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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

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Entries in drought tolerant perennials (1)


Perennials That Grow in Spite of Neglect

Echinacea purpurea is a work horse of the garden. This tough, drought resistant  plant is easy growing, resilient and undemanding. And yet, I won’t use it in any of my gardens because so many other landscapers do. They plant the mother species, Echinacea purpurea, in gardens where they are certain perennials will be neglected. Some clients are unwilling or unable to tend to their own gardens. Others won’t pay for perennial maintenance and those that are eager to pay, cannot find a gardener willing to do this work because it’s too labor intensive. Echinacea  purpurea doesn’t require attention. It thrives in spite of neglect.

Unfortunately, Echinacea is not elegant. If this plant is a good fit for your garden, some planning is required to artfully integrate it into the master plan. Echinacea pururea, the species, will grow in clay soil, it is deer and heat resistant, and the flowers are excellent both for cutting and drying. They bloom 4 weeks or more from summer until fall in zones 4 to 9.

New hybrids of Echinacea are also available, They are not as hardy and they will not survive in clay soil. They should be considerd as annuals to avoid disappointment.