Melinda Myers Webinar: July 7, 2020

Melinda's webinar

Handout for "Plants for Difficult Situations"

Many thanks to garden expert, Melinda Myers, for her informative webinar on July 7 at 6:30 pm. 

She discussed selecting the best perennials for specific growing conditions such as moist, dry, hot and shady conditions in our landscape. She shared plant combinations and care tips to create beautiful and sustainable gardens with minimal care. The perennial list below contains some of her favorites.


Hot & Dry*

Amend the Soil: Water thoroughly when needed to establish a drought tolerant root system. Some plants also tolerate moist conditions-- making them suitable for rain gardens.

Peony (Paeonia)

False Blue Indigo (Baptisia australis)

Amsonia – A. tabermaemontana, A. hubrechtii

Catmint (Nepeta) – 'Walker’s Low', 'Jr. Walker', 'Cat’s Meow', 'Cat’s Pajamas'

Coreopsis – Threadleaf (C. verticillata)

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Yarrow (Achillea)

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea)

Bee Balm (Monarda)

Rudbeckia – look for leaf spot resistance – 'Little Goldstar' & AAS Winner 'American Goldrush'

Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Allium – 'Summer Beauty', 'Millenium', 'Serendipity'


Calamint (Calamintha nepeta nepeta)


Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)


Goldenrod (Solidago)

Blue Fescue (Festuca)

Feather reed grass (Calamogrostis)

Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsis)

Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)



  • Evaluate sun and shade patterns throughout the day, season and year
    • Increase the light - hire a certified arborist to thin tree canopy
    • Too much shade – Use mulch or carefully place a few flagstones, add moss and call it a garden!

Don't kill the trees for the flowers

  • Don't add soil around the base of trees... as little as an inch can kill some species.
  • Don't till too deep. The majority of feeder roots are in top 12 inches.

*Providing sufficient water the first two years is critical to success in dry shade. 


Barrenwort (Epimedium)

Pig Squeak (Bergenia cordifolia)

Columbine (Aquilegia)

Lungwort (Pulmonaria)

Variegated Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’)

Siberian Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla),

Deadnettle (Lamium maculatum),

Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia)

Bugbane (Actaea formerly Cimicifuga): racemosa – summer, A. simplex and A. ramosa fall bloomers)

Coral Bells (Heuchera) villosa types take more heat and are drought tolerant

Canadian Ginger (Asarum canadensis)

Christmas Fern (Polystichuym acrostichoides)

Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pennsylanica)

Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonachloa)


Moisture Loving/Tolerant Plants 

Improve Drainage with Soil amendments, Raised beds, French drains or create a Rain Garden by diverting roof runoff to plantings instead of storm sewers.

Skunk Cabbage (Symphocarpus foetidus)

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)

Blue Flag (Iris versicolor)

Siberian Iris (Iris siberica)


Roger’s Flower (Rodgersia)

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)


Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra)

Wild Bergamont (Monarda fistulosa)

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis),

Swamp Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos syn H. palustris)

Giant Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Turtlehead (Chelone)

Iron Weed

Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum)

Sedges (Carex)


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Special Thanks to Pasquesi Home & Gardens for sponsoring this webinar...

I look forward to seeing you all the next time I am at their store!