What Flowers Grow Well in Ohio? Here Are 9 Gorgeous Options

From the warm, humid summers to the windy, cold winters, Ohio is home to many plants and flowers. Luckily, there are many eye-catching blooms that you can successfully grow in your Ohio garden, even if you’re not a seasoned gardener. So, what flowers grow well in Ohio?

Flowers that grow in USDA growing zones 5b to 6b will thrive in Ohio. Most of them can be planted after the last frost in late spring, while for others, you’ll have to wait till May. Many of these flowers bloom throughout summer and till the late fall, and some of them repeatedly bloom during the same growing season.

Check out this article to learn about some of the native flowers that will beautifully blend with your landscape in your Ohio garden.

9 Beautiful Flowers that Grow Well in Ohio

The growing conditions in the Buckeye State make it the perfect home for many colorful perennials and annuals. Here are some of the most stunning flowers that thrive across Ohio.

Common Milkweed

Common milkweed is the most common flower in Ohio and the only one that supports the monarch butterfly’s life.

The pink, white, and mauve blooms grow from a fast-growing herbaceous perennial that quickly reaches a height of 4 feet. You can plant the seedlings after the last frost, and the fragrant blooms appear from June through August.

The rhizomes spread quickly, filling your space, so you need to plant them at least 18 inches apart. If you don’t remove the seed pods, the plant will self-seed quickly.

Growing common milkweed can be tricky because the plant spreads aggressively, but it will be an excellent choice if you have a butterfly garden. The plant grows best in full sunlight and can tolerate less fertile and even rocky soil. It doesn’t need watering, except in the driest conditions, and the leaves produce a milky toxic substance that only the monarch butterflies can tolerate.

Picture of orange daylily in a garden used in article titled What Flowers Grow Well in Ohio


With red, orange, pink, yellow, and even purple blooms, perennial daylilies will add a bright pop of color to your outdoor garden in Ohio. These flowers can reach a maximum height of 5 feet when mature and are perfect for novice gardeners because they’re hardy. In some cases, the blooms can show two or three colors.

Each flower blooms for about 24 hours, hence the name daylily. Yet, the blooming season lasts all summer.

The plant thrives in the sun and fertile loamy soil but can tolerate partial shade. It can be drought-resistant when established but needs regular watering in the first year. Dividing the plant every five years will encourage more blooms in the following season.

Bee Balm

Bee balm’s vibrant flowers grow from a weedy plant that reaches a maximum height of 4 feet, making it an excellent choice for borders. The blooms come in shades of red, pink, and purple, featuring spiky petals and emitting a fragrance that attracts bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators to your cottage garden or flower borders.

This plant thrives in full sun to partial shade as long as the soil is moist. However, too much shade can make the plant too leggy and affect the number of blooms. It doesn’t need much fertilizer, except maybe once in the spring if the soil is too poor.

In addition to adding beautiful colors to your garden, bee balm flowers and leaves are edible and can be made into a delicious tea. The plant is also deer-resistant.

Wild Columbine

If you’re a birdwatcher, you should consider growing wild columbines in your garden. These flowers grow from a clover-like herbaceous perennial with blooms that attract hummingbirds.

Wild columbines are fast re-seeders and will bloom in the second year. They thrive in partial shade but can be drought-resistant once established. The drooping bell-like blooms come in different shades of yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, violet, and white.

To grow beautiful flowers, wild columbines must be planted in well-draining soil after mixing them with compost. They also need to be fertilized once a month, and you should water them when two inches of the soil dry out. 

Picture of a Red poppy in a garden


Poppies can grow in garden beds and containers, blooming fast as long as they have full access to the sun. The blue-green foliage covers large areas, growing blooms in shades of yellow, orange, red, white, and pink.

This plant doesn’t need much care; however, the blooms wither once picked, and they’re toxic to humans and animals. Exposing the plant to the sun makes it resistant to different diseases, and deadheading can promote additional growth.

Poppies can grow in poor soil, including rocky and sandy soil, and too much watering or fertilization can actually harm the plant. When grown in a pot, the plants are short-lived annuals.


These flowers get their name from their resemblance to the turtle’s beak. Different varieties of turtlehead plants should be planted in spring or summer to give the plant time to establish itself.

Then blooms of pink, purple, and white shades appear, usually blooming for up to six weeks. Turtleheads are perfect for beginner gardeners because they don’t need much care.

They thrive in locations with partial sun exposure but can also tolerate the shade. If the sun is too bright, adding leaf mulch will keep the soil moist to suit the plant’s needs.

Russian Sage

Russian sage is native to Asia but thrives in Ohio’s moderately warm climate, growing blooms of blue, purple, and lavender shades. The flowers grow from perennial drought-tolerant sub-shrubs, forming a colorful hedge with other tall flowers and shrubs.

The shrub often reaches a height of 5 feet and a width of more than 3 feet if you don’t prune it annually. It often requires support, so it should be grown in masses so it doesn’t flop over.

Although Russian Sage is a perfect beginner plant, it requires full access to sunlight because the shade can make the plant leggy. It thrives in all well-drained soil, including sandy soil, and can tolerate medium or dry soil once established.

Joe-Pye Weed wild flowers, Eutrochium,  growing in a field

Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye weed is a popular flower in the native gardens of Ohio because it has a sweet vanilla smell that attracts butterflies and other pollinators. The plant grows thick stems that can be like 7 feet tall and serrated dark leaves.

The purple-pink clusters of blooms appear in midsummer, starting from the first growing season. All this plant needs is plenty of space to support its growth.

Other than that, it doesn’t need much care. However, it might need staking to prevent the stems from flopping over when they grow heavy with blooms.

Joe Pye weed can grow in full sun to partial shade, as long as the soil is moist. You can add a slow-release fertilizer in the spring to encourage new growth if the soil is too poor.


Gaillardia or blanket flower grows from a slow-spreading mound that covers the ground in a blanket of leaves and fast-growing blooms. The short-lived perennial can come in shades of red, orange, yellow, and peach, usually blooming in the second blooming season when grown from seeds. Nevertheless, the flowers bloom repeatedly throughout summer to late fall, adding a blanket of bright colors to your garden.

This flower can handle partial shade, although it won’t bloom as much. It’s also tolerant of poor soil and will thrive even if the soil is slightly acidic.

Poor-draining clay soil will probably kill your Gaillardia. Nevertheless, less fertile soil tends to encourage blooming, so fertilizers should be completely avoided. Yet, you should be careful because this beautiful flower is slightly toxic to humans, so you need to grow it in areas where your kids have no access.

Wrap Up: What Flowers Grow Well in Ohio?

Multiple colorful flowers grow in Ohio to turn your garden into a delightful and uplifting display of vibrant shades.

However, you need to pay attention to every bloom’s perfect growing conditions, as some require more attention than others. So, if you’re looking for the perfect pop of color in your garden, check out this article, and you’ll definitely find something that works for you.

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