Tending to your garden and watching it thrive year after year can be a wonderfully rewarding hobby… but if you’re planting the wrong flowers for the climate you live in, and they don’t do very well, it can be quite frustrating. Do you know which flowers are the best match for Wisconsin gardens? We all know our winters get cold… like, really cold. So, it’s important to know which annual flowers to choose, and when to plant them. But more importantly, you must know which perennials will survive through each season, and make a grand return every year without succumbing to a big freeze.
Check out our list of the best annual and perennial flowers for Wisconsin gardens!
Annual flowers are those you have to replant every year. They’re great for the gardener who likes to switch up their color scheme and vibe every year, or simply try a new variety to see which works best. As far as the best flowers for Wisconsin’s conditions, here are some of our favorites:
Whether you use Marigolds to edge out your garden or fill a window box – these golden beauties will instantly boost your curb appeal during the warmer months. They love full sun and heat, tolerate neglect and bloom new flowers for up to 90 days – creating a gorgeous warm pop of color against your home all summer long. Marigolds are one of the easiest flowers to grow from seed, but most stores sell them germinated.
In warm climates that experience little to no frost, Pansies are actually considered a perennial. Unfortunately, here in Wisconsin, we can expect these colorful little flowers to die each winter. The silver lining here is that you can plant pansies early in the spring, even if you expect for there to be a few more frosty mornings – because these little flowers are tough! They actually prefer climates that are warm, not hot during the summer – perfect for us! A good mix of sun and shade, moderate amounts of water, and these pansies will be happy campers. They’re an affordable way to add a wonderful pop of color to every garden and will continue to bloom throughout the summer months.
Perennials are those lovely plants and flowers you can practically call family! These lovely, sturdy flowers return each year with full force – it’s incredibly rewarding to see these develop over the years into their full potential. Check out some of our favorite perennials for Wisconsin gardens:
The Daylily is every brown-thumbed gardener’s dream flower because they’re nearly impossible to kill, and require little to no maintenance or special treatment! You can plant these anywhere in your yard as they’re tolerant to different amounts of sunlight, and can handle being both over and under watered. A best practice is to plant these in fall, and heavily mulch them their first winter. Once you prune away any dead leaves in spring, you can expect your Daylily to bloom all summer long. Trimming away leaves that appear to wilt will encourage reblooming throughout the season. A bonus fun fact: there are literally 50,000 varieties to choose from – so there’s surely a Daylily to fit every garden’s needs.
Lilac shrubs are hardy, hassle-free and pack a punch. Their vibrant purple coloring is stunning, they’re incredibly fragrant, and attract butterflies to your garden… A triple threat!
Lilacs aren’t AS fool-proof as the Daylily, but with a bit of care, anyone can achieve a gorgeous bloom. Lilacs like a medium amount of sunlight, so are best planted in an area of your yard that will receive both sun and shade throughout the day. What’s great about this perennial is that while most say it’s best to plant in the fall, you can really plant a lilac at any point throughout the year and it will thrive for years to come, growing anywhere from 5 to a whopping 15 feet tall! The reason we chose the Lilac for this list, is that they are one of the most freeze-tolerant plants around. They can withstand temperatures of -40 degrees Fahrenheit but may need some protection from icy winds that could damage the flower buds. Also, they need well-draining soil to prevent frozen water from damaging their roots.