1051 State Route 56 East,
Circleville, Ohio 43113

Phone: 740-474-2028

Toll Free: 800-378-8934

We don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that drought tolerant perennials are like mini modern-day miracles, especially for people who don’t consider themselves ‘gardeners,’ which is frankly a lot of us. They give us room for a little laid-back summer amnesia, vacations and demand less water when it can be scarce. 

Generally, plants that are native to our area require less water and attention to survive, plus many of them are pollinator friendly, which is always a win/win. 

So when should you consider planting yours?   


One of the most popular times to plant anything is spring. Growing conditions are favorable, there’s plenty of moisture and many plants are at their prettiest. But when it comes to heat- and sun-tolerant perennials, you can plant any time the ground is workable. 

One note: if you’re dividing and transplanting your existing perennials, it’s often best to wait until fall for spring and summer bloomers, and spring for fall bloomers so that your plant can devote all its energy to root and leaf growth. 

How to Choose

You’ll want to check the tag on your plants to be sure you’re planting for the correct exposure (e.g. full sun) and allowing enough space for the plant at its mature size. Beyond that, your choices are vast. 

To keep things simple, we pulled together a list of four (4) favorites we’ve received fresh for summer planting. They’re easy-growing perennials that thrive in Ohio soil and look good doing it: 

  1. ‘Blue Jean Baby’ Russian Sage This sun-loving Russian Sage is a shorter, more compact variety of Russian sage, with upright stems that resist the urge to flop (we can all appreciate that!). Its lavender looks and sage fragrance come with fuzzy, tubular flowers that line up two by two for the length of the showy stems, ground to tip.Yours will reach up to three feet tall and wide and bloom in pretty, lavender tones along tall silvery green foliage. A brush up against these perennials in the landscape releases a mix of mint and lavender, akin to culinary sage, but with its own aromatic character. We personally love when our dogs come inside after running through the landscape and they bring a bit of the fragrance with them.Russian sage is at home in any yard and garden, and brings a cottagey, simplistic charm and whimsy to an outdoor space summer through late fall. Trim yours down to the ground to tidy your beds, then watch for them to emerge next spring.

  2. Sedum Autumn Fire Quite possibly one of the easiest and most forgiving perennials you’ll plant, Sedum is sturdy, very heat and drought tolerant and a magnet for bees, butterflies, dragonflies and hummingbirds. You’ll appreciate its tidy clusters that spread slowly to form a solid mass when you plant them in groups.Sedums are landscape staples for a reason: they are deciduous perennials that stay interesting and textural year-round. Their thick, succulent-like foliage rises neatly in spring, then blooms into broccoli-shaped showy flowerheads that turn from tightly budded silvery green to a bright rosy hue, then red cluster of miniscule starry flowers. We suggest leaving yours through winter for a little height and for their attractive and delicious dried seed heads for birds, then trimming down to just above new growth at the base in early spring. That’s it! You regret adding these beauties to your outdoor spaces. 
  3. Miscanthus Sinensis ‘Variegatus’ This variegated warm-season ornamental grass is large with creamy white stripes on dark green gracefully arching blades. And it’s drought-tolerant and easy to grow with clumps slowly expanding in circumference. The crowning feathery blooms appear late August to October and start an earthy pink to red, then fade to beige and will remain intact for interest and wildlife refuge through winter.Plant with the expectation of some texture, spread and a height of about 5-6 feet tall pre-flowering, and up to nine feet tall with flower plumes. This versatile grass is an excellent green screen in groups for utility boxes and other unsightly areas, a beautiful moving accent to natural areas and around water bodies.
  4. ‘Pardon My Lavender II’ Bee Balm One of our favorite pollinator-friendly perennials, Pardon My Lavender II has a mounded habit that spreads about two feet wide and just over a foot high, with fragrant lavender flowers and foliage!Yours will thrive in party to fully sunny spots and bloom in high summer, just when many spring bloomers are spent. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds find them irresistible, and so do we as a low-profile flower border, low front-row mass planting or even container filler and spiller.

Planting & Care

As we mentioned, you can plant perennials any time the soil is workable. And when you purchase these perennials or any other perennials, trees and shrubs at Rhoads, you’ll leave with planting instructions and everything you need for success. 

A few more resources to grow with confidence: 

For more friendly help on how to grow happier and healthier, please stop in and talk with one of our growing experts.  

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