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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - April 02, 2010

From: Ashland, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Planting, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Perennial blooming plants for Ashland MO
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am beginning to create a flower bed in front of my house, I do not have a green thumb so I want to know what plants would come back yearly and I can plant now in Mid Missouri?

ANSWER:

Ashland, in central Missouri, is in USDA Hardiness Zone 5b, so we will check anything we recommend to make sure it is native to that area. We are going to go to our Recommended Species section, click on Missouri on the map, and then narrow our search by clicking on "herbs" (herbaceous flowering plants) under General Appearance and "perennial" under Lifespan. You can repeat this search, indicating if you have "sun" (6 hours or more of sun daily), "part sun" (2 to 6 hours of sun daily) or "shade" (less than 2 hours of sun a day) under Light Requirements. There are other things you can specify in that search, such as color of blooms desired, time of bloom and soil moisture. You will need to observe the area you intend to use as a garden for a day to see just how much sun there is normally, and where. Another thing we would recommend is that you work some compost or other organic material into your soil before you plant anything. This will help with drainage, provide some soil nutrients and improve the texture.

Since you are a beginning gardener, we recommend you read a couple of our How-To Articles: A Guide to Native Plant Gardening and Gardening Timeline. When you are looking at our plant list, follow each link to our webpage on that individual plant to learn more about it, including how to propagate and growing conditions; at the bottom of that page is a link to Google for still more information. We are specifying "perennials" under Lifespan because you wanted flowers that come back yearly. If you want blooms from them this year, you will probably have to purchase bedding plants, as perennials usually do not bloom until the second year from seeding. Missouri must be a wonderful place for gardening; we found 76 possibilities and selected 12 for examples. You can redo the search and find many others.

Perennials for Ashland, MO:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Dicentra cucullaria (dutchman's breeches)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset)

Geranium maculatum (spotted geranium)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Phlox pilosa (downy phlox)

Zizia aurea (golden zizia)

From our Native Plant Database:


Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Coreopsis lanceolata

Dicentra cucullaria

Echinacea purpurea

Eupatorium perfoliatum

Geranium maculatum

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia siphilitica

Monarda fistulosa

Phlox pilosa

Zizia aurea

 

 

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