The selection of plants for a perennial bed is very large. However, a sunny location places very special characteristics on the plants, because they have to cope with sometimes difficult conditions.

Fresh and nutrient-rich soil

Soils that are moist often have high nutrient levels because rotting is encouraged in such locations. The advantage of such soils is that they hardly need any additional fertilization and additional watering is only necessary if there has been no rain for weeks. However, the perennials usually grow very tall in such locations, which must be taken into account when arranging the plants. Even in sunny locations, it can happen that low perennials perish in nutrient-rich soil because they do not grow to the same height as other plants and are covered by them.

Bergenie (Bergenia cordifolia):

  • Height: 30cm
  • Flowers: purple-pink, mostly darker in the middle
  • Flowering time: March – April
  • Growth habit: upright, forms dense clumps
  • Special features: clumps are green all year round

There are several varieties of bergenia , which differ in flower color and flower shape. However, they prefer all locations in the sun, where they form a particularly large number of flowers.

Burning Love (Lychnis chalcedonica):

  • Height: 100cm
  • Flowers: red, umbel-shaped
  • Flowering period: June – July
  • Growth form: upright, bushy
  • Special features: very eye-catching flowers popular with insects due to the coloring.
Note: Burning Love is flexible in terms of its location. It also grows in normal garden soil or in dry locations, but does not reach the heights of an optimal soil for it.

New Belgium Autumn Taster (Aster novi-belgii):

  • Height: 150cm
  • Flower: varies depending on the variety, plate-shaped
  • Flowering period: September – October
  • Wuchsform: buschig
  • Special features: very good bee pasture in autumn due to its late flowering

Pfingstrose (Paeonia x hybrida):

  • Height: 100cm
  • Flowers: pink to red, bowl-shaped
  • Flowering period: May – June
  • Growth form: bushy, sprawling
  • Special features: attractive specimen plant

Schafgarbe (Achillea millefolium):

  • Height: 50cm
  • Flowers: different, depending on the variety, umbel-shaped flowers
  • Flowering period: June – August
  • Growth form: upright
  • Special features: easy to care for

Even the wild form of yarrow can look attractive in a perennial border if it has sufficient nutrients available. Cultivated forms, however, usually have larger flowers in different colors, such as yellow or red.

Perennial sunflower (Helianthus atrorubens):

  • Height: 180cm
  • Flower: yellow, radiating
  • Flowering period: August – September
  • Wuchsform: buschig, starkwüchsig
  • Special features: forms many runners and should be planted with a root barrier, suitable as a cut flower

Meadow Flame Flower (Phlox maculata):

  • Height: 120cm
  • Flower: pink-white
  • Flowering period: June – August
  • Growth form: bushy, upright inflorescences
  • Special features: slightly fragrant, needs pruning after flowering

All Phlox species are pronounced sun plants, but need very nutrient-rich soil to reach the height and form many flowers.

Winteraster (Chrysanthemum x Gardens)

  • Height: 70cm
  • Flower: different depending on the variety, radiating
  • Flowering period: September – October
  • Growth habit: upright, bushy, forms small clumps
  • Special features: easy to care for

Many people know chrysanthemums as grave decorations in autumn, but they are not frost-resistant. The winter aster, on the other hand, is frost-resistant and one of the few sun plants that blooms late in the year.

Moist and normal soil

A slightly moist garden soil, but one that does not offer excessive nutrient content, is suitable for perennials that only have moderate nutrient requirements. It is true that plants that prefer humus-rich and nutrient-rich soil would also grow there, but the effort involved in soil cultivation and fertilization is much higher compared to planting perennials, which get by with fewer nutrients.

Arkansas-Scheinaster (Vernonia arkansana):

  • Height: 180cm
  • Flowers: intense violet, umbel-shaped
  • Flowering period: August – October
  • Growth habit: upright, clump-forming
  • Special features: suitable as a specimen plant

Blaukissen (Aubrieta):

  • Height: 10cm
  • Flower: blue-violet, single
  • Flowering time: April – May
  • Growth form: carpet-like, forms cushions
  • Special features: conditionally suitable for rock gardens if the soil is not too poor

Blausternbusch (Amsonia hubrichtii):

  • Height: 90cm
  • Flowers: light blue, umbel-shaped
  • Flowering period: May – July
  • Growth form: upright, forms clumps
  • Special features: interesting needle-shaped leaves, very attractive yellow-red autumn colours

Speedwell (Veronica x cantiana ‘Kentish Pink’ ):

  • Height: 20cm
  • Flowers: pink, in panicles
  • Flowering period: May – July
  • Growth form: carpet-like spread
  • Specialties: good ground cover
Tip: Due to its low height, all speedwell species belong in the first row of a perennial bed. Speedwell species not only come in pink, but in blue and white.

Fackellilie (Kniphofia uvaria):

  • Height: 120cm
  • Flowers: yellow-red, spike-shaped
  • Flowering period: July – September
  • Growth form: clump-forming, arching leaves, stiffly upright flower stalks
  • Special features: good cut flower

The torch lily fills up the perennial bed, especially due to its growth form. However, it is one of the sun plants that is somewhat more complex to care for, because the flower stalks should be cut back after flowering.

Dry and poor soil

A dry and meager location may be disadvantageous for a perennial bed at first, but offers many design options. Many herbs prefer meager locations, but are visually very attractive and easy to care for. A dry and meager location is also an ecologically important place that, when properly planted, can provide a habitat for many insects and other animals.

Blutroter Storchschnabel (Geranium sanguineum):

  • Height: 40cm
  • Flowers: violet to reddish, single
  • Flowering period: June – August
  • Growth form: forms large cushions
  • Special features: very popular with insects

Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris):

  • Height: 20cm
  • Flower: violet, bell-shaped
  • Flowering time: March – April
  • Growth form: clump-forming, upright inflorescences
  • Special features: popular with insects

The pasque flower is one of the sun plants that bloom very early in the year. Although it is only small, it can easily be integrated into the perennial border. By the time the other sun plants form the flowers, it has long since faded and then only needs a little sun.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia):

  • Height: 80cm
  • Flower: violet
  • Flowering period: June – September
  • Wuchsform: buschig
  • Special features: intense fragrance, popular with insects

Lavandula angustifolia is one of the species that survives the winter here without any problems. Lavender is one of the typical sun plants that can survive in extremely hot and dry locations. In any case, it needs full sun, otherwise it will hardly or not form any flowers.

Splendid Bacopa (Sedum spectabile):

  • Height: 50cm
  • Flowers: pink, umbel-shaped
  • Flowering period: August – September
  • Growth form: bushy, upright
  • Special features: very good bee pasture

There are many types of Sedum, all of which are suitable for dry and lean locations. There are numerous different species that differ in flower color and shape and in height. Some species only form a carpet with a few centimeters in height. Above all, low species also colonize difficult locations in the sun, where there is little soil and many stones.

Purple mock coneflower (Echinacea purpurea):

  • Height: 100cm
  • Flower: purple-pink, radiating
  • Flowering period: July – September
  • Growth habit: upright, clump-forming
  • Specialties: a popular medicinal plant in folk medicine

Annual and biennial perennials

Annual and biennial perennials are a very good addition to perennial plants. Many of the perennials propagate by self-seeding and you only have to remove those plants that are too many in the bed. When choosing annuals and perennials, it is important that you also choose plants that are soil-adapted.

Roter Fingerhut (Digitalis purpurea):

  • Height: 80cm
  • Flowers: crimson, occasionally white, racemose
  • Flowering period: June – July
  • Growth form: forms rosettes, upright inflorescence
  • Special features: popular with insects, very poisonous

Großblütige Königskerze (Verbascum densiflorum):

  • Height: 100cm
  • Flower: yellow, single
  • Flowering period: June – September
  • Growth form: forms rosettes, upright inflorescence
  • Special features: very good self-sowing

Nachtkerze (Oenothera biennis):

  • Height: 100cm
  • Flower: yellow, cupped
  • Flowering period: June – September
  • Growth form: forms rosettes, upright inflorescences
  • Special features: very good self-sowing

Although the evening primrose belongs to the sun plants, it only opens its flowers in the evening. This makes it an important forage plant for nocturnal insects. The evening primrose reproduces very well by self-sowing, excess plants can therefore be removed without hesitation. Only leave a few plants that have enough space to develop well.

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