Nothing provides a more picturesque landscape than seasonal plants with colorful blooms and interesting textures. They quickly add important height, depth, scale and visual appeal to any Northern New Jersey landscape.
With thousands of varieties of seasonal plants on the market, it can be difficult to determine which ones are best for your existing landscape conditions.
For plants to thrive they need the right type of soil, the right location, sufficient light and water and proper maintenance.
Without the right conditions, even the healthiest plants will have a difficult time surviving over time.
USDA Zoning Requirements
To give your plants the best opportunity to thrive, it’s important to know your USDA hardiness zoning requirements.
The map helps gardeners know which plants will survive winters in their region. USDA revised the old plant hardiness map to reflect changes in average winter low temperatures over the last thirty years.
The latest USDA plant hardiness map takes into consideration the closeness to a large body of water, elevation and the urban heat effect.
The Northwest corner of Bergen County falls in hardiness Zone 6a, while the Eastern region falls in Zone 6b. Planting and growing in these zones usually runs from mid-March (after the last frost) through mid-November.
The climate in these zones is hospitable to all plants that aren’t too tender , as well as plants that prefer hot, dry summers.
This planting zone information serves as an essential guide for purchasing seasonal plants that will thrive in your local climate and weather conditions.
When shopping for plants for your Bergen County landscape, keep your plant hardiness zone in mind, and talk to your Bergen County landscape professional if you have questions or need specific information on different plant varieties.
Annuals vs Perennials
For many gardeners, annuals are a mainstay for any garden. Early-blooming spring annuals are a quick way to fill empty spots in flower beds, container gardens and decorative pots.
A mix of annual plants can offer a stunning array of vibrant colors in your landscape during spring, summer and fall. Although you will have to replant them each season, annuals will create a beautiful landscape when they bloom.
Perennials are plants and flowers that come back year after year. Since you don’t have to replant them, they are perfect for garden beds, as accents to shrubs and trees, combined with annuals and bulbs and in containers and window boxes.
Perennials often increase in size each year, so they can be divided and added to other seasonal plants and landscape areas.
Spring is a major growth season for your landscape and garden plants. As soon as warm weather arrives, you will notice lots of new buds and leaves and rapid plant growth. There’s a wide variety of spring seasonal plants that grow well in Bergen County landscapes.
- African Marigolds – African marigolds produce 3-inch puffball blooms in orange, yellow and cream. Regular varieties grow up to three feet tall, but dwarf varieties only grow to one foot tall. The mounded dark green foliage beneath the blooms is always clean, fresh, and tidy.
- Begonias – Begonias are easy to grow spring seasonal plants and do well in a variety of landscape conditions. To keep the blooms colorful, give begonias light shade, rich, well-drained soil, ample water and plenty of fertilizer.
- Bush Morning Glory – Bush morning glory is the perfect plant for flower beds and window boxes. This plant produces trumpet-shape flowers in jewel-tone shades of blue, pink and white. It grows close to the ground, about two feet tall, so it’s a good border plant.
- Pansy – Pansies are one of the best annuals to plant in spring for early-season containers and window boxes. They come in a variety of vibrant colors that will add instant eye-catching appeal to your landscape.
- Helebore – Hellebores are one of the earliest perennials to bloom. They produce large bowl-shaped white flowers with splashes of yellow, pink or maroon markings. Hellebores thrive in cold climates and grow best in shady locations. They are also deer resistant.
- Peony – Peonies are one of the most beloved spring perennials. They product fragrant blooms in bright and pastel colors like yellow, salmon, pink, rose, red and white. Peony plants are long-lived perennials that can bloom for decades with little care.
- Virginia Bluebells – Virginia bluebells will add a sea of lovely blue flowers to your landscape. As adaptable wildflowers, they work well in woodland gardens and flower beds. After flowering, they will disappear, so plant them with other seasonal plants to continue spring color.
Most summer flowers need sun and adequate water to survive, but they provide blooms in brilliant colors with rich, green foliage.
If you don’t have a sunny summer landscape, consider shade perennials that produce beautiful, green textured foliage.
Some shade varieties also produce blooms at different times during the summer months.
- Astilbe – This shade-garden, easy-to-grow plant produces feathery plumes of small flowers in a host of colors including red, pink, purple, lavender, peach and white. Some even produce bronze foliage that adds exotic color. Astilbe is resistant to both deer and rabbits.
- Coral Bells – This shade perennial comes in a variety of colors including red, orange, purple, chartreuse, bronze, silver and bi-color. In early summer, plants send up delightful spikes of small red, white, or pink bell-like flowers that look like coral bells. The flowers produced by these seasonal plants are hummingbird favorites, too!
- Lithodora – Perfect for hillsides and rock gardens, lithodora only grows 6 to 8 inches tall and develops dainty, deep green leaves covered in starry blue flowers. This evergreen ground cover forms a low, spreading mound that can spread up to three feet wide. It’s perfect along driveways and walkways and also deer resistant.
Full Sun Perennials
- Coneflower – One of the best flowering perennials for summer is the coneflower. These heat-and drought-resistant and deer-resistant flowers develop wave after wave of colorful blooms all summer long. They also attract beautiful butterflies to your landscape.
- Daylily – As a popular summer perennial, daylilies come in an array of spectacular colors. Each flower only lasts for one day, but plants produce abundant blooms throughout the summer. Daylilies are hardy growers and love the summer sunshine.
- Delphinium – With towering flower stalks of blue, lavender, pink and white blooms, delphiniums are great in flower beds or as border plants. Tall delphinium varieties can grow 6 feet tall, but dwarf varieties grow just 2 feet high. Both make wonderful cut flowers.
As fall begins in Bergen County, temperatures start to drop, winds and rains pick up and many spring and summer flowers begin to die back.
Although it’s a little more difficult to keep a colorful landscape in the fall, there are wonderful fall seasonal plants that will give your garden and landscape rich, green foliage, interesting textures and bursts of colors throughout the fall season.
- Asters – Asters are sun-loving perennials that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They thrive in garden beds and container gardens. With brilliant shades of white, purple, blue, or pink, asters are commonly visited by Monarch butterflies who munch on blooms during their fall migration.
- Black-Eyed Susan – Rudbeckia, commonly called Black-eyed Susan, is a classic perennial that shows off bright yellow, gold, or bronze flowers with striking dark brown centers. These easy-to-grow wildflowers also attracts butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects, and if seeds form, they will also attract a variety of birds.
- Blanket Flower – Blanket flower, is a tough, drought-resistant, sun-loving perennial that’s very easy to grow. It produces festive, solid or patterned flowers in bright red, orange, or yellow. Flowers grow 18 to 22 inches tall, so they add excellent height to your landscape. Blanket flower blooms through the fall and attracts butterflies to your garden areas.
- Ice Plant – Perfect for sunny slopes and rock gardens, ice plant produces brilliant yellow, purple and pink daisy-like flowers. When it stops blooming, it forms a low carpet of succulent foliage from 6 to 8 inches tall hat adds texture and interest to the landscape. These perennial fall seasonal plants are also drought resistant and deer resistant.
- Lavender – This fragrant perennial produces blue-purple flowers throughout the fall season. It’s a great plant for containers, garden beds, hillsides and borders. Lavender grows up to 24 inches tall, and all parts of the plant can be used fresh or dried in recipes or potpourris. Lavender is rabbit and deer resistant, as well as drought resistant.
- Mondo Grass – Although mondo grass doesn’t bloom in the fall, it produces tufts of bright green, grass-like leaves that retain their color year-round. The thick tufts and leafy foliage make it a great evergreen ground cover and edging plant. Plants grow 12 to 18 inches tall and produce spikes of blue flowers in the summer, followed by pretty blue-black berries during the fall.
As the brilliant colors of fall plants begin to fade, your landscape will reflect a quieter, greener beauty during the winter season.
Textured barks, evergreen foliage, brightly colored berries and subtle blooms are typical elements in a Bergen County winter landscape.
Winter seasonal plants typically should be planted in the fall for winter blooms.
When winter hits in Northern New Jersey, it’s difficult to do much planting.
- Christmas Rose – If you’re looking for a special plant that will add winter beauty, plant Christmas rose in shady spots along your front walkway to welcome holiday guests. This winter plant blooms from December through March with sturdy stems gracefully rise above snowfalls. Plant this perennial in the spring for winter blooms.
- Evergreen Camellias – Like an unexpected gift, some varieties of evergreen camellias will surprise you with a showy display of rose-like blossoms in the middle of January. Plants can grow up to 10 feet tall and many live from 50 to 100 years. Talk to a Bergen County landscape company, like Borst Landscape & Design, about varieties of winter-blooming camellias.
- Flowering Quince – Flowering quince is a great winter plant that produces a show of reddish colored blossoms during the winter. Plants are virtually indestructible and tolerate extreme winter temperatures and neglect. This deciduous thorny shrub grows up to eight feet wide, so it creates a great natural fencing or landscape barrier. Flowering Quince should be planted in the spring or fall for winter blooms.
- Snowdrop – When most other plants go dormant or hide from winter’s chill, snowdrop produces elegant white blooms in late winter. Snowdrop is lovely in garden beds, window boxes, containers or under taller shrubs. Bulbs should be planted in the fall for winter blooms.
- Winterberry – Winterberry is a deciduous version of holly. These winter seasonal plants lose their leaves in late fall, leaving behind dazzling sprays of lipstick-red berries. Most species of holly are either male or female, so you’ll have to pair them up to get berries. Winterberry should be planted in the spring or fall for winter blooms.
Professional Garden Design and Maintenance Services
At Borst Landscape & Design, we have experienced garden designers who can create beautiful annual and perennial gardens for your Northern NJ home.
With horticulture training and knowledge, our garden designers will work with you to create a front yard or back yard garden filled with lush, green foliage and colorful seasonal plants that add year-round beauty to your landscape.
Garden Design Services
- Annual and Perennial Garden Design
- Garden Renovations
- Bulb Plantings
- Potted Arrangements
- Container and Window-Box Planting
- Outdoor Fall Plantings and Displays
- Holiday Decorating and Lighting
Garden Maintenance Services
- Spring Garden Cleanup
- Fall Garden Cleanup and Cut-back
- Prune and Deadhead Annuals and Perennials
- Weed and Cultivate Beds
- Fertilize Annuals and Perennials
- Custom Pruning
- Disease and Insect Control
A garden or landscape filled with seasonal plants that add vibrant color, interesting texture and lush, green foliage will enhance the beauty of your home and landscape.
Talk to a Borst garden design specialist about the possibilities of a beautiful custom designed garden for your Bergen County home.