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Ageratum to Cosmos

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Ageratum (Flossflower)

4-14"

6-10"

Blue, Pink, Purple, White

Blue Horizon ageratumFluffy or fuzzy clusters of flowers; long lasting. Plants grow in compact mounds; shear back (deadhead) after bloom to encourage rebloom. Best in full sun to part shade; plants will stretch in shade. Prefer rich, moisture retentive soil. Easy to grow; may self seed. Easily propagated by cuttings. Use for edging, mixed borders and planters.
 

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Alyssum

3-8"

8-12"

Pink, Purple, White

Snow Crystals allysumLobularia maritima  produces mound shaped plants; very branched and spreading. Sweet smelling tiny flowers in flat-topped clusters. White is the most useful color. Shear off faded flowers in August to promote rebloom. Often looks good late into the fall. Prefers sun to part shade and well drained soil; high temperatures and flea beetles may stop bloom. Transplant seedlings when small. Quick to bloom from seed. Often self seeds.  Use for edging, ground cover, hanging baskets, mixed borders, rock gardens and window boxes.

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Asters

6-30"

9-18"

Blue, Pink, Purple, Red, White

Crego Mix asterCallistephus chinensis has many flower forms and are heavy feeders. Short bloom period; start indoors to get earlier bloom. Shallow root system; mulch to keep soil cool and maintain moisture. Likes cool nights and warm, dry days but not hot. Best in sun to partial shade. Aster Yellows can be a serious problem; rogue out infected plants. Do not plant near Calendulas. Use for cut flowers, edging and mixed borders.
 

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Bachelor Button (Cornflower)

12-30"

10-12"

No Gold, Lavender or Orange

Bachelor ButtonCentaurea sp. has single and double flowers on slender stems and grayish green foliage. Early main bloom followed by intermittent flowering. Tall varieties may need staking. Good effect when planted in mass; prefers cool weather. Best in full sun to partial shade. Tolerates poor dry soil; self seeds. Very easy to grow. Use for cut flowers, dried flowers, edging and mixed borders.
 

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Balsam

8-30"

12-18"

Orange, Pink, Red, White, Yellow

BalsamImpatiens balsamina  has camellia or rose-like flowers along main stem; prefer soil high in organic matter. Does well in any light condition. Do not plant too close together; flowers tend to be hidden. Dwarf cultivars display flowers on top. Need light to germinate; easy to transplant. Use for edging and mixed borders.
 

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Tuberous Begonia

6-24"

18"

Orange, Pink, Red, White, Yellow

Non-Stop OrangeTuberous BegoniaMany flower types and forms; stout fleshy stems and large deep green glossy leaves. Large single to double flowers. Tips of leaves point in direction flowers will be; like moist organic soil and partial shade. Do not do well in heavy clay soil; best used as pot or patio plant. Heavy feeders; may need to stake. Protect from wind and wind driven rain. Powdery Mildew can be a serious problem; need good air circulation. May start from seed but tubers are much quicker; dig before hard frost. Start indoors in March; cuttings root easily. Use for hanging baskets, planters and window boxes.

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Wax Begonia

4-12"

6-12"

Orange, Pink, Red, White

Ambassador Rose Wax BegoniaLow compact plants with green to red glossy foliage; single or semi-double flowers. Male and female flowers. Blooms tend to hide leaves; may burn in hot sun. Like partial shade and moist well drained organic soil. Plants will elongate and set fewer blooms in heavy shade. Extremely small seed; start early. Can also be propagated by cuttings; may over winter as a houseplant. Use for edging, hanging baskets, planters and window boxes.

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Bells of Ireland

24-30"

12"

Green

Bells of IrelandMolucella laevis has green brachts shaped like bells clinging close to the stem; fragrant, insignificant white flowers. Best in full sun. Mint family. Difficult to transplant; start in peat pots. Start seeds very early; need light to germinate. Need chilling to get good germination. May self seed.  Use for cut flowers, dried flowers and mixed borders.
 

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Browallia

8-20"

8-10"

Blue, Pink, White

BrowalliaLow spreading compact plant with narrow ovate leaves; flowers have trumpet-like shape and velvety texture. Slow growing; likes warm temperature and plenty of moisture. Sun to partial shade; do best with afternoon shade. Rich soil; less flowers and more foliage. Best grown in containers. Propagate by seed or cuttings. Can over winter as a house plant. Use for cut flowers, hanging baskets, planters and window boxes.

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Calendula

12-24"

9-12"

Gold, Orange, Yellow

CalendulaCoarse much branched plant with leaves more or less clasping the stem; daisy or mum-like, edible flowers. Blooms open during the day and closed at night; best in cool weather. Long lasting flowers; dead head for continued bloom. May need to stake. Prefers sun to partial shade, cool temperatures and well drained soil; tolerates poor soil. Rich soil; more growth and fewer blooms. Aster Yellows can be a problem. Plant directly in garden or seed early; may self seed. Use for cut flowers, edging, mixed beds, planters and window boxes.

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

California Poppy

12-18"

12"

Orange, Pink, Red, White, Yellow

California PoppyEschscholzia has solitary silky cup-like flowers on long stem; above foliage. Single, semi-double or double flowers which open in sunshine; deadhead to prolong bloom. Finely cut silver green foliage; plant has a greater width than height. Prefers full sun and hot dry conditions; does not transplant well. Self seeds; must thin to prevent over crowding. Use for hanging baskets, mixed borders, planters and window boxes.
 

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Candytuff

8-15"

6-9"

Pink, Red, Purple, White

CandytuffIberis umbellata has lance-shaped pointed leaves; tiny flowers in dense flat topped clusters. Quick to bloom in cool weather; deadhead to get rebloom. Best in sun to partial shade. Hard to transplant; direct seed very shallow; thin for best bloom. Not great here. Use for cut flowers, edging, planters and rock gardens.
 

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Canna

18-60"

18-24"

Pink, Red, White, Yellow

Yellow CannaLarge green or bronze leaves; large flowers. Best in full sun and rich, well drained, moist soil; deadhead to promote flowering. Leaves tend to be weather beaten by fall. Dig after first frost; divide in spring. Start fleshy rhizomes indoors in March; plant horizontally. Use for background planting.
 

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Carnation

10-24"

8-12"

Orange, Pink, Red, White, Yellow

Firefly CarnationDianthus caryophyllus has narrow long blue gray leaves with stiff stems; spicy scented flowers are often double. Deadhead to promote rebloom; like full sun and well drained alkaline soil. Must starts seeds very early to get flowers the first year; usually will not over winter unless heavily mulched. Root easily from cuttings. Use for cut flowers, edging and mixed borders.
 

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Castor Bean

60-96"

36"

Foliage Plant

Castor BeanRicinus communis is an instant landscape plant. Hugh palm-like leaves; young leaves have a red and bronze coloration. Unimpressive flowers borne in spike-like clusters. All parts of the plant are poisonous especially the shinny seeds. Prefers full sun, rich soil, good drainage, good moisture and hot temperatures. Start indoors or seed directly in the garden.  Use as a background plant.
 

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Celosia (Cockscomb)

6-36"

10-12"

No Blue, Lavender, Purple

New look CelosiaCrested, plumed or feathered spike (candle) flower heads; long lasting flowers. Wheat celosia fades in the heat of the summer. Tolerates poor soil; prefers sun and hot, dry conditions. Slow growing during cool weather; rich soil will cause large plants and late flowering. Transplanting shock is minimized by using peat pots. Seedlings are very susceptible to Damping Off. Do not transplant when flowering. Use for cut flowers, dried flowers and edging.

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Clarkia (Godetia)

12-30"

9-12"

Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White

Clarkia (Godetsia)Satiny cup-like petalled flowers clustered along the stem; gray green foliage. Crowding encourages flowering; needs cool nights. Likes full sun and cool, dry conditions; fertile soil will cause a lot of foliage and few flowers. Hard to transplant; direct seed. Not very reliable. Use for cut flowers and planters.
 

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Cleome (Spider Plant)

36-48"

12-18"

Lavender, Pink, Red, White

Queen Mix CleomeBushy, fast growing, strong stemmed plant; compound leaves with 3-7 leaflets. Large airy terminal flower clusters; strongly scented flower. Decorative seed pods. Prefers full sun to partial shade. Tolerates poor soil; prefers hot dry locations. Self seeds but reverts to dark purple; very easy to grow. Seeds not easy to germinate; chill for 2 weeks. Use for background planting and mixed borders.
 

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Coleus

8-20"

8-12"

Foliage Plant

Rainbow Mix ColeusSquare stems and opposite leaves. Grown for colorful foliage; several types available. Best if never allowed to flower; pinch back to improve denseness. Does well in any light situation; colors fade in heavy shade. Prefer rich organic soil; good house plant. Easily propagated by cuttings. `Wizard' strain (more dwarf and self branching). Use for edging, planters and window boxes.
 

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Coreopsis (Calliopsis)

8-30"

6-8"

Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Yellow

Opposite linear to lance-shaped leaves; single or double daisy-like flowers with toothed petals on wiry stems. Likes warm temperatures, good drainage and full sun. Tolerated poor soil and dry conditions; may need to stake. Don't thin; bloom best when crowded. Hard to transplant; start seeds early for early bloom. Very easy to grow.  Use for cut flowers and planters.

Common Name

Height

Space

Flower Colors

Cosmos

12-48"

12-30"

Orange, Pink, Red, White, Yellow

Cosmic Orange CosmosOpposite pinnately divided leaves; single or double flowers. Must deadhead. Graceful long lasting cut flowers. Grow in poor soil to encourage flowering. Pinch to encourage bushiness. Tends to get weedy in late summer. Good in sun to partial shade. Tolerates heat and drought; prefers warm temperatures and well drained soil. May need staking; self seeds. Use for background planting, cut flowers and mixed borders.
 


Todd Weinmann, Extension Horticulturist & Master Gardener Coordinator
Phone: (701) 241-5707
E-mail: todd.weinmann@ndsu.edu

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