Survival of the fittest #417721 - Ask Extension


Survival of the fittest #417721

Asked July 29, 2017, 1:39 PM EDT

What flowers will survive on a half-acre sloping to a lake that is partly sunny. So far purple cone flowers work great; black eyed susans not so much. Daisy fleabane works but I need to control spread. Tiger lilies seem indestructible. Woodland sunflowers appeared this year as a welcome addition. Spirea works but must be covered against rabbits in winter. Any suggestions for other flowers that are complementary to purple cone flowers, and like them, are tough enough to survive with no care? Thanks. John Craig

Hennepin County Minnesota

Expert Response

Thank you for the question.  Native perennials are the best choice for locations that receive minimal attention but you will still have to tend to them for the first few years until they are established.  This means providing water when it doesn't rain and keeping weeds from overwhelming the plants.
Here's a great list of plant options:

In my landscape, Culver's root, brown eyed Susan, milkweed varieties, bee balm, Joe Pye weed, anise hyssop, and spiderwort all do well in part shade.

Thank you for contacting Extension.
Anita Hoaglund Replied July 31, 2017, 10:39 PM EDT
Thanks Anita, Looks like the Culver's root should work for color and durability. Any suggestions for where I can get the seed? thanks John
The Question Asker Replied August 01, 2017, 3:11 PM EDT
I suggest doing an internet search for native plant seed and ordering it from a nursery in Minnesota or Wisconsin.  We do not promote one vendor over another.
Anita Hoaglund Replied August 01, 2017, 8:20 PM EDT

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