Depending on where you live in Ohio, you may be in growing zones 5 or 6. Using native perennials helps to ensure that you run into fewer problems with insects and diseases. There are fantastic native perennials that thrive in Ohio, but you consider the amount of water, light, and soil type that these plants need so that you pick the right plants for your specific location.
Consider these beautiful perennials that thrive in the state.
Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis)
Purple lupine-like flowers grow on the erect racemes in the late spring and early summer. Each flower racemes can be up to 12-inches long. This plant does best when planted in the full sun, but it will tolerate light shade. After the flowers fade, this plant puts on seed pods that can grow to 4-inches long. The seed pods on this clump-forming plant turn black when ripe and can be a great addition to flower arrangements. You will love the bluish-green leaves on this option.
Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Wild Columbine produces drooping, bell-like flowers with yellow-limbed petals, five red spurs and a mass of yellow stamens in April and May. This flower that loves to be consistently moist will continue to bloom if you deadhead the flowers once they are beyond their peak. If you fail to remove the flowers, this option that likes some afternoon shade will produce seeds and spread. Planting wild Columbine is a great way to attract hummingbirds to your Ohio landscaping. It will grow to be about 2-feet tall.
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
The sun-loving swamp milkweed produces five-petaled white, pink or mauve flowers in the late summer. The petals surrounded an elevated central crown on this option that grows to be about 4-feet tall. Seed pods up to 4-inches long follow the flowers. The seed pods are filled with a silky substance that will blow away in the wind. This plant has narrow, lance-shaped leaves that grow up to 4-inches long.
Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)
This rhizomatous perennial likes the sun and swampy conditions. This clump-forming plant produces buttercup yellow flowers from April to June. Each flower consists of five glossy yellow petals with numerous stamens and pistils. This plant’s glossy green rounded leaves can be up to 7-inches across. After the flowers fade, this plant puts on seed pods. You will want to pick the pods off if you do not want this plant to spread.
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Clusters of bright orange flowers grow on reclining, hairy stems on the butterfly weed throughout the summer. You may have to wait two to three years for this sun-loving plant to put on its first flowers, but it will reward you with massive clusters once it does. This clump-forming plant grows to be about 2-feet tall. After the flowers fade, this plant puts on spindle-shaped seed pods. Remove them if you do not want this plant spreading. They look super in fall flower arrangements.
White Wood Aster (Eurybia divaricata)
Flat-topped clusters of small white flowers with yellow or red center discs appear on the white wood aster in the late summer and early fall. This option loves the shade, but some morning sun can help reduce powdery mildew issues. The heart-shaped leaves on this plant are dark green. This plant grows to be about 2-feet tall, and it loves dry soils. Plant it where there is good air circulation.
Turtlehead (Chelone obliqua)
One of the easiest plants to grow is the turtlehead because it does not care if it is in the sun or shade. It does, however, need rich soil. This plant produces two-lipped snapdragon-like flowers in the late summer. The flowers may be purple, pink, or white. Lance-shaped, dark green leaves appear in pairs on this plant that usually grows to be about 2-feet tall.
Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)
The Joe Pye weed is an erect-growing perennial that can get to be 7-feet tall. Cut it back in the late winter to produce a healthier plant. Tiny purplish-pink flowers appear on this option in late summer in florets, with four-to-six florets appearing on each plant. This plant has lance-shaped leaves that can grow up to 1-foot long. Adding to this plant’s beauty, it has purple leaf nodes. This sun-loving plant loves to be kept consistently moist.
Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Saucer-shaped, upward-facing flowers appear on the wild geranium that can be up to 1.25 inches in diameter appear on this plant in the spring. These flowers are either purple or pink, and most have a white middle and a small, raised, center disc. This plant that often grows to be about 2-feet tall loves the sun and well-drained soil. When this plant stops blooming during the summer, trim it back. Then, it is likely to rebloom in the fall.
Ox-Eye Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides)
The ox-eye sunflower grows to be about 5-feet tall. While it will tolerate a little shade, you will need to stake this plant if planted in heavy shade. It produces daisy-looking yellow flowers in the spring. The yellow petals surround a brown center disc. Deadhead the flowers, and it will keep blooming throughout most of the growing season. The flowers grow on stiff stems that also bear ovate leaves that can be up to 1-foot long.
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Even in a tiny garden, the cardinal flower can make a great addition. This late-summer bloomer wants to be moist all the time. It will tolerate full sun or partial shade. This plant that grows up to 4-feet tall puts on fire-red, white or rose flowers in the late summer. Each of the tubular flowers has two lips and appears in terminal spikes. This option also has lance-shaped, dark-green leaves.
Beebalm (Monarda bradburiana)
The sun-loving beebalm plant tolerates many types of soil, including rocky. The flowers on this late-spring bloomer are tubular with two lips. They are white to pink. Each flower rests on a whorl of purple-tinged bracts. This plant that grows up to 2-feet tall, blooms for several weeks. The beebalm also produces oblong, grayish-green leaves. This plant that is a member of the mint family likes to be consistently moist, but it hates to stand in water.