Top Plant Picks July 2021

Top Plant Picks July 2021

Published: July 5, 2021

Enjoy the summer by taking a stroll through our gardens! Cheekwood’s Plant Collections Manager, Shanna Jones, shares her top plant picks for July.

Tennessee Coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis)

Bloom Time:  July – August

Sun Requirement: Full sun – part shade

Water Requirement: Medium – dry

Tolerates: Deer, drought, dry, rocky soil

Wildlife: Bees, wasps, and butterflies

Native to North America: Yes

Zones: 5 – 6

Other: On the Federal Endangered Plant List. Endemic to the Tennessee Cedar Glades. The cultivar of E. tennesseensis ‘Rocky Top’ is more vigorous than the species.

Location: Howe Garden

Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus)

Bloom Time: July – August

Sun Requirement: Full sun

Water Requirement: Medium

Tolerates: Heat and Humidity

Wildlife: Bees & butterflies

Native to North America: No

Zones: 6 – 9

Other: Can train as a shrub of a single-trunk tree. Perfect for either cottage or Mediterranean gardens.

Location: Cheekwood Entrance Bed

Sunflower (Helianthus ‘Sunfinity’)

Bloom Time: June – October

Sun Requirement: Full sun

Water Requirement: Medium

Tolerates: Drought & rocky soils

Wildlife: Goldfinches, hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies

Native to North America: Yes

Zones: 11

Other: Great cut flower! Pollen free means no mess. Provides nectar for beneficial insects.

Location: Bradford Robertson Color Garden

Chinquapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)

Bloom Time: April

Sun Requirement: Full sun

Water Requirement: Dry – medium

Tolerates: Drought

Wildlife: Squirrels, blue jays, crows, and raccoons eat the acorns

Native to North America: Yes

Zones: 5 – 7

Other: A stately shade tree with little maintenance required.

Location: Swan Lawn

Giant Cane/American Bamboo (Arundinaria gigantea)

Bloom Time: Rarely flowers

Sun Requirement: Full sun

Water Requirement: Medium – wet

Tolerates: Erosion

Wildlife: Provides shelter for rabbits and terrestrial birds

Native to North America: Yes

Zones: 5 – 9

Other: Native to swampy environments from TX – FL, and north to NY.

Location: Carell Dogwood Garden

Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia ‘Ruby Spice’)

Bloom Time: July – August

Sun Requirement: Full sun – part shade

Water Requirement: Medium – wet

Tolerates: Heavy shade & wet soil

Wildlife: Bees & Butterflies

Native to North America: Yes

Zones: 4 – 8

Other: Fragrant, blooms well in shade. ‘Ruby Spice’ is a compact form.

Location: Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden

Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Bloom Time: June – August

Sun Requirement: Full sun

Water Requirement: Dry-medium

Tolerates: Drought, deer, & rabbit

Wildlife: Bees & butterflies

Native to North America: No

Zones: 5 – 9

Other: Long bloom period. Plant in mass for a dreamy, cottage garden effect.

Location: Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden

Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale ‘Mariachi Salsa’)

Bloom Time: July – September

Sun Requirement: Full sun

Water Requirement: Medium – wet

Tolerates: Deer

Wildlife: Bees & butterflies

Native to North America: Yes

Zones: 3 – 8

Other: Almost all parts of this plants are toxic. DO NOT INGEST. Divide clumps every 3 – 4 years to keep the plants strong.

Location: Howe Garden


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