Northeast Pennsylvania has a growing season that ranges from approximately mid-April to mid-September, and soils that are typically well drained. This region has a U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone 5 and supports a wide variety of flowering perennials.
The orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida variation sullivantii) is a fast-growing perennial that grows 36 inches high with lance-like leaves, hairy stems, and 3-inch wide ray flowers. It grows well in USDA hardiness zones of 3 through 9 and should be planted in full sun with any type of moist soil. Propagation for an orange coneflower is either by division or by seed.
Small Globe Thistle
The small globe thistle (Echinops ritro) is a perennial that is attractive to butterflies and good for cut-flower arrangements. It works well in USDA hardiness zones of 3 through 10 and should be planted in poor soil with full-sun conditions and regular watering. Small globe thistle grows 2 to 3 feet high with gray-green leaves and 1- to 2-inch tubular flowers. Bloom color varies in shades of blue. Propagate via seed or clump division.
A member of the aster/daisy family, the coreopsis (Coreopsis grandiflora) is an easy-to-grow, fast-growing perennial. It grows 1 ½ to 4 feet high with 2- to 3-inch gold-yellow flowers. Planting should be in any soil in full-sun conditions. Coreopsis is hardy in hardiness zones 5 through 10. Propagate via seed or clump division.
Another member of the aster/daisy family, the whorled coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata) is an easy-to-grow and drought-tolerant perennial. It grows 2 feet wide and 3 feet high with 2 inch wide ray flowers and thread-like leaves. It is hardy in zones 5 through 10. Propagate via seed or root division. Planting conditions should be full sun and in any soil with division every three years for best growth.
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