What are the most popular categories of perennials?

yellow agastache at Mischler's
Agastache attracts hummingbirds and is fragrant, too. The flowers bloom in yellow, lavender, orange and red. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

What kinds of perennials are most popular with gardeners?

Perennials that:

  • Attract butterflies
  • Attract hummingbirds
  • Are native plants

That’s from Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. These categories are so popular that the staff at Mischler’s has grouped perennials from these categories together to make them easier for gardeners to find.

There is still time to plant perennials, and many are blooming now!

Let’s take a look at an example of one perennial from each group.

Attract hummingbirds

If you want fragrance in your garden, try agastache. I could smell it through my mask!

And agastache definitely attracts hummingbirds. I kept seeing hummingbirds around the plants at Mischler’s, but the birds were too fast for me to get a photo.

Agastache is also an awesome pollinator plant, said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s.

The flowers are yellow, lavender, orange or red. Agastache grows about 18 to 24 inches high.

white phlox at Mischler's
A tall and showy plant, upright phlox attracts butterflies. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

Attract butterflies

Upright phlox is a very showy plant with large blooms that attract butterflies. It comes in various heights and colors.

Mischler’s has only ‘David’ in stock now, which has white flowers. It gets about 40 inches tall. I have it and like it because it adds height to my garden.

If you planted upright phlox in the past and were disappointed because it got mildew, be assured that’s a thing of the past, said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s.

“It’s now much more disease resistant,” Yadon said. “It’s durably hardy and comes back every year.”

Note: I know people will ask about butterfly flower (Asclepias tuberosa) and swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), which are great for monarch butterflies to lay eggs on. Currently Mischler’s has both. The plants they have available can change from day to day, so if you want to know whether they have a particular plant in stock, contact Mischler’s directly.

Desmodium canadense or showy tick trefoil
Desmodium canadense, also called showy tick trefoil, cuts across categories. Not only is it a native plant, it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

Native plants

These categories of perennials sometimes overlap. Desmodium canadense, also called showy tick trefoil, is native to Western New York. In addition, it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, according to Wildflower.org.

Because it’s native to Western New York, desmodium is very hardy to this region. It’s versatile, too, and can be planted in full sun or part shade.

Desmodium is a nice background plant that adds height to your garden. It grows about three to five feet tall.

The foliage has a nice texture and blooms all summer.

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5 Comments on “What are the most popular categories of perennials?

  1. Menne’s garden center used to carry it but they no longer have a retail nursery. Now the only place that I know of that carries it is Russel’s Tree Farm on Transit Rd. in Clarence. It is not expensive and it really makes a difference.

  2. Menne’s garden center used to carry it but they no longer have a retail nursery. Now the only place that I know of that carries it is Russel’s Tree Farm on Transit Rd. in Clarence.

  3. The hardiest Agastache that hummers use a lot is Agastache rupestris. It grows best in full sun and very well drained soil. If the soil is heavy clay I find that Garden Magic top soil works wonders for lightening up heavy clay. Agastaches are southwest natives so do best in dry soil. Even in this summers heat I only water mine once every 7-10 days.

    Agastache foeniculum is quite hardy but is seldom used by hummingbirds. It is a good plant for bees.

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