Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Hardy Perennial Plants in Ohio

By Bobbi Keffer ; Updated September 21, 2017
Black-eyed susan is one of many perennials hardy in zones 5 and 6.
black eyed susans image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com

Gardening with native flowers not only makes sense for the environment but also for the pocketbook. Native perennials are already acclimated to Ohio's growing zones, so they use less water and nutrients than a plant not found wild in the state. Native plants also provide food and shelter for insects, birds and animals. Zone 5 in northern Ohio and 6 in the southern portion offers a huge number of perennials to chose from to fit your garden design.

Focal Plants

Oriental lily grows well in zones 5 and 6.
close-up of lily image by Andrew Filatov from Fotolia.com

Focal plants are those showstoppers in your garden that draw the most attention with their blooms. Focal plants vary, depending on sun requirements and personal taste. Some popular focal plants in Ohio gardens include purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, shasta daisy, aster, Oriental lily, daylilies, delphinium, iris, hollyhock, peony and foxglove.

Filler Blooms

Blanket flower is prized for its bright, daisy-like blooms.
blanket flower image by Bradlee Mauer from Fotolia.com

Filler plants are the plants that compliment the focal plants in the garden and make the space a garden instead of just "plants." Fillers are chosen for their continuous blooms, interesting foliage or different textures. Ohio has many plants that thrive through the summer hours and are hardy to zones 5 and 6. A focal plant can also work as a filler, depending on your design tastes. Some filler plants perfect for Ohio include lavender, Russian sage, coreopsis, hardy geranium, lungwort, columbine, Lily of the valley, spotted nettle, yarrow, Veronica, sedum, salvia, fern, hosta and dianthus.

Shrubs and Vines

Forsythia blooms in early spring on new growth.
forsythia image by Edsweb from Fotolia.com

Ohio offers a number of blooming shrubs and woody plants native to the cooler climate. Shrubs such as forsythia, azalea, rhododendrons, chokeberry, juniper, holly and laurel create a backbone for the perennial garden bed. Vines such as trumpet vine, American bittersweet, clematis and Virginia creeper add height and depth by pulling the eye upward on walls, fences, arbors and trellises.


About the Author


Bobbi Keffer attended Kent State University to study education but soon found her true love to be in the garden. She prides herself on her frugal skills reusing, recycling and reinventing her whimsical style in her home and garden.