Gardening Help FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most common questions we receive about garden plants. You will find concise information on general gardening techniques as well as plant selection and care. For detailed information on specific plant pests and problems refer to our Common Garden Pests and Problems page.

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Horticulture Questions and Answers

How can I have continuous bloom in my perennial garden?

To create a colorful display of perennials from April until September is a challenging undertaking in the St. Louis area. Here are some plants to try. The majority are disease and pest free, have long flowering periods, and are reliable. All require a location in full sun.

For early spring bloom try basket-of-gold, rockcress, moss phlox and candytuft. All are low growing and make attractive border or rock garden plants.

For April to June flowering, plant common aubrieta or the cushion or myrtle euphorbia. The euphorbias give a charming display of showy yellow bracts.

From May onwards Italian bugloss displays its striking gentian-blue flowers on rather coarse foliage. It is a short-lived perennial but propagates itself by self-sown seedlings.

Good choices for late spring are blue wild indigo, Scotch pink, cranes-bill and perennial flax. For early May to mid-June don't forget the magnificent bearded irises and Chinese peonies.Bellflowers, gasplant, coreopsis, Siberian iris and daylilies are excellent for early summer.

For mid-June to August the Ozark sundrop and ballonflower are striking, both in color and form. .Some tough, hardy perennials for the heat of July are the threadleaf coreopsis, purple coneflower, globe thistle, obedient plant and rudbeckia. All will flower well into the fall.

To herald the arrival of August, include a plant native to Kansas, the Kansas gayfeather. It is unique in that the rosy-lavender flowers open up first at the top of the spike.

Other fall bloomers are blue leadwort, showy stonecrops, false sunflower and Joe Pye weed. September would not be September without chrysanthemums. They come in many colors and can also be purchased in bloom in the fall and be planted in any empty space available in the garden.

In addition to these choice perennials, annual flowers can be interspersed among the perennials to fill in open areas and provide splashes of color.