Gardening doesn't have to be expensive - especially if you are strategic and patient. I've calculated that for less than $20 you can have a garden full of these 5 beautiful plants (Cheap and chic gardening at its best!).
All you have to do is buy the seeds (generally less than $4/ packet - which contains at least a few hundred seeds) and sow them outside, straight into the dirt, right now. These plants all like this kind of autumnal drop-and-go treatment. So easy - Huge Reward.
Wild Quinine (Parthenium integrifolium) with Cone Flowers. (Right)
Autumn Seeds - 5 Plants to Sow Now (in the Fall!) that will be beautiful next Summer
- Filipendula rubra - (Queen of the prairie). These huge plants (taller than me!) with fluffy pink flower heads will wow any gardener. The seeds need light to germinate, so surface sow (i.e. dont bury them - just scatter about with an inch between seeds). You might have to thin as they produce thick clumps. If your soil is acidic, you may have to adjust the pH (they prefer Alkaline soils).
- Veronicastrum virginicum - (Culvers Root) Like Filipendula - this will also be best at the back or middle of a border due to its height. The seeds are very small and can be sown directly in the autumn.
- Parthenium integrifolium (Wild Quinine) - Also known as feverfew and in the aster family this plant has a dense flower head that can resemble cauliflower as well as pearls (from a distance). It prefers full sun and will bloom from June to September.
- Sporobolus heterolepsis (Prairie Dropseed) - This plant takes a couple years to look like the picture but it is a worthwhile plant to try if you are interested in something that is elegant and low maintenance. It looks great as a border as well as en masse. It is native to most of North America and it excels in hot dry areas.
- Aster ptarmicoides (Upland White Aster) Also known as white golden rod, this aster happily grows on dry sandy soil and is a beautiful addition to floral arrangements.
Seeds for Filipendula Rubra and Veronicastrum virginicum - (Culvers Root) and Parthenium integrifolium (Wild Quinine), Prairie Dropseed and Upland White Asters are all available from Prairie Moon.
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images : Veronicastrum virginicum from Prairie Moon, Aster ptarmicoides Seed Terra, Filipendula rubra Kings Brae Garden and by Eric Hunt, Parthenium integrifolium from Prairie Nursery, Sporobolus heterolepsis Prairie Nursery, Wasowski, Sally and Andy (CC via wildflower.org), Hoffman Nursery , Seed Corner