What Flowers Grow Well in South Dakota? 8 Great Options!

What flowers grow well in South Dakota?

The weather in South Dakota is usually hot and clear in the short summer but snowy and freezing in winter. So, finding the right flowering plants to add a pop of color to your garden can be a real challenge.

Flowers that typically grow in USDA growing zones 3,4, and some sections of 5a will thrive in South Dakota. As a result, you need to pick cold-hardy plants, especially if you want to enjoy beautiful early and late bloomers in spring and fall. In summer, a lot of flowers will thrive in the warmth and keep your South Dakota garden looking fabulous.

Designing your landscape in South Dakota is all about choosing the perfect flowers and plants that add a pop of color even when the weather changes. So, keep reading to learn more about the best flowers to grow in South Dakota.

8 Charming Flowers that Grow Well in South Dakota

Regardless of your favorite garden style, you’ll find beautiful blooms to make your garden glow with vibrant and uplifting colors. Here are some of the best flowers to grow in South Dakota.

Picture of sunflowers in a field - used in article titled What Flowers Grow Well in South Dakota


The sunflower is one of the most popular flowers in South Dakota, with yellow, red, or mahogany blooms that can be up to 6 inches wide and brown central disks with delicious seeds that attract birds to your garden.

This plant has hardy stems that can be up to 10 feet tall, and you might need to stake them to protect the stems from flopping. In the fall, the temperature drops in South Dakota, and the petals fall off, leaving brown disks to feed the wildlife forms in your area.

Sunflowers tolerate different types of soil as long as it’s well-draining. You should water your plant when the first two inches of the soil are dry to avoid overwatering. These plants thrive in full sun, and adding a slow-release fertilizer will help them bloom if the soil is too poor.

Bees collect honey from the purple Liatris spicata flower.

Blazing Star

The blazing star is a long-blooming perennial, and unlike other aster family members, it grows tiny star-like flowers arranged around an upright spire. This plant usually flowers in the first year, showing the blooms in summer and fall.

The beautiful flowers come in different shades of reddish-purple, purple, and white and are better grown from bulb-like root structures. The blazing star takes about two years to bloom when grown from seeds.

This plant doesn’t need much care but can grow too tall if the soil is rich. In this case, it needs staking to protect the plant from flopping.

The blazing star thrives in full sun and can handle any type of soil, even if it’s not fertile. However, it prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil, and clay soil can cause root rot because of poor drainage. You need to add one inch of water per week during the hottest months to protect your blazing stars from scorching.


Coreopsis or tickseed is a plant that you can grow along the border of your garden or in your flower bed. The flowers bloom in summer and fall and come in beautiful shades of orange, red, yellow, pink, and white. These eye-catching flowers attract bees and butterflies, so they’ll work for you if you’re designing a butterfly garden in South Dakota.

There are different varieties of coreopsis that grow as annuals and perennials, and some of them can reach a height of 4 feet. They don’t need much care, so they’re suitable for beginner gardeners. However, as the plant grows tall, it needs staking to stay upright when the wind blows.

This plant thrives in sandy or loamy soil as long as it’s well-draining. Adding compost will make clay soil suitable for growing this plant.

You need to grow the coreopsis plant in full sun, although it can tolerate some partial sun. However, less sun will affect flowering. This plant needs regular watering but will become more drought-resistant once it’s established.

Gaillardia aristata red yellow flower in bloom, common blanketflower


Also known as the blanket flower, the gaillardia is a beautiful flower that can be red, yellow, orange, or peach. It grows from a short-lived perennial and usually blooms multiple times throughout summer and fall.

The plant gets its name from its ability to cover the ground in a gorgeous blanket of fast-growing flowers. It reaches a maximum height of 36 inches, and the lovely flowers are slightly toxic to humans.

Gaillardias are perfect for flower borders and containers and can self-seed easily. They thrive in full sun but can handle some partial shade in hot climates.

You can grow gaillardias where other plants won’t survive because this plant actually prefers poor soil. As a matter of fact, adding fertilizers will affect the plant’s growth. However, as long as the soil is well-draining, the flowers will bloom beautifully.

Right after planting, you need to water your gaillardias regularly to establish the root system. But once established, the plant becomes drought-resistant.


Hollyhock is a perennial that grows up to a height of 8 feet, so it’s an excellent addition to the back of your garden borders or grown against walls and fences. The beautiful flowers bloom throughout summer, growing in shades of white, pink, lavender, yellow, and red.

This plant is cold-hardy and quickly self-seeds to keep your garden in excellent shape. You should pick a protected site where it doesn’t get blown by the wind, and individual plants should be separated to allow for good air circulation to protect them from moisture-loving fungal diseases.

Hollyhocks prefer full sun but can tolerate some partial shade. They grow in well-draining soil, and adding organic matter will support their growth in poor soil.

This plant prefers overly moist soil, so at least 5 inches of the soil should be kept damp. However, soggy conditions won’t support the plant’s growth, and the plant can tolerate less watering once established.


Peonies are beautiful flowers that grow from an herbaceous perennial, although some types grow from woody shrubs. Peonies are planted in fall and start blooming in late spring to late summer.

The flowers come in vibrant shades of purple, pink, white, coral, rose, and red, adding a pop of color to your garden. With proper care and attention, the plant can last for decades, and the flowers make fantastic cut flowers.

Despite their beauty, peonies are easy to take care of. They need access to full sun, and they need some shelter from the wind to stay healthy.

The plant is highly adaptable but prefers well-draining, slightly acidic soil. However, if you’re planting your peonies in clay soil, adding a layer of compost will support growth and blooming.

Typically, peonies need to receive one to two inches of water weekly. Mulching will retain the moisture to support the plant.

Red poppies in a field

Oriental Poppy

Oriental poppies are herbaceous perennial flowers that come in shades of red, orange, pink, purple, and white. The buds usually point downward when they’re young and then point upward once established, and the flowers are usually dark at the base of the petals. All parts of the plant are toxic to humans and pets.

The plant grows to reach a maximum height of 3 feet, and the flowers make excellent cut flowers. The seed pods are also dried and used in dry flower arrangements.

You can plant oriental poppies in spring or fall, and they grow and bloom within a few weeks, showing their beautiful flowers in spring and summer when the temperature increases. This plant is cold-hardy, so it’s suitable for the cool climate of South Dakota.

Oriental poppies grow in slightly acidic, well-draining soil, and adding a layer of compost will promote better flowering. They need to grow in full sun, with only one inch of water added per week.


The zinnia plant is an annual shrub that grows to reach a height of 4 feet and can be grown in window containers and flower beds. It blooms in late spring through the first fall frost, growing flowers that come in shades of yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, lavender, white, and green.

These beauties attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to your garden. The plant becomes established in a few weeks and is almost problem-free.

The zinnia flowers need exposure to the full sun, but other than that, they don’t need much care, so they’re suitable for beginner gardeners. This plant doesn’t like damp soil and will grow in poor soil as long as it’s well-draining. Zinnias are drought-tolerant and don’t need fertilizing except when the soil is too poor.

Wrap Up: What Flowers Grow Well in South Dakota?

Whether they’re grown directly in the garden, in flower beds, containers, or along borders, these flowers will make your South Dakota garden attractive all year long. Just make sure that you pay attention to their growth and caring conditions to enjoy their beauty and charm.

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