red hot poker plant

Sun Loving Plants

Photo credit Karen Ridings

Listed are a few sun-loving plants to add to your butterfly and bee garden. Coreopsis is a hardy member of the daisy family that you will find challenging to kill. The stalks can grow to three feet tall and offer a bright spray of flowers in various colors. Best of all, they bloom for a long time and will give you color all summer long and into the fall. While removing the wilted flowers (deadheading) is advisable, it’s not entirely necessary—you can leave your coreopsis to its own devices. Though it might get a bit unruly, it will come back year after year to delight you.

Zones: 4-9

Photo credit Mary Hammel 

Daylilies come in a nearly infinite variety of colors and flower shapes, and they are probably the easiest perennial to drop into your garden. They will grow just about anywhere, producing almost every possible color, aren’t plagued by many diseases, and aren’t particularly tasty to bugs and deer. Most varieties will bloom for a short time in the summer, but some will flower several times a season.

Zones: 1-11

Photo credit  eleni koureas

Peonies are old-fashioned, but there’s a reason for that: Immortality. Suppose you want your flower garden to outlive you, then plant peonies. Once established, they will come back year after year virtually forever. One downside is their relatively short blooming season—you don’t get these pretty, fragrant flowers for long. But another benefit is the ease of care: They don’t need to be fussed over, are impossible to kill, and do well in shade and sun.

Zones: 3-8

Photo credit steph

Phlox grows easy and spreads enthusiastically, filling your garden with a carpet of bright pink, purple, white, or orange flowers (for a covering flower, choose the creeping phlox variety, which grows low to the ground). They love full sun and bloom from mid-to late-summer, requiring regular watering to keep them happy. You can deadhead the wilted flowers, your phlox will re-bloom nicely, and your pretty flowers will also re-bloom on their own every year. Best of all, phlox tends to attract hummingbirds.

Zones: 2-9

Yarrow is a very tolerant plant adding a splash of red and white. A member of the daisy family, it multiplies—sometimes too quickly, as it will engulf and crowd out other plants if you let it. You don’t need to do much for yarrow to thrive. It does best in full sun but requires regular watering and tolerates neglect very well.

Zones: 3-10

Agastache provides tall spikes of purple flowers that add drama to any garden—and pulls in butterflies and hummingbirds in droves. The spire-like flowers will bloom all season long and don’t require much care or watering, as this plant is very drought-tolerant. It grows well in poor soil and survives surprise frosts with a shrug. An unkillable flower that comes back every year? That’s the ticket.

Zones: 4-10

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