Gallon Perennials

At Martin Garden Center, we grow many of the gallon perennials that we know gardeners want but can’t find regularly. The most popular of these are Clematis, Dahlia, Daylilies, Ferns, Hosta and Peony.

While not an exhaustive list, the following are the Gallon Perennials that can be found, in season, at Martin Garden Center:

  • Astilbe – What shade garden is complete without Astilbe. Plumes of either white, red, purple and all the lavender, pink and peach tones in between. Heights range from 16″ to 3-4′.
  • Baptisia – Tall stalks with raceme pea-shaped flowers in bright blues to oranges to creams and pinks. Very hardy, multiplies in place and long lasting. Blooms begin in mid-April and last approximately one month.
  • Bleeding Heart (Dicentra) – Bleeding heart plants are delicate blooming plants for shade gardens. The heart shaped blooms are very unique, but unfortunately short lived. The foliage is attractive in the early spring but can get a little tired later in the season. It is great as a specimen plant.
  • Campsis Vine (Trumpet vine)
  • Canna – We try to carry Zone 7 cold tolerant Canna in the spring and by summer, most have sold out. Canna are a tuber and water plant. Canna prefer afternoon shade in the south but can be grown in full sun and full shade.
  • Cast Iron (Aspidistra) – The cast iron plant is a popular evergreen thriller in shade pots due to its height. Be extra careful with the water. It likes to stay on the dry side so pair it with other plants that like to stay dry. Fillers like heuchera (coral bells) and spillers like ivy are great companion plants.
  • Clematis- We carry 8-10 varieties of clematis every year. They are fantastic sun and part sun plants and the vine does not get out of control, growing between 8-15 feet.
  • Dahlia – Dahlia are tender Zone 8 perennials. We carry the GoGo Series, some of the Dinnerplate Series, and the Single Wink Series because we have a fantastic vendor that offers these types. We have conducted a tuber sale in early spring, and any tubers remaining we have potted up for early summer sales. Dahlia bloom all summer long and are amazing cut flowers. Their only problem is they are a tender perennial Consequently, when it gets down to 10F at Christmas, there is a distinct possibility that a tender tuber stored outside may not survive. It’s always smart to put 3-4 inches of mulch on your in-ground Dahlia tubers in the fall and then move it away in late spring after the threat of frost has passed. See our Dahlia page for more Dahlia info, our Dahlia Care Guide and pictures.
  • Daylilies (Hemerocallis) – In the early and late summer, Daylilies finally have their time to shine. We usually see lily blooms in June and July. The Daylily stem usually carries 2-4 blossoms and each blossoms last a day, hence the name Daylily.
  • Elephant Ears (Colocasia) – Some years, we can get elephant ears and some years not. Our supply has chain has been very inconsistent and we have attempted regularly to bring it in and grow it ourselves but unfortunately, sometimes are orders are filled and sometimes not. Elephant ears are fantastic uprights for a back border, both in part sun and in shade. Elephant ears can tolerate full sun but they are more successful in afternoon shade. Mites love elephant ears. So, be prepared to treat for mites in the late summer or early fall if you own elephant ears.
  • Ferns – We carry numerous varieties of perennial fern and would carry more if we could find them. Our most popular perennial ferns include holly fern, autumn fern, japanese fern and ostrich fern. See our fern page for an extensive list.
  • Hellebore (Lenten Rose) – Lenten Rose prices have skyrocketed over the past few years. Much of this is due to a new viral pathogen, Helleborus net necrosis virus (HeNNV), which is referred to as the black death and it affects the Helleborus orientalis, which is the commonly found Helle. Most large growing nurseries no longer grow the orientalis because of its susceptibility to the Black Death. Once infected with HeNNV, the hellebore will die. It is wise to avoid combining existing hellebore with new hellebore that have the potential to be infected. In the meantime, to increase your hellebore population, take the new seedlings that self seed from your hellebore and pot them up. They are biennial so don’t expect them to flower for 2 years. But, at least you can help grow your populations or Hellebore orientalis until a cure is found.
  • Hibiscus Swamp (swamp hibiscus/perennial hibiscus) – In 2022, we grew 125 Swamp Hibiscus and sold them all. Swamp Hibiscus do well in wet areas & are heat lovers. They bloom on & off during the summer until first frost. They are slow to show up in the spring, sometimes remaining dormant into May.
  • Honeysuckle Vine (Lonicera)
  • Hosta (Plantain Lily) – In 2022, we sold more than 1000 hosta and carried more than 30 varieties. The great thing about hosta is that it does best when left alone. A feeding in the spring and fall and watering during drought and hosta’s are happy. Fuss over it and overwater it, watch it die. Hosta’s continue to grow and multiply in shady areas. But hosta do not like a lot of sun and will look very ragged or die with too much sun exposure. Hosta’s come in many sizes from tiny Mouse Ears to the ever popular Empress Wu, which reaches 4-6 feet in height and width.
  • Lilies (Asiatic, Oriental & Specialty) – Every perennial garden should feature small groupings of lilies. After the first flush of spring blooms, lilies finally explode in full bloom. They are great cut flowers. You may want to remove the stamens to save yourself time in dusting pollen.
  • Passion Flower Vine (Passiflora incarnata, maypop)
  • Peony (Paeonia) – One of the best cut flowers around, peonies bloom in the early spring. With big bowls of petals and the perfect sweet scent. Bombs, full double and semi-double blooms are the most common we carry. See our full list on our Peony page.
  • Soloman’s Seal (Polygonatum) – We carry at least one sometimes up to three different varieties of Soloman’s Seal in the spring. With it’s delicate blooms off of arching foliage, it’s a must have for the background of a shade garden.