Many perennials prefer colder climates. The key to growing perennials successfully in northern climates is to be familiar with the varieties that thrive in these climate conditions. Gardeners should know which plants to grow and how to care for them properly for success in growing northern perennials.
Delphinium is a hardy perennial that grows well in northern climates. The flowers grow tall and come in a variety of colors including purple, pink, white, red, orange and yellow. There are also bi-color varieties. Gardeners commonly grow delphinium as borders or as a background flower for their landscape. The stakes of the flowers are tall and need some type of support such as a bamboo stake tied to the plant just before the flowers begin to bloom. Delphinium grows best in an organically rich soil and may be fertilized with an all-purpose fertilizer. Water the plants infrequently but deeply.
Peony is a long-living perennial flower that produces large flowers. Common colors are white, yellow, black, pink, purple and crimson. They can grow from 20 to 36 inches in height. Peony trees produce a large number of flowers on stems that do not die out each year. These flowers grow best in colder climates. Peonies should be exposed to full sun or grown in lightly shaded areas that are protected from strong winds. These flowers should be grown in well drained soil. Mulching with organic matter will help control weeds and preserve moisture. Debudding, or removing side buds and leaving the terminal bud on each stem tip, can be performed to produce larger flowers.
Phlox is a tall-growing, fragrant garden flower that provides a colorful display in a summer garden. They will bloom for six weeks or more. Phlox flowers grow in a variety of colors including pink, purple, white, lavender, red and many bi-color variations. Phlox plants can grow in height 2 to 3 feet or slightly taller. They are often used as garden borders or background plants. Phlox does not grow well against fences because of poor air circulation. Phlox should be planted in full sunlight or lightly shaded areas with moisture-rich soil that drains well. Mulching will help protect the plants from the cold. Lightly fertilize with an organic fertilizer as new growth develops each spring.
Chrysanthemum, commonly called mums, vary in size from small dwarf plants to giant shrubs. They come in a variety of colors including white, pink, burgundy and maroon. They grow easily in sunny locations in well drained soil. Provide shelter for plants to protect from strong winds. Mulch the plants with a mixture of peat moss, manure and compost for best results. Plants should be space 18 to 24 inches apart. Chrysanthemums are resistant to frost and do not tolerate high summer temperatures well. Avoid overcrowding the plants to protect from disease and insect problems.
Utah State University: Delphinium Are Pretty Tough
University of North Carolina: Peonies for the Home Landscape
University of Minnesota: Tall Garden Phlox for Minnesota Gardens
University of Minnesota: Garden Chrysanthemums