Scotland, and I'd send you a nice little package but I'm not sure what shape the plants would arrive in. For now here is a lovely Burger king hydrangea in bloom! I think the idea of planting spring bulbs between the plants is great! I hope to be able to do that. First I want to try to focus on moving the hostas, they are looking a little Rough because they put them in full sun.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

That's a beautiful BK hydrangea. Taking a few select cuttings might keep it lower and fuller...hint, hint.

Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

LOL that's how I got started on that whole cutting experiment!
Still no power but here are my birthday glads! I finally got a flower before the squirrels did!

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Lovely photo.

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

Hi Kelly,

Happy birthday!

We live not too far apart. That was quite a storm, wasn't it? It came through here about 4.

We're Z6a here because of the lake effect.

For ease in the garden here I like eupatorium, ornamental grasses, nepeta, siberian iris, peonies, and baptisia. I'm sure I could think of many more, but those are some really easy plants.

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Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

Hey neighbor! Gorgeous garden! :) it was pretty crazy. Power is back on now! Yay! Here's my glads in the light!
I think I need some baptisia, Iris,
cone flowers, and Shasta daisies for one of my gardens. I think they'd look so pretty and natural

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Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

Thank you!

Pretty glad!

Trade you some irises for Basilio sausage, LOL.

Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

Done!!! LOL isn't it the best?! I was a gianelli girl from Syracuse till I moved out here, and I'll never go back!!!

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