Gardening Articles

  1. Why Buy From Nature Hills?

    Nature Hills Nursery’s main office is in Nebraska, but did you know that we have contracted with over 16 of the best growers across the country?  Most other online plant stores ship from one location, and all the plants get shipped to that location.

    As Nature Hills has expanded each year, we have added classic lines of plants from growing regions that do that plant palate well.  When it comes time for you to receive that plant, it arrives directly from our grower who knows best how to grow that plant.  Not everyone can grow everything in one location under one set of growing conditions.  This is the reason we reach out to other areas across the country.

    Nature Hills saw a need to put some of the challenges of growing these different crops of plants in the hands of the growers that know best how to produce them.

    Rather than having the many kinds of plants shipped across the country to one big shipping yard like the other online e-commerce nursery companies do, we let our professional growers who are growing, trimming, fertilizing and watering the plant ship their product to your door.

    Why do we ship from different locations?  Simple – it lets us offer the widest variety of plants to the greatest area, without sacrificing our quality.  Imagine trying to hold southern plants and northern plants in the same location as other online e-commerce companies do.  No wonder there is disappointment with the finished product shipped from our competition.  We follow strict guidelines regarding quality and only work with growers who meet and exceed our standards.  When we say “from the fields to your door”, we mean it … literally!

    As Nature Hills continues to expand, we are broadening our offering with the new series of plants, new dwarf selections, new fruit and berry selections, new re-blooming shrubs, and longer blooming shrubs.  We are always bringing on the newest perennials, newest roses and new trees too.  We continue to grow the plants that are tried and true and the ones that receive the most positive feedback.  Our growers keep us updated on the newest plant material available so that in turn we can offer them to you!

    This is what sets us apart from other online nurseries - premier growers who are bringing new plants to market, growing and caring for them, and shipping them directly to your home.

    Our team has also engineered the best method of boxing plants to prevent them from becoming damaged during the short time they ship to you.

    Nature Hills is able to offer various sized plants, many that are nice sized landscape quality sure to please.  The days of the old “mail order” companies shipping many very small plants in the same box (the size of a shoebox) are long gone.  E-commerce purchases from Nature Hills brings a new level of quality and size to our customers who prefer shopping from the comfort of their own homes 24 hours a day.  

    Working with leading growers keeps us current with the nursery industry trends, keeps us compliant with invasives and other plant issues that arise across the country.  We have three top horticulturists on staff to assist us and you with everything from tropical plants, annuals, perennials, vines, evergreens, fruit trees and small fruits, citrus trees, and shade and ornamental trees that work in 48 states.  Our full-time, on staff compliance officer insures that we are on the front end of doing things right.

    We are constantly tweaking our plant offerings, making sure our plant descriptions and pictures are accurate.  Care and growing tips are detailed and user friendly.

    We are America’s largest online plant nursery.


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  2. The Forgotten Season: Fall Planting is Ideal For Many


    Fall is an amazing time of the year to plant many kinds of plants for your yard. Warm soils, and cool air combined with the possibility of better moisture makes for the opportunity for incredible root production. Lots of new roots in fall makes your plant ready to roll in the spring.

    Now, the plants … we are always broadening our palate of plants by working with the finest growers. As some of you may already know, Nature Hills has partnered with some of the best growers in many different parts of the country; quality plants are being grown in the best regions for a particular palate of plants.

    We have done this so that we can offer a broad array. Our citrus trees are grown in California - where they should be. Our Maple trees and Lilacs grown in Wisconsin so they are super hardy and can withstand the cold winters of the northern states. Our Magnolias and Dogwood trees are grown in Tennessee and Florida where they do best. Many shrubs and perennials are produced in Kansas where they get the heat to thrive. And let’s not forget an Alabama location that rocks out some beautiful southern shrubs, trees and perennials.

    Nature Hills sees the need to have these plants produced where they will be planted so they will acclimate quickly to their new home in your yard no matter where you live. This broad range of growing conditions at our production areas allows us to offer a massive variety of plants for sale.

    So, how can Nature Hills offer so many different kinds of plants for your home? We can successfully do so because we put the expertise of growing the best plants back to the nurseries that we have partnered with to bring you the best varieties, the broadest selection, and quality that you might not expect.

    Let’s plant this fall! Many people forget about benefits of fall planting.

    All of our plants are coming right from our growers. They are not old, overgrown, rootbound plants that garden centers are trying to unload before winter. We are selling a fresh new crop of plants right from the production areas. Nursery stock that is grown outside under natural conditions.

    As mentioned earlier, the warm soils make fall plantings so successful. Warm soil quickly allows new roots to grow and develop so quickly and the quicker your plants make new roots, the sooner they become less dependent upon you to care for them. New roots continue to develop late into fall.

    Watering is important for any new planting at any time of the year. In the fall, watering becomes easier because the plants are starting to use less water as the plants start to shed their leaves. The night temps are cooler and the daytime length is shorter.

    In spring, those plants installed in the fall will have a HUGE advantage and really act more like plants that have been in the ground for an entire year and not just a month or two.

    As our fall weather changes in our production areas, we will be seeing frosts and plants are starting to shut down. Some plants shut down earlier than others and the same holds true at our nurseries. We also group some of our plant close together so they can better winter. Sometimes the leaves will have some leaf spotting and some are turning yellow, red or brown. There is no reason for concern as these plants begin to go dormant.

    Green leaves make food for the plants to store. When the leaves have done their job, the shorter days and changes in temperatures let the leaves know they have done their job – and they can stop making chlorophyll (what keeps them green). When that happens, they start turning color.

    Remember the colder weather and frosts may cause some leaves, flowers to turn brown. Plants like Hydrangeas that might have beautiful white, pink, blue or red flowers on them will also be turning brown. Customers always call about the brown flowers on the Hydrangeas still and just know that is a very normal occurrence – especially at this time of the year.

    As mentioned earlier, our nursery production areas are outside growing in the natural elements. Our nursery stock in not mass produced coming out of greenhouses.

    For our fall shipments, please know that our plants can be in varying stages of going dormant. A rose or Spiraea shrub may look perfectly normal, but an Annabelle Hydrangea may have brown flower heads on them so just know that is normal for fall.

    Another interesting offering from Nature Hills is supplying BARE ROOT PLANTS. What is a bare root plant and why would you want one?

    Bare root plants are dug from our nursery with a digging machine like a potato digger – a big blade that goes under the roots and lifts the plants out of the ground shaking off all of the soil from the plants. We just started digging some of our bare root nursery stock in the more dormant areas.

    Bare root plants get dug, soil shaken off, and they go into our huge cooler facility where the plants are kept dormant. These fresh dug bare root plants can be held dormant from now until about mid-June. We do not offer all of our plants bare root, but we do have a great selection of trees and many shrubs. We also grow all other plants in either pots or grow bags that get shipped year-round.

    Why would you want to buy bare root? Bare root plants are lightweight, cheaper to ship, less expensive and easy to handle. Bare root plants have excellent roots and root hairs intact making them transplant beautifully.

    Bare root plants are most simply handled by digging a hole deep enough and wide enough to accommodate the roots shipped with the plants. Use all of the soil that was removed from the hole to back fill in and around the roots. Water extremely well and the water will settle the soil in around the roots. Never plant your plants deeper than they were grown at the nursery or in the pots.

    Bare root plants shipped in fall many times still have leaves attached that may be dry or brown and that is very normal and no reason to have concerns. The leaves will drop when it is time.

    There is no better time to renovate or update your landscape than this fall. Get a jump on the spring planting and get some of your plants bought this fall. You will be pleased you did.

    Don’t forget fall planting of spring flowering bulbs made easy with our new Easy Bloom Pads. Spring flowering bulbs planted in groups of 8 at a time are making quite an impact in your landscape. Check them out HERE.

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  3. Five for Fall 2017: The Top 5 Garden Trends You’ll See This Year

    Fall is…well…almost in the air. It’s still too hot to break out the sweaters and scarves in most of the country, but it’s not too early to start planning your perfect autumn garden! With that in mind our intrepid trend spotters have pulled together a list of the top five trends you’ll be seeing this year. (So if you want to be ahead of the curve and have the Jones’s trying to keep up with you, work one or two of these into your fall plans.)

    1. Small is really big. Dwarf versions of your favorite shrubs are all the rage. Dwarf Nandina, Dwarf Yaupon Holly, and Little Henry Virginia Sweetspire are petite versions of classic landscape shrubs. This means they’ll fit into smaller urban gardens and are perfect in containers. Play with scale in your garden for some great effects. Many smaller shrubs in a large garden add dimension and interest and fill the space in a more dynamic and fresh way than a few oversized shrubs.
    2. It’s time to talk about the birds and the bees. No, no…not that talk. It’s time to rethink pollinators in your garden. Fall is the perfect time to plant flowering shrubs - and especially natives – that will provide plenty of food, forage and cover for the local fauna for winter. Try adding native coneflowers or Oakleaf Hydrangeas that will put on a beautiful fall flower show AND make your feathered furry and fluttering friends happy!
    3. Get hip with Hygge. The Danish have given the world some great things – insulin, Lego’s and fluffy, flaky pastries, to name a few. (Actually the Danish pastry comes from Vienna, via Denmark, but we’re not quibbling since we never quibble when our mouths are full.) But the most recent thing to cross the Atlantic is Hygge (pronounced hue-ga). This is the Danish idea of finding cozy contentment by enjoying the simple things in life. You’ll be seeing this idea used in gardens more and more frequently. Cozy garden ‘rooms’ with sweet-smelling flowers, burbling water features and snug seating areas are rolling off of designer’s drawing boards in droves. Which leads us to trend number 4.
    4. Get cozy around a firepit. Don’t wait for it to get cold to add a firepit to your garden. Do it now so that you can just bring out the cocoa, marshmallows and toasty blankets to enjoy the warmth of the fire while your neighbors try to build a firepit wearing mittens. Plant some lavender and garden mums to give your firepit color and fragrance. (As a bonus, toss a little bundle of dried lavender into the fire for a scented boost.)
    5. It’s time to consider losing the lawn. Use this great planting season to plan on un-planting the lawn and replacing it with easy-care, low-maintenance, drought-tolerant groundcovers like ajuga or sedum. The “lose your lawn” revolution is in full swing due to the excessive droughts of the last few years. Hop on board! If you plan well, you will be sipping iced tea next spring while your neighbor mows their lawn.

    We’re wishing you the best autumn ever and remember that is here 24/7 to help you have the best garden ever!

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  4. Juneberries, Serviceberries, or Amelanchier...all the same thing


    No matter what you call this plant, you will find it a winner in all seasons. Amelanchier plants can be grown as large shrubs or smaller trees.

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  5. A Unique Way to Use Strawberry Plants In the Landscape

    Maybe you don't have a vegetable garden at your home, and maybe you don't want to add one now, but check this new idea out:

     Include your favorite strawberry plants in your landscape as a ground cover plant. Beautiful glossy green leaves are just starting to grow in many parts of the country right now. Soon after they start growing their glossy green leaves, they make beautiful white flowers. The flowers come on hard and strong. Soon after the flowers, you will be picking the fruit.

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  6. Witch Hazel- The Shrub That You Didn't Know You Needed

    Common Witch Hazel in the Fall

    Witch Hazel,  The Shrub You Didn't Know You Needed

    If you're ever disappointed that after the last flush of flowers in the fall, very little is thriving to get you through the winter months, despair no longer - there is a plant that blooms from October through December. Hamamelis virginiana- common witch hazel - is sure to be the star of your garden next winter.

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  7. 8 Plants That Rebloom for 3 Seasons of Flowers


    After the first flush of spring flowers, gardeners are often left wanting the centerpiece shrubs and perennials to their yard only provide color for a few weeks. But, there's a solution in rebloomers! Rebloomers are landscape plants that will continue to bloom after their first blooming period. Read on for eight fantastic solutions for reblooming perennials that you should have in your yard if you want three seasons of blooms.

    Josee Lilac

    After the first flush of lavender-pink blooms in the spring, Josee Lilac continues to bloom throughout the summer. If you're lucky, it may end up blooming into the fall in more southern zones. Regardless, these flowers will bring pollinators to your yard in droves. If you have space where a traditional lilac will not fit, the smaller size of this shrub may be ideal for your plantings. In addition to its smaller size and beautiful flowers, this shrub is mildew resistant keeping the leaves looking beautiful all season long. This shrub is perfect for those small areas where you still want the beautiful blooms. 

    Notable characteristics:
    • USDA Zone 2-8
    • 4-foot by 6-foot spread
    • Fragrant lavender-pink flowers
    • Full sun
    • Mildew resistant
    Other impressive cultivars:

    The President Clematis

    Renowned for the beautiful flowers, clematis usually only blooms once. But The President Clematis will bloom in early summer, and then bloom again in the late summer or early fall providing you with double color on a single plant. The vibrant purple blooms are seven-inches wide, and will be sure to please in fall when little else is blooming. Enjoy the climbing nature of this plant by providing it some structure to grow on and it will thrive.

    Notable characteristics:
    • USDA Zone 4-9
    • 1-foot to 2-foot spread
    • Climbing habit requires a trellis
    • 7-inch purple flowers
    • Full-sun to part shade
    Other impressive cultivars:

    Red Prince Weigela

    Weigela are a common plant found in many gardens, but the older varieties require deadheading and pruning to encourage them to rebloom. Red Prince Weigela does not. After its first set of blooms, this shrub will put out a second show of flowers in the late summer. Brilliant red trumpet-shaped flowers cover the shrub, making a statement when it is in bloom. This shrub requires no other care to encourage flowering, so it's the perfect low-maintenance shrub for your landscape. 

    Notable characteristics:
    • USDA Zone 4-8
    • 4 to 6-foot height and spread
    • Scarlet flowers
    • Full sun
    • Container friendly
    Other impressive cultivars:
    • Sonic Bloom Weigela - Cultivars available in white, pink and red. Reblooms continue until frost
    • Fine Wine Weigela - Burgundy foliage and pink trumpet flowers
    • Ghost Weigela  Bright green foliage, pink flowers, deer resistant

    Autumn Ruby Encore Azalea Tree Form

    Azaleas are most well-known for their spring flowers and their shrubby nature. But the Autumn Ruby Encore® Azalea Tree is a tree-form azalea, elevating it above many other shrubs in the landscape. With ruby-red flowers in the spring, the Autumn Ruby Encore® Azalea Tree reblooms through the spring up until fall – making it a fantastic reblooming shrub. With the dramatic contrast of the dark-green leaves, the flowers will stand out and make a brilliant statement. 

    Notable characteristics:
    • USDA Zone 6-9
    • 4 to 7-feet high, 3-4 feet wide
    • Ruby red flowers
    • Full sun
    • Container friendly
    Other impressive cultivars:

    Twist-N-Shout Hydrangea

    Endless Summer® Twist-n-Shout Hydrangea doesn't only bloom once, it blooms continuously throughout the summer months. This makes it a fantastic reblooming shrub. With unique lace-cap flowers, this shrub provides colorful beauty all season long. Depending upon what pH your soil is, the flowers will either be pink (acidic) or blue (basic), and can be amended to encourage deeper colors. The large, beautiful blooms rest against large textured green leaves.

    Notable characteristics:
    • USDA Zone 4-9
    • 3 to 5-foot height and width
    • Pink or blue lacecap flowers
    • Red fall color
    • Partial shade
    Other impressive cultivars:

    Oso Happpy Candy Oh! Rose

    Roses are often known for having multiple blooms throughout the season but Oso Easy® Happy Candy Oh! Rose outperforms all others. The bright red blooms with yellow centers begin in the spring, and continue throughout the seasons until frost in the fall. The best part is that no deadheading is required to encourage further flowering, making it an easy plant to care for. Cold tolerant and disease resistant, Oso Easy® Happy Candy Oh! Rose is the perfect reblooming rose for your landscape. 

    Notable characteristics:
    • USDA Zone 4-9
    • 3-4 feet tall, 4-5 feet wide
    • Red flowers with yellow centers
    • Full sun
    • Disease Resistant
    Other impressive cultivars:

    Harvest of Memories Iris

    Bright, cheerful yellow flowers of Harvest of Memories Iris last through multiple seasons, making it a perfect reblooming perennial for any garden. Great as a cut flower or in your landscape, Harvest of Memories Iris provides a unique appearance to any garden. Don't be misled by the simple blooms, this plant puts out at least two, if not three sets of flowers. Blooming in the spring, the summer and perhaps in the fall, this reblooming perennial is a beauty you can enjoy all season long.

    Notable characteristics:
    • USDA zones 3-9
    • 30 to 38 inches tall
    • 18 to 24 inches wide
    • Full sun to partial shade
    • Works well as a cut flower
    Other impressive cultivars:

    Purple D Oro Daylily

    Purple D'Oro Daylily exceeds expectations as a reblooming perennial, the bright purple flowers continue to bloom from early summer into early fall. A hearty plant, Purple D'Oro daylily will withstand many harsh conditions other plants won't grow. It is also easy to manage, as it is resistant to many diseases and pests. Purple D'Oro Daylily is a plant that will withstand just about any condition you choose to throw at it, and will provide you with beautiful blooms day after day. 

    Notable characteristics:
    • USDA Zones 2-9
    • 16 inches tall
    • 24-36 inches wide
    • Full sun to partial sun
    • Bright purple flowers with yellow throats
    Other impressive cultivars:

    Reblooming plants can be a challenge to find for your landscape, as many plants generally only flower for a few weeks. But these plants will stun and delight you all season long, by bringing colorful flowers back time and time again. Try a few in your yard for a continuous display, even when other plants are finished blooming.

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  8. Top 10 U.S. Colleges to Attend for Botany Degrees


    Admit it. You love plants. You wouldn't have found your way to Nature Hills Nursery if you didn't. Of course, there are different levels of love. There is the "I want my yard to look nice" level. Or the "I want to know all of the plants native to my area" level. There is even the"I'd" like to learn the Latin names of all my neighbor's weeds level. But if you are at the "I" want to work with plants every day for the rest of my life and change the world while I do it level, then there is only one path for you. You need a degree in botany.The study of plant science is integral to keeping the plants we have in top form and in introducing new plants to the world. If you have a love for the leafy, then here are the top 10 colleges in the U.S for a degree in Botany. These were rated on academic excellence, admissions selectivity, career readiness, financial affordability and the expert opinions of the folks at US News and Forbes.

      Northwestern U logo

    1. Northwestern University  Evanston, Illinois  Proximity to the Windy City is attractive at this school, as is the great partnership with the world-renowned Chicago Botanical Gardens that leads to a Masters in Botany.  


    2. University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, California  Known for its cutting-edge research and global outreach, as well as its great Bay Area vibe.  

      Cornell U

    3. Cornell University  Ithaca, New York  One of the oldest and most distinguished botany programs in the nation, Cornell has been teaching botany for over 150 years.

        Washington U in st. louis

    4. Washington University in St. Louis  Saint Louis, Missouri  Close ties to the massive Missouri Botanical Gardens and an emphasis on climate change studies keep this program in the forefront of botany schools.    


    5. University of Florida  Gainesville, Florida  The dedicated botany greenhouses here contain thousands of specimens used for research and teaching.  


    Illinois U

    6. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  Champaign, Illinois  World-class research facilities and home to some of the world's most highly cited researchers.  

      UC Davis

    7. University of California-Davis  Davis, California  Not only is this botany program world-renowned, the school was recently named the nations "Coolest School".  

      University of Texas at Austin

    8. The University of Texas at Austin  Austin, Texas  A plant biology degree here includes studying under an integrated consortium of faculty from many disciplines.  

      Univ Wisconsin

    9. University of Wisconsin-Madison  Madison, Wisconsin  Access to a unique APGII-organized garden and over 1 million specimens at the Wisconsin State Herbarium.

        Univ of California Irvine

    10. University of California-Irvine  Irvine, California  A 12.5 acre arboretum anchors the school and provides hands-on learning. It's also only 10 minutes from the beach. Score!

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  9. Health Benefits of Aronia Berries

    Aronia Shrub also called Chokeberry

    Aronia Shrub (also called Chokeberry)  

    Aronia plants are known as chokeberry plants. We know that name is not very appealing. On the contrary, Chokeberry plants offer multi-seasonal interest with flowers, fruit, fall color, and fruit that persists all winter long.Aronia plants make killer landscape plants, and are most desirable because they are wildly adaptable to sun or shade, and tolerate almost all kinds of soils, even those that don't drain well. Aronia plants have super glossy leaves all season long. In fall, they burst out into shades of red, purple, and orange putting on quite a show.


    Aronia Shrub Fall ColorAronia Shrub Fall Color  

    The Red-fruited Chokeberry plants from our nurseries include Brilliantissima, and Erecta. 'Erecta' is an upright form. Both have white flowers born in clusters, with red aronia berries that persist, and a fall color of beautiful orange and red.

    Red Chokeberry FruitRed Chokeberry Fruit 

     The Black-fruited Chokeberry plants from our nurseries include the Black species (native melanocarpa), Autumn Magic (compact form), Viking (excellent for fruiting) and Low Scape Mound (the hot new compact ground cover type). The black fruited varieties are prized not only for the great landscape value, but more recently everyone has discovered the amazing health benefits of the fruit.  

    Autumn Magic Black Chokeberry Fruit 2 rectangular for articleAutumn Black Magic Chokeberry Fruit.

    Aronia berries resemble blueberries in size, and they are born in clusters. They become fully ripe in mid-late August when the sugar content is the highest. The fruit is quite astringent and resembles the flavor of a dry red wine. The fruits have been tested as having incredible amounts of anthocyanins, and the highest amounts of antioxidants of any fruit tested, which aids in eliminating inflammation in the body. The health benefits from the fruit are amazing and Aronia berries are being used in many interesting new ways. You can find them fresh, dried and sweetened, or in juices and concentrates. Use them fresh whenever you can as you would a blueberry and add them to fruit salads, baked in cookies, pies or other confectionery while they are available. Throw them in the freezer to add to smoothies or baked goods, or in baby food preparations. Once you read all the health benefits from this amazing berry, you will want a steady supply of the fruits.   The Midwest Aronia Association has included some excellent information regarding all facets of Aronia and the health benefits of Aronia berries. It is worthwhile reading at your convenience: Aronia Berry: What is it?   Why Aronia?

    * Outstanding multi-season landscape plant that is very adaptable
    * Many different forms of the plant to fit your landscape
    * The incredible super berries reduce inflammation in the body and have many other attributes
    * Super hardy, relatively pest free plants, native in the upper tier of states


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  10. 9 Perennials to Use in Cut Flower Arrangements


     Bringing flowers in from your yard will be sure to have guests consistently asking you "who's your florist?". Consider these nine species for eye-catching, dramatic arrangements that will spike conversation and be one of the beautiful focal points of your entertaining space.

    Millenium AlliumMillenium Allium

     Millennium Allium - Allium senescens Millennium 

    For a fun addition to your arrangement, consider using Millennium alliums, the purple 1.5-inch globes add a touch of whimsy. In the landscape, this perennial has strap-like leaves and is fairly small, making it a spectacular addition in the late summer when it blooms. The flowers look great dried or fresh and will continue to persist for quite a while.  

    Notable characteristics:
    * USDA zones 4-8
    * Purple blooms in summer
    * 6-inch height and spread
    * Full Sun
    * Deer resistant

     White Clips BellflowerWhite Clips Bellflower

     White Clips Bellflower  Campanula, White Clips 

    For some delicate white flowers to use in arrangements, consider planting White Clips Bellflower. The cup-shaped blooms arrive in the late spring and early summer and can persist for over a week in an arrangement indoors. A prolifically flowering plant, White Clips Bellflower provides a seemingly endless supply of delicate white blooms.    

    Notable characteristics:
    * USDA zones 3-8
    * White blooms in late spring
    * 8-inch height, 24-inch spread
    * Partial to full sun
    * Deer and rabbit resistant

    Other varieties to consider:
    * Pearl Deep Blue Bellflower  dark blue flowers
    * Dickson's Gold Bellflower  blue flowers, chartreuse foliage

    Big Bang Cosmic Eye CoreopsisBig Bang Cosmic Eye Coreopsis

    Big Bang Cosmic Eye Coreopsis  Coreopsis, Big Bang, PPA

    Big Bang Cosmic Eye Coreopsis provides a big bang of color in your arrangement. With yellow and red bi-color coloration that persists through the  summer and into the fall, you can't miss these flowers in any arrangement. Relatively long-lived in arrangements, they add a touch of quirkiness to any arrangement they are used in.  

    Notable Characteristics:

     USDA zones 5-9
    * Bright yellow and red bi-color flowers
    * 15 inches height and spread
    * Full sun
    * Deer and rabbit resistant

    Other varieties to consider:
    * Zagreb Coreopsis   yellow blooms
    * Coreopsis Early Sunrise   Double yellow blooms

    Tomato Soup coneflower Tomato Soup coneflower

     Tomato Soup Coneflower  Echinacea, Tomato Soup,  PP19,427

    For a bright red that cannot be beaten, Tomato Soup Coneflower is the perennial of choice. This perennial's 3.5-inch flowers stand tall on sturdy stems and will last for quite a while in an arrangement. Beyond the beautiful blooms being well suited for cut flowers, they're favored by many pollinators. In the winter, the spent flowers will persist, adding an interesting aspect to the landscape.  

    Notable Characteristics:
    * USDA zones 4-8
    * 3.5-inch bright red flowers
    * 32 inches height and spread
    * Full sun
    * Deer and rabbit resistant

    Other varieties to consider:
     Green Envy Coneflower   yellow and pink bicolor blooms
    * Hot Papaya Coneflower   double orange blooms

    Blue Glitter Sea Holly Blue Glitter Sea Holly

    Blue Glitter Sea Holly - Eryngium, Blue Glitter

    For an interesting, spiky addition to your cut flower arrangement, Blue Glitter Sea Holly will thrive both in dried arrangements and in your yard. With unique, spiky flowers and blue foliage, this plant is sure to be a stunner, both in your landscape and in your arrangements.  

    Notable Characteristics:
    * USDA zones 4-8
    * Bright blue flowers
    * 6-8 inch basal height, flower scapes up to 36 inches
    * 8-12 inch spread
    * Drought tolerant plant

    Fire Dance Red Hot Poker Fire Dance Red Hot Poker

     Fire Dance Red Hot Poker - Kniphofia hirsuta 'Fire Dance'

    With blooms that start yellow and become orange, Fire Dance Red Hot Poker is a beautiful addition to height in an arrangement. As the flowers age, they shift from a bright sunny yellow to a dark reddish orange,  adding some unusual color to any arrangement. Known for its cold hardiness and drought tolerance, adding this perennial to your garden will not only be a pleaser in a vase but also along a walkway.  

    Notable Characteristics:
    * USDA zones 4-9
    * Drought Tolerance
    * Orange and yellow flowers
    * 16 to 20 inches high and wide
    * Deer and rabbit resistant, pollinator friendly

    Blue Lace Delphinium Blue Lace Delphinium

     Blue Lace Delphinium  Delphinium elatum, Bue Lace

     Delicate lavender blue flowers perch on a tall stem, perfect for arrangements that need some vertical structure. It will rebloom in the late summer if spent blooms are removed, making it a multi-seasonal sensation. Best planted in nutrient-rich, alkaline soils, Blue Lace Delphinium has one of the strongest stems of the delphiniums, meaning it will stand up to stiff breezes and in vases.  

    Notable Characteristics:
    * USDA zones 3-7
    * Lavender blue flowers
    * 1 to 2 feet spread
    * 5-6 feet high
    * Deer and rabbit resistant

    Other cultivars to consider:
    * Delphinium Summer Blues  bright blue flowers, compact
    * Delphinium Pink Punch  intense pink flowers

    Flame Sundaze Strawflower Flame Sundaze Strawflower 

    Flame Sundaze® Strawflower - Xerochrysum bracteatum 'Sundaze Flame'

    For flowers that will retain their beautiful yellow hue fresh or dried, Flame Sundaze Strawflower is the plant you need. Though not a perennial in all zones, this plant shouldn't be overlooked. Even though it is compact, it is covered with flowers that never lose their luster, even weeks after blooming. It is also great at tolerating those hot, dry spots in your yard, working through the hot summer days to bring you beautiful flowers that will last indefinitely when cut.  

    Notable Characteristics:
    * USDA zones 3-11 (perennial in zones 9-11)
    * Bright yellow flowers
    * 12-18 inches tall
    * 10-14 inch spread
    * Drought tolerant

    Pink Muhly GrassPink Muhly Grass

    Pink Muhly Grass - Muhlenbergia capillaris

    Even though pink muhly grass isn't a flower by conventional definition, it's interesting pink seed heads deserve mention for use in floral arrangements. A multi-season plant, this grass provides structure in the spring and summer, an exciting show in the fall, and persistent seed heads into the winter. Be sure to enjoy these seed heads in a vase to bring a bit of the fall beauty into your home.  

    Notable characteristics:
    * USDA zones 6-11
    * Pink seed heads, blueish green blades
    * 2-3 feet tall and wide
    * Deer resistant
    * Drought tolerant

      Using some of these flowers in your indoor arrangements will bring a bit of the outdoor beauty inside, along with the pride that you grew them! Enjoy the long-lasting nature of these attractive flowers all year-round, both in the yard and in the house.

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