Flowers native to Indiana grow in a variety of conditions and have several benefits for the home garden. The flowers bloom in many colors, adding interest and variety. They often attract birds and beneficial insects. Native perennial flowers usually require less maintenance and supplemental watering, making them an excellent addition to any Indiana landscape.
Named for the lure it holds for butterflies, butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) blooms from late spring through much of the summer. The bright orange flowers sit atop stems that reach 3 feet in height. Butterfly weed prefers full sun and well-drained soil. The plant has some drought tolerance, making it a good choice for dry locations. It may take up to three years for the plant to establish and bloom, but it has low maintenance requirements.
Fragrant pink flowers adorn garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) in summer and early fall. The plant grows 3 to 4 feet high. Garden phlox thrives in full sun, but also tolerates some shade. Rich, moist soil provides the best growing conditions due to the plant’s intolerance of drought. Garden phlox attracts birds, including hummingbirds, and butterflies. It does have some known issues to watch for. Powdery mildew may form on the plant without adequate air circulation. Garden phlox is also susceptible to root rot and insects. Watering the plant at the base and providing a 3-inch thick layer of mulch helps prevent these problems.
False Blue Indigo
Purple-blue flowers cover false blue indigo (Baptisia australis) in spring. The blooms top 4-foot tall stems that grow from low, mounded leaves. The flowers attract butterflies. While false blue indigo can grow in many conditions, such as partial shade, it performs best in well-drained conditions with full sun. The plant has use a substitute for true indigo in making blue dyes. False blue indigo makes an excellent flower to add contrast to the flowerbed due to its blue hues.
The nodding flowered columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) blooms in pink and yellow to deep red and yellow. The flowers attract hummingbirds and appear in April and May. Columbine tolerates many soil and lighting conditions. They perform best in fertile, moist soil and partial shade. The plant grows to 2 or 3 feet tall. You can grow columbine in many Indiana garden settings, including woodland and wildflower beds.