Perennials are inherently perennial plants that outlast the winter. However, they tolerate cold and frost differently.
Everyone who works in the garden knows the term “perennial”. But what distinguishes them from bushes or trees and why is there nothing left of the plant in winter? The perennials are herbaceous, perennial plants whose aboveground parts of the plant, unlike trees and shrubs, are little or not lignified at all, but are herbaceous and soft and usually die after each vegetation period. Due to this process of “retreating” into the ground, little of them can be seen in winter. In the following, we present some interesting representatives of the hardy perennials, which can safely defy frosty temperatures.
Almost all perennials are perennial and winter hardy, but that does not mean that they can withstand any freezing temperature unscathed. To provide a better orientation aid, the tolerance ranges for plants have been assigned to different winter hardiness zones. Based on this, it is very easy to see whether the perennial should be planted in milder regions or whether it can survive rough weather undamaged.
The winter hardiness zones cover a very large spectrum and range from Z11 (above +4.4 ° C) to Z1 (below -45 ° C). Therefore one should pay attention to possible additions to the term “winter hardy”. Even if the winter hardiness varies slightly depending on the region, it is best to choose perennials for your garden in the USA with winter hardiness of at least Z7 (about -15 ° C) or below. Below are some of these hardy perennials that do well in harsher areas.
1.Giant leek ( Allium giganteum )
The giant leek is an upright perennial with a height of up to 180 cm. The purple, star-shaped flowers, which open from June to July, are a special eye-catcher. Suitable bed neighbors are, for example, various ornamental grasses.
The giant onion is extremely popular because of its striking flowers
2. High forest goat’s beard ( Aruncus dioicus )
As an expansive, clumpy perennial, the Hohe Wald-Geißbart reaches a height of up to 180 cm and therefore requires a lot of space in the perennial bed. Otherwise, however, the care of the robust perennial is very uncomplicated. The large panicles of flowers are yellowish-white and open from June to July.
The forest goat’s beard blooms in early summer
3. Elven flower ( Epimedium × perralchicum )
The vigorous area cover is also suitable for shady beds and even for the underplanting of trees. The elven flower belongs to the barberry family ( Berberidaceae ) and was even voted Perennial of the Year in 2014. The evergreen Perralchicum species is particularly robust and therefore also suitable for our latitudes. The ‘Frohnleiten’ variety, for example, opens its small, yellow flowers from April to May. The foliage is brownish-green in color throughout the year.
Robust species of the elven flower also thrive in our climatic zones
4. Scarlet fuchsia ( Fuchsia magellanica )
The hardy scarlet fuchsia ‘Riccartonii’ is a small-leaved variety with beautiful red flowers. They bloom from July to October. The perennial grows rather loosely upright and reaches heights of up to 100 cm. This perennial is hardy in a protected location. However, it should be protected from cold temperatures with straw, leaves, or fir branches.
The red flowers of the hardy scarlet fuchsia are real eye-catchers
5.Chinese autumn anemone ( Anemone hupehensis )
The Chinese autumn anemone is an upright perennial with a stature height of around 50 to 70 cm. The ‘Praecox’ variety opens its pink flowers from August to October. The bowl-shaped flowers are extremely popular with insects such as bees and bumblebees. The anemone thrives best in a partially shaded location.
The pale pink flowers of the Chinese autumn anemone serve as a source of food for insects
6. High delphinium ( Delphinium elatum )
The majestic perennial grows strongly upright and reaches heights of up to 160 cm. The ‘Finsteraarhorn’ variety is particularly beautiful and it is not for nothing that it was named after the highest peak in the Bernese Alps. The deep purple-blue flower clusters of the high delphinium can still be seen in the distance. The flowering period is from June to September.
The bright flowers of the tall delphinium cannot be overlooked
7. Catnip ( Nepeta × faassenii )
The cushion-forming catnip should not be missing in any perennial bed. It blooms from May to September dark purple and the leaves delight with a minty aroma. The ‘Walker’s Low’ variety has particularly long inflorescences and is an ideal bed neighbor for roses. In terms of care, the catnip is rather undemanding and is characterized by good stability.
The catnip is very easy to care for perennial
8. Bergenia ( Bergenia cordifolia )
The bergenia was named Perennial of the Year 2017 – and rightly so, because the saxifrage family (Saxifragaceae) not only inspires year-round with beautiful foliage but is also extremely hardy. The purple-red flowers of the ‘Glockenturm’ variety appear from April to May. It is best to plant the expansive ornamental shrub in small groups, this is the best way to show it off.
Bred bergenias are characterized by their bloom
9. Cushion bellflower ( Campanula poscharskyana )
The cushion-like growing perennial is an ideal ground cover (height up to 15 cm). The bellflower prefers dry and stony soils and is therefore ideal for the rock garden. The variety ‘EH Frost’, for example, produces beautiful bluish-white flowers in the shape of a star.
The hanging bellflower comes in many colors
10. Yarrow ( Achillea millefolium )
One of the most famous yarrow varieties is certainly the ‘Lilac Beauty. The upright perennial reaches heights of up to 60 cm and delights us from June to August with delicate, light to purple-pink umbellate flowers. A sunny location in an open space is ideal for the yarrow.
The yarrow ‘Lilac Beauty’ variety blooms in bright pink tones
However, the plants presented represent only a fraction of all hardy perennials and were selected by us mainly because of their frequent use or attractiveness. Nevertheless, it is an advantage to find out which winter hardiness zone the plants are in before any planting work so that you can then make your selection. After all, this is a very simple way of avoiding failures due to frost damage. The best perennials for the shade and perennials for the partial shade can be found here.
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