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Perennials/I like yellow


QUESTION: I live near Minneapolis and want a yellow garden
I'm thinking of Coreopsis,,black eyed susan,  yellow and
gold lilies.
    Do you have recommendations?
  Should I start from seed?  Can I buy the seeds online?

Thanks          Dick

ANSWER: Hi Dick,
Thanx for your question.  Sure, you can start all these seeds indoors.  Are you experienced?  Is seed starting something you'd like to learn?  I taught myself many years ago and experienced some catastrophes from trial-and-error.  

The best way to start seeds is to rig up a 40-watt, 48-inch shop light suspended about 12 inches above the trays of seeds.  You can fit 4 10X20 seed flats underneath.  Keep the area warm, about 70-75F (21-24C).  The light should remain on about 12 hours a day initially.  Don't allow the soil to dry out but make sure it doesn't stay soggy or the seeds will rot.  Follow instructions on the packets for seed depth.  Run an oscillating fan on low speed to keep air circulating and reduce risk of damping off and other fungal diseases.

If you're not into starting seed indoors, wait until spring and start buying plants.  This can be another fulfilling way to acquire new plants.  Visit local farmers markets for home-grown varieties as well as your local nurseries.

I would suggest yellow hollyhocks, yellow day lilies, yellow iris, yellow oriental lilies, yellow tiger lilies, yellow Asiatic lilies, yellow hyacinths, daffodils, yellow crocus, lysimachia, evening primrose, achillea, sedum, golden moneywort, lamium, ligularia.  

You can buy seeds on line but if you live close to a good nursery or even big box stores, you should be able to find a lot of different types of seeds for yellow perennials.  As I said above, you can also get plants.  You'll have to buy bulbs, tubers and rhizomes for the iris and lilies.  I hope this helps. Let me know if you want specific recommendations for on-line seeds.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the answer.
  My spot is 80 90% sun in Minneapolis -    I like
yellow.  (perennials)
      Sorry to put you on the spot,  of your list,  3 or 4 that will
be eye catching and easy. ?
   (My note asked about coreopsis, black eye susans, gold and
yellow lilies)  ?    ?
    (I may take  the easy way and buy some started plants.  I like buying
online and then they come ready to go,  or some plants and
maybe some Burpee seeds in addition)
         Sorry I ramble

Hi Dick,
Sorry I misunderstood your inquiry.  Coreopsis are easy to start from seed and I would go buy the seed at your local nursery now or order on line.  A lot of perennials won't bloom the first year.  Many perennials spend at least one your growing their root and leaf systems and then begin blooming the second year.  Lilies started from seed will often not bloom for 2 to 3 years.  I recommend buying the yellow and gold lilies as bulbs.  Your garden centers should have plenty of choices but yellow day lilies such as Stella D'oro, yellow Asiatic and Oriental lilies, yellow iris and yellow tiger lilies are hardy and easy to grow.  Black-eyed Susan are easy to grow too and several of the seed companies have several varieties available on the rack at Big Box stores and local nurseries.  Black-eyed Susans are very hardy and grow as a wildflower here in Kansas and throughout the Midwest.

The reason I made the suggestions I made is to give you color and blooming coming up from spring through summer, so, I listed the daffodils, hyacinth etc.  These are temporary and don't last long but you would be without blooms until May or June, which is what I was looking at.  Yellow achillea is nice and bright and lasts a long time, yellow evening primrose is another prolific bloomer that lasts a long time but it grows closer to the ground maybe mounding about 12 inches high?  Definitely the lilies too.  The yellow Stella D'Oro should last all summer long and into the fall.  Even the sedum is tough but it is low-growing and hardy.  I hope this helps.


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Tom Alonzo


I have been a gardener for 20 years with perennials both growing from seed and from nurseries. I went through the Master Gardener Program from Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service and I answered questions on the Hotline a few years ago for the Wyandotte County Kansas Extension Service. I have also lived in the Florida, California, Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, Kansas and Missouri and am experienced with a variety of climates, soils and weather conditions.


I have been growing perennials for over 20 years now. I am self-taught mostly except for a master gardener class. I have experimented with all kinds of perennials including many that are not common to my area. I have read hundreds of books and grown hundreds of varieties of plants and hope to make it a business some day. I have become versed in botanical names and growing conditions and what I don't know off of the top of my head I can usually easily find in my vast array of research material and botanical and horticultural contacts. I especially enjoy experimenting with growing plants out of zone.

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