Numerous perennial flowers flourish in Indiana due to its diverse climate and ecosystems. Most of the state falls in USDA Zones 5 and 6, making it suitable for a wide assortment of perennials. Planting perennials in your Indiana flower garden provides color and texture. Many of the flowers attract beneficial insects and birds to the garden, and some have uses in the kitchen and apothecary.
Planting groundcover perennials does several things: they prevent weeds, bloom profusely and give the garden a base layer. Groundcovers generally grow no higher than a foot. Christmas rose (Helleborus orientalis) varieties bloom early in the spring, even with snow covering the ground. The showy flowers range in color, from red to green. Dead nettle (Lamium maculatum) has silver and green variegated leaves. It spreads rapidly, so watch that it does not become invasive. Dead nettle blooms cover the small plants all through the spring in shades of pink and white. Both Christmas rose and dead nettle perform best in partial shade.
For sunny locations, choose Roman chamomile or creeping thyme. Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) has a history of use as a lawn covering. The blooms are white with yellow centers. Creeping thyme (Thymus polytrichus) is available in several varieties. Some have variegated leaves and most have numerous pink flowers that cover the plant.
Perennial herbs used in the garden provide flowers, scent and flavoring for foods and teas. Almost any perennial cooking herb will thrive in Indiana gardens. Varieties that double as attractive flowers include sage (Salvia officinalis) and chives (Allium schoenoprasum). Sage's purple flowers and chive's white or pink flowers attract honeybees and other insects. The addition of English lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) enhances almost any garden. This semi-evergreen perennial grows in a small, shrub like form; purplish-blue flowers bloom on long stalks above the gray foliage. Lavender perfumes the landscape and makes an excellent walkway border.
Using perennials that are native to Indiana decreases the maintenance requirements in your garden. These plants attract hummingbirds, bees and songbirds. They require little watering and care once they are established. Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) grows in partial shade and has delicate flowers. The flowers bloom through the summer in hues of red and purple. Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) performs well all over the state. The plants self-seed readily. A favorite food of goldfinches, people also benefit from Echinacea due to its medicinal use as an immune system tonic.
Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra) graces the grasslands of Indiana. The plant grows to 8 feet topped with large clusters of pink flowers during the first half of summer.