- Lavander – Thrives in full sun in well-drained warm soil and the flowers last for over 10 days when cut, and they also keep their fragrance after drying. Ideal as a ground cover or low growing hedge plant. Lavander grows 15″ tall x 24″ wide normally, and they are consider a sun perennial shrub. Lavender is heat, drought and wind-tolerant. Grow in a light, sandy, somewhat dry soil in full sun to encourage good growth. They don’t like heavy or wet soils.
2. Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are native to North America and one of the most popular wildflowers grown. They tend to blanket open fields, often surprising the passerby with their golden-yellow beauty. These hearty flowers really enjoy the sun. They prefer full sun, though they’ll grow in partial sun. Generally grow between 1 and 3 feet tall (though they can grow taller) and can spread between 12 to 18 inches, so plant seeds closer to prevent lots of spreading or plant further apart to make a nice border. Check your plants regularly to see if they need watering. Make sure they don’t dry out.
3. Lilacs – they come in seven colors, but most are familiar with the common lilac (Syringa vulgaris), which blooms in the northern states for 2 weeks in late May. There are early-, mid-, and late-season lilacs, which, when grown together, ensure a steady bloom for at least 6 weeks. Lilacs are easy to grow and a low maintenance makes them easy to deal with. They can grow from 5 to 15 feet tall, depending on the variety. The fragrant flowers are good for cutting and attractive to butterflies, but they also attract a lot of bees and hornets.
4. Rugosa Rose – The Latin name Rugosa means ‘wrinkled’ and refers specifically to the crinkled, serrated leaves with pronounced veins. Rugosa rose leaves occur in leaflets of 5 to 7 leaves. As with most roses, rugosas will need a spot in full sun to partial shade. You will get the most blooms in full sun. They are known as rugged roses because they can be virtually maintenance free. Rugosas can handle many less than ideal growing conditions, including light shade, salt air, frigid temperatures, drought and high humidity.
5. Patriot Hosta – they form a leafy garden dense enough to choke out weeds. If planted in rows, they are impressive enough to serve as borders. This plant group offers many different looks, including variegated leaves. This one is a good example of a perennial that can tolerate a lack of water and sunlight – but they are not cactus, ok? Note that “tolerating” dry shade is not the same as “thriving” in it. Most of the plants for dry shade listed below will grow better if supplied with average amounts of moisture. Before planting dry-shade areas, you can improve your chances by mixing organic matter into the soil, thereby increasing the soil’s water-retention.