Many flowering plants can live through the winter successfully in Albany, New York, gardens. Albany is in USDA plant hardiness zone 5, which experiences winter temperatures between minus 10 and minus 20 degrees F. By planning your perennials well, your plants will blossom in the spring to bring color to your gardens and landscapes.
Roses will live through the winter well in Albany. Shrub roses are a group of roses that come in many shapes and colors. They are best grown on their own root stocks, rather than grafted to a different root stock. A number of shrub roses will do well. If you have an area that will support a 5-foot rose, the white-flowered iceburg will do well. If you prefer yellow blossoms, the Graham Thomas is a double-blossomed fragrant rose that is cold hardy to USDA hardiness zone 3. To care for your shrub roses, prune them in early spring by removing all deadwood and removing about a third of the previous year's growth.
Daffodils can live through the winter in the coldest temperatures of Albany. Plant your bulbs in the late fall so that the tops of the bulbs are about 5 inches below the surface of the soil. Mulch the daffodils with a couple of inches of mulch before the first snow to help the soil retain heat. If you want very large daffodils, sprinkle 1 tbsp. of organic fish pellets in with each bulb. Your daffodils will be one of the first flowers to come up in the spring. Once the daffodils have bloomed, cut them down to ground level. After a couple of years, you may want to dig up the bulbs and thin them to prevent competition for soil nutrients.
Autumn goldenrod will grow well in Albany. As a fall flowering plant, autumn goldenrod as a ground cover will add a splash of late summer or fall color. Autumn goldenrods have broad, dark glossy green leaves when not in bloom. This ground cover requires full sun and will grow to between 2 and 8 inches tall. In the spring, prune the previous year's flower stalks to give the plant a fresh look.
Moss phlox is a creeping ground cover that grows well in Albany. Moss phlox blends well with grass and is often not noticed until it flowers in early spring. Moss phlox is one of the first indicators of spring. Colors range from white to pink or lavender. This ground cover can grow to 6 inches tall. Leaves on this creeper are about 1/16 of an inch wide. Moss phlox is tolerant of a wide range of soil, including sandy, loamy and clay-like soils. It grows best in shade or partial sun and is moderately drought tolerant.