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Late to the party- our favorite “late” bloomers

In most cases, mid July isn’t considered late summer- technically it’s still the first month, but a gardener’s calendar and mind can look at time a little differently.

Even though there’s a full two months until the first official day of Autumn, we’re now in what can be considered the throes of summer, and you may be wondering, WHY haven’t some of your plants bloomed yet? Or, WHAT can I plant that doesn’t look tired by now?

Here’s just a few of our favorite “late” and longer-blooming perennials in Cincinnati.

Bonus- some are native, and deer/rabbit resistant!

Autumn Joy Sedum/Stonecrop- these have light green leaves and deeper red blooms which develop during the summer and are colorful through the fall. If the blooms are left after their show is over, they provide food for birds during the winter.

Bee Balm- a welcome pollinator, native to Ohio, blooming in brilliant shades of fuchsia, scarlet and orange. Other common names include horsemint and wild bergamot

Black-Eyed Susan/Rudbeckia Goldstrum- these cheerful, yellow flowers with petals like daisies, and black eyes – hence the name- are reminiscent of shorter sunflowers, but they are perennial in our area, native and deer resistant. There are a few cultivars or varieties, but they will all re-seed and spread where you plant them, so be sure to give them space, and if you’re feeling generous, you can even share with your neighbor.

Coneflower/Echinacea- coming in a wide array of colors from the traditional purple, to lighter yellows (not to be confused with rudbeckia) oranges, and reds. These popular native pollinators were so hot in 2020, we could hardly keep enough on hand! As soon as we’d receive a shipment, they’d be gone.

Crape myrtle – most prolific in zones 7 and up, we are fortunate enough to have some cultivars can be hardy in zone 6- look here for more information on those specific cultivars. Fun fact: though the traditional Southern spelling is Crepe Myrtle, because the delicate blooms resemble crepe paper, the American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia uses “crape” If you can’t decide, the scientific name is lagerstroemia, which is decidedly more fun to say.

Russian Sage- silver & gray spike foliage giving way to lavender colored also paintbrush-like blooms, Russian sage will bloom later in the season, and longer.

Summersweet Clethra- different cultivars bloom white or a deep pink/red  (often a suggested replacement for invasive shrubs- click here for additional info and suggestions from the Ohio Invasive Plants Council)

Many a gardener’s goal is to have something in bloom or of interest (re: something nice to look at) all year long- these plants, and many more, can help you achieve that goal. Using these perennials in your landscape will let you be a little more hands off and enjoy your view in the hotter summer months of July, August & September.

What’s your favorite late bloomer? Here’s another list for late summer & fall bloomers for our zone. And some further reading on some of the ones we discussed is here

Stop in the garden center today and chat with one of our experts about why it’s ok to be late!