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Perennial Flowers For Father’s Day

Ask the Expert: What perennial is easy to grow?
I want to give my friend seeds to plant on Father’s Day to remember her Father who just passed away last month.  I think it would be a nice gift if every year she has a flower that blooms and reminds her of her dad.  I was hoping to find a perennial flower that symbolizes rememberance that is easy to plant and grow in the suburbs of Chicago.  She does not have a green thumb so something that basically requires very little or no attention would be preferable.  Does such a flower exist?  Joanna

Plant Expert Reply:

The first perennial that come to mind is the Myosotis (Forget-me-not flower).  This plant has long been used as a short-lived perennial that symbolizes remembrance or memories.  It come in blue, white, blush and yellow flowers. It should be easy to start from seed.

However, there are several perennials I would choose instead of Forget-me-nots.  Although these perennials don’t necessarily have a meaning associated with them, I would choose Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorous), Blanket Flower (Galardia x grandiflora), or Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata). These perennials are easy grow from seed, fairly easy to maintain and bloom longer than most perennials flowers.

Keep in mind perennials even though they come back every year require a lot of work. Your friend will need to tend to the bed throughout the year to keep it free from weeds. If your friend doesn’t have a green thumb, an annual bed or pot garden might be a better way to remember her dad this Father’s Day. Annual beds and pots are a little easier to maintain because you can start from scratch each year. It could also become a future tradition. She could sow Zinnias which are symbolically used for “Daily Remembrance” in a pot or in an annual bed every year. They are fairly easy to care for and a beautiful way to remember her father.

Whatever you choose for her, I’m sure she will appreciate the thoughtfulness of your gift. Flowers are a wonderful way to help comfort those we love.

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