Vintage blue garden bench is focal point of this Midwest garden with hydrangeas, ornamental grasses, coneflowers and hibiscus

Easiest flowers to grow in the Midwest

Growing flowers in the Midwest can be challenging yet rewarding. There are certain considerations when growing in the Midwest that may not be applicable in other regions such as hardiness and ease of care. With a relatively short season to enjoy flowers, you should stick with the flowers that are going to give you the best results and least headache.

When seeking out a flower that can go the distance, the first consideration is always going to be the location. Be aware of the conditions of the area you’re going to be putting your plants. Factors such as light exposure and water needs are basic and applicable in all gardening projects but what about hardiness or cold tolerance?

If you are going the perennial route, know your zone before you get too attached to anything. Hardy plants can tolerant near or below freezing temperatures and will return in spring. Now, with that being said, there are going to be situations where you can push the boundaries of your designated zone. A more protected area may allow for tender perennials to survive where others may not. It is always a gamble but may be worth taking if you’re feeling lucky.

Pansies and other frost tolerant flowers are great for adding early season color. After a long winter, cool season annuals will help you get into the swing of spring without worrying about covering your plants or bringing them indoors every night. Once the threat of frost is gone, there are many annuals that will perform in the heat without worry. Summer annuals that may do better in the Midwest are most likely to be more on the tough side and quick growing so you can squeeze every bit of beauty out of them while there’s still time. Learn more about Midwest gardening



Flowers with spikes filled with individual blooms that resemble a dragon’s head. And add color and defined lines to flower beds and containers. You can find them in a rainbow of colors, as dwarf or plants that nearly reach the sky. They perform best in cooler weather but provide color and height throughout the summer.

Gerbera Daisy

One of the most loved and popular flowers around with their cheerful colors, will sure to make you smile. Enjoy continuous color in a decorative pot or in the garden where they can shine bright all summer long. They come in a wide range of colors in both petals and centers.


A classic favorite for spring and fall plantings, comes in an array of blotched and clear colors. Use to add long lasting color to your garden, borders, or containers. Especially in the spring and early summer, they don’t perform as well when the summer temperatures start going up.

Sweet Peas

Beautiful blooms are heavily perfumed. They prefer and do best in cool weather, so plant these seeds once the soil can be worked. They are frost tolerant and will be a sight once they get growing. Provide support so they can climb and be impressed by these frilly flowers.


Add some whimsy and airiness to your flower beds with this much-loved annual. They're easy to grow, especially from seed and add color and texture to the summer landscape. Blooms come in shades of red, pink, purple, and white with various petal shapes.


Swamp milkweed

Vibrant blooms attract butterflies in summer. A native to the Midwest, this perennial establishes easily if left undisturbed and is a host plant for Monarch butterflies.

Russian sage

 A reliable and robust perennial that can tolerate anything you throw at it including heat, drought and cold. Light blue flower and fragrant foliage are a delight for people and pollinators alike. An added bonus that the deer and bunnies will not eat these!

Blanket flower (Gaillardia)

A heat and drought-tolerant perennial with blooms that just don’t quit. They have bright flowers in shades of yellow, reds and oranges, and double and quilled petals. These sun-loving plants are easy to grow and attract pollinators. Use as a border or add anywhere where a splash of color is needed.

Tickseed (Coreopsis)

Its warm shades will brighten up any garden. The most familiar variety comes in hues of yellow but thanks to breeding, you can find bicolors, ravishing reds and blushing pinks. Minimal care is required to keep these sun-loving perennials looking good all summer long. Give them enough space to grow and remove spent flowers to encourage reblooming.

Yarrow (Achillea)

Ferny foliage and flat-topped flowers add interest to the summer flower palette. They come in shades of red, purple, white and yellow. These flowers are a pollinators' favorite. While this perennial is easy to care for, it also can take over if left unchecked.

Coneflower Echinacea

They got their name from its cone-shaped center. They're heat and drought-resistant and easy to grow and bloom all summer long. Most commonly they have single petals in purple, pink and white but new varieties come in funky flower forms and bold colors. The flowers are great for pollinators and the heads attract birds later in the season.

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

A flower for those who want summer-long color without the fuss. They're easy to maintain and their name si due to most blooms last one day. But not to fear! They keep blooming one graceful, big flower after another from early to midsummer. Daylilies multiply quite freely so you can divide them after a few years and spread them throughout the garden.


A tried-and-true perennial with its spectacular blue-violet flower spikes. But can also be pink, white, or purple and are stunning against their foliage. They add dimension to a garden, attract pollinators and are deer resistant. They tolerate heat and drought, making them an great pick for any sunny location. Be sure to cut the spent blooms to encourage blooming.

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