by Connie Oswald Stofko
Here’s a question from a reader:
“I’m considering removing my Stella de Oro daylilies (I have seven in a very sunny location) since they are no longer rewarding me with blooms. They are a great deal of work and not much reward.
“Wondering what perennial you would recommend for full sun?”
Linda Liberi, Williamsville
This is the kind of question I think would benefit from a wide range of opinions. What would you suggest for Linda? Please leave a comment below.
Here’s my suggestion: black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta). You’ll get a bigger reward for a lot less work.
The plant gets lots of flowers that bloom for weeks. It’s a late summer flower; they’re blooming now. (Technically, the black-eyed Susan is a biennial, but I’ve never had a year when I was waiting around for blooms.)
The black-eyed Susan flower is bright and cheery. I’m partial to yellow in my garden, so I like it a lot.
It’s a native plant, so it’s very low maintenance. Unless the weather is super hot and dry, you don’t have to even water them.
It spreads, so it’s a great plant if you’re just starting out and want to expand your garden beds over a number of years. However, it doesn’t spread aggressively; it’s easy to control.
In the summer, pollinators like the flowers. In the winter, birds like the seed pods. Plus, the seed pods look pretty against the snow.
But there are so many wonderful perennials out there. I’ll bet you have many that you can suggest. Please leave a comment below.
How to get your questions answered
Sometimes readers contact me with questions that I can’t answer. I’m not a gardening expert– I’m a writer by profession. I interview knowledgeable people in order to provide you with great articles on Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com.
So when someone asks a question I can’t answer, I post the question and rely on my readers to share their expertise. If you have advice for Linda, please leave a comment below. If you want to know the answer to this question, check back later to read the comments.
Sending a question to me to post can be helpful if you’re looking for a wide range of opinions and don’t mind waiting for the answer. If you want to try this route, email the question to me at email@example.com and I’ll pose it to my readers in an upcoming issue.
A more efficient route for getting your questions answered is to turn to Master Gardeners with Cornell Cooperative Extension or to turn to your local garden center.
For Master Gardeners at Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County, call (716) 652-5400 from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. For Chautauqua County, email your question to CCEMGCC@gmail.com; call the Helpline at (716) 664-9502, ext 224, or stop in to the Frank Bragg Ag Center, 3542 Turner Rd., Jamestown, from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays.
There are helpful Cornell Cooperative Extension offices in other counties, too. Find contact information here for your county’s Cooperative Extension office.
The businesses that support this magazine have very knowledgeable staff. Check out our Gardening Directory or click on the ads to the right.