Cincinnati is located in USDA Hardiness Zone 6. The best flowers in Cincinnati are not only hardy in that zone, but are native to the area. Pick a variety of sizes for a variety of uses--low-growing flowers for ground covers, taller flowers for flower beds, shade-loving plants for under tall trees and sun-loving plants for the places where other flowers will wilt.
Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) produce large, oval-shaped, gray-green leaves that grow on 1- to 2-foot-tall stems. The light-blue or lavender-blue, trumpet-shaped flowers grow in clusters at the top of the stems from March through June. Plant Virginia bluebells in partial or full shade and in a soil that is rich and moist, but not wet.
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is also known as gloriosa daisy and yellow oxeye daisy. The plant produces diamond-shaped leaves at the base that grow from 4 to 7 inches long as well as 3-foot-tall stems that support hairy lance-shaped leaves that grow from 2 to 3 inches long. The flowers grow up to 3 inches across and produce from 10 to 20 petals that surround a purplish-brown center. Plant black-eyed Susan in full sun or partial-shade and moist soil.
Dense Blazing Star
Dense blazing star (Liatris spicata) is also known as dense gayfeather and marsh blazing star. The plant grows to from 3 to 4 feet tall and produces green leaves that look like grass and grow from clumps at the base. The rose-purple or white flowers grow in spike-like clusters starting at the top of the stems and going all the way down to the bottom, blooming from July through September. Plant dense blazing star in full-sun and a soil that is moist, but not wet. Dense blazing star is a favorite of butterflies, song birds and hummingbirds.
Beebalm (Monarda didyma) is also knows as Oswego tea, bergamot and scarlet beebalm. The plant grows from 3 to 4 feet tall with a spread of 2 to 3 feet and produces leaves that are oval-shaped at the bottom, coming to a point at the tip and growing from 2 to 6 inches long. The red flowers grow in clusters on individual stems. Plant beebalm in full-sun or partial-shade and in a soil that is constantly moist, but not wet. Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees are all attracted to beebalm.
Heart-leaf foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) produces small, star-shaped flowers that bloom from April through July and grow in spike-shaped clusters on stalks that grow from 6 to 12 inches tall. The plant sends out underground stems, making a blanket of flowers that work as a ground cover. Plant heart-leaf foamflower in full-shade and a soil that is moist and well-drained.