The Best Perennial Flowers for Kansas: 14 Flowers That Love the Heat

Written by Jennifer Hollohan
Updated: October 2, 2023
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Growing plants in the heart of the midwest, like Kansas, is easy as long as you know what to plant. Not everything will survive the sweltering summers and bone-chilling winters. But, it is still possible to successfully grow beautiful items like perennial flowers in your Kansas garden. The key is to find varieties that thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones 5b-7a and also don’t mind a bit of sun. We’ve gathered a list of our favorite perennial flowers for Kansas to help you get started on your planning!

1. Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida) grows in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8 and is native to North America. It produces distinctive bright yellow blossoms with a black center. These stunning plants grow between two and four feet tall and wide. Black-eyed Susans require partial to full sun and are somewhat drought-tolerant. However, they will grow best in moist soil. 

You will get the best blooms for the longest period of time if you deadhead the plant. The gorgeous flowers that reach up to three inches wide will last until fall that way. And a bonus is that black-eyed Susans are loved by pollinators. Sow this amazing flower in the fall for the best results.

Black-eyed Susan

These lovely flowers will thrive in Kansas, thanks to their drought-tolerant nature.


2. Moonbeam Threadleaf Coreopsis

This hardy perennial is best suited for zones 3 to 9. Moonbeam threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’) blooms from summer through fall. It is part of the Asteraceae (daisy) family, and it develops pale yellow flowers with rounded edges. The plant grows up to 18 to 24 inches tall and wide. It is drought-tolerant and doesn’t mind poor soil. Plant it in a location that receives full sun to ensure its lovely flowers bloom abundantly. 

Flowering Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam'

Plant some Moonbeam thread leaf coreopsis in your Kansas garden if you want to get rewarded with a stunning display of delicate flowers.

©Gardens by Design/

3. Bloody Geranium

Don’t be fooled by the name. This stunning flower shows off its incredible blossoms in zones 3 to 9. Bloody Geranium (Geranium sanguineum) blooms in late spring, but the flowers are short-lived. They are delicate pale pink or purple blossoms. This plant grows up to 1 or 2 feet tall and wide. It prefers full sun but tolerates some shade. Bloody Geranium needs rich soil that is well-draining. However, it will tolerate poor soil. Since it is deer and rabbit-resistant, it makes the ideal addition to any Kansas garden.

Single Pink Geranium Sanguineum Flower Close Up

Consider adding a bloody geranium to your garden. These gorgeous flowers are rabbit- and deer-resistant. They also love getting plenty of sun!


4. Catnip

Catnip, or catmit (Nepeta spp.), grows best in zones 3 to 9. It doubles as a stunning perennial flower and is an ideal plant for a border or hedge. Catnip grows up to 24 inches tall. It has silver-tinted foliage and purple or blue spiky flowers. This lovely flower can tolerate partial shade to full sun. It is a popular addition to traditional herbal medicine and belongs to the Lamiaceae (mint) family. 

catmint plant in garden

Catmint is known to attract cats. But people love it too!

©Anna Gratys/

5. Purple Coneflower

The large, distinctive blossoms and contrasting cones give coneflower (Echinacea spp.) its name. These lovely flowers grow to two to four feet tall and wide and are known for their purple flowers. However, some varieties have blossoms in different shades. You can find pinks, yellows, oranges, and whites. Coneflowers require full sun but will survive in partial shade. They are hardy in zones 3 to 9. Echinacea needs rich soil to thrive but will survive in poor or sandy soil.

Field of purple coneflowers

Echinacea will survive in a wide range of environments, so it can tolerate the temperature shift that Kansas experiences.

©Milosz Maslanka/

6. Daylilies

Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) are native to Asia. However, they thrive in much of the United States, including zones 3 to 9. The trumpet-like blossoms stick under from spring to fall. Expect red, pink, orange, yellow, bi-color blossoms. This flower is highly adaptable and can grow in most conditions. But it thrives in partial shade to full shade. Daylilies are also very heat tolerant, so they can hold up well to Kansas summers.

Orange Daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva "Flore Pleno'), National Kandawgyi Gardens, Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar (Burma)

Daylilies are highly adaptable and can grow in almost any environment.


7. Russian Sage

The lovely Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) plant grows in zones 5 to 9 and is a member of the Lamiaceae (mint) family. It reaches up to three feet tall and wide but is slow to mature. The delicate blue or purple flowers arrive in the summer. They last until the fall and are a favorite of local pollinators. Russian sage needs full sun but only average soil to thrive. It is also deer, rabbit, and drought-tolerant!

Russian sage plant (Perovskia atriplicifolia) in garden.

This slow-growing perennial is well worth the wait. It produces clusters of delicate flowers every summer that attract pollinators.


8. Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula spp.) is also in the Lamiaceae (mint) family. It grows best in zones 5 to 8. This gorgeous flower needs full sun but only moderate to poor soil conditions for optimum growth. It will reach two to three feet tall and equally as wide at maturity. While the most common varieties come in purple flowers, there are also white and pink varieties. As long as lavender stays in dry to nearly dry soil, it will remain happy.

Sunset over a violet lavender field .Valensole lavender fields, Provence, France.

Lavender fields are truly a sight to behold!


9. Yarrow

This common medicinal herb grows in zones 3 to 9. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) prefers partial shade to full sun. It grows up to 36 inches tall with a similar width. This low-maintenance flower also attracts predatory insects. Yarrow is a member of the Asteraceae (Aster) family and is native to North America. Its blossoms arrive in the spring and last through fall. They are typically white, though some varieties are pink. These flowers like dry soil and prefer full sun or partial shade.

Multiple common yarrow in bloom close-up with selective focus

Yarrow is a critical addition to many traditional herbal medicines. It also produces a beautiful flower that makes a lovely addition to any yard.

© Carol Cenusa

10. Trumpet Creeper

Feel free to plant trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) throughout Kanas. It is hardy in zones 4 to 9. This flower grows best in partial shade to full sun and loves heat. Its stunning blossoms arrive in the summer. They are clusters of reddish-orange trumpet-shaped flowers. True to its name, this vining plant tends to creep and take over. It reaches up to 40 feet! So make sure you have something for it to climb. And finally, this flower is drought-tolerant, making it ideal for a Kansas summer.

Close-up of trumpet vine (Latin: Campsis radicans) with details of flowers and foliage. This climbing plant is also called trumpet climber ou Virginian trumpet flower.

Trumpet creeper grows best in partial shade to full sun and loves heat.


11. Lupine

Lupine (Lupinus spp.) is a North American native. This plant family has over 300 species. Most require full sun to thrive. They grow best in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 10. They produce cone-shaped flowers in the spring or summer. Many species grow three to four feet tall and naturally add nitrogen to the soil. Plant lupine in well-draining soil in a spot that receives partial shade or full sun.

Wild lupines growing in Black Forest, Germany

Lupines have magnificent flower spikes with blue to violet blossoms.


12. Verbena

This flower is for those living in the portions of Kansas that are in zone 7. It typically grows in zones 7 to 11. Planting verbena (Verbena spp.) in parts of Kansas is pushing it a little, but it is worth the try. This flower thrives in most environments and loves hot and dry conditions. So it will hold up well to Kansas summers. It grows up to four feet tall and produces magnificent violet or pink flowers from spring through fall. 

Verbena bonariensis flowers (Argentinian Vervain or Purpletop Vervain, Clustertop Vervain, Tall Verbena, Pretty Verbena) in garden

Verbena typically grows best in warmer environments. However, those living in zone 7 in Kansas can successfully grow this stunning flower.


13. Peony

Peonies (Paeonia spp.) produce enormous flowers with yellow, pink, red, white, or bi-color blossoms that arrive in late spring. These stunning flowers prefer rich, well-draining soil with full sun to partial shade. They grow up to three feet tall and thrive in zones 3 to 8.

Beautiful yellow Paeonia Bartzella peony flowers. Horizontal Outdoors summertime vibrant image.

Peonies produce enormous flowers with yellow, pink, red, white, or bi-color blossoms that arrive in late spring.

©AnnaElizabeth photography/

14. Purple Poppy-mallow

Last but certainly not least is a flower native to Kansas. True to its name, purple poppy-mallow (Callirhoe involucrata) produces purple blossoms. This vining plant is a member of the Malvaceae (Mallow) family and grows up to three feet long. It requires full sun to partial shade but has no soil preference. Purple poppy-mallow grows best in zones 4 to 8. Its purple, white, or pink blooms arrive in summer and last through fall. 

Mallow, Poppy - Plant, Purple, Alternative Medicine, American Bison

Purple poppy-mallow is part of the mallow family and is native to Kansas.


Summary of the 14 Best Perennial Flowers for Kansas

NumberFlowerGrowing ConditionsBloom Time
1Black-eyed SusanThis flower needs partial to full sun. It is drought-tolerant but prefers moist soil.Summer through fall.
2Moonbeam Threadleaf CoreopsisIt is drought-tolerant and doesn’t mind poor soils. Plant in full sun for optimum flower production.Summer through fall.
3Bloody GeraniumIt needs full sun for most of the day but can tolerate some shade. This flower is drought-tolerant. It prefers rich soil but can handle poor soil.Late spring.
4CatnipCatnip needs partial shade to full sun. It likes well-draining soil, but the quality of soil doesn’t matter as much. Once established, this flower is drought-tolerant. Spring and summer.
5Purple ConeflowerThis flower requires full sun and rich soil to thrive. It can survive in poor soil, though, if necessary.Spring through fall.
6DayliliesDaylilies need partial shade to full shade and are heat-tolerant. Spring through fall.
7Russian SageRussian sage needs full sun but only average soil to thrive. It is low-maintenance and is deer, rabbit, and drought-tolerant.Summer through fall.
8LavenderLavender needs full sun. However, it only needs poor to moderate soil. As long as the ground is dry or close to dry, it will be happy.Summer
9YarrowPartial shade to full sun and dry soil will help yarrow plants thrive.Spring through fall.
10Trumpet CreeperTrumpet creeper needs partial shade to full sun. It grows best in the heat of summer and is drought-tolerant.Summer into early fall.
11LupineFull sun or partial shade will help lupine thrive. These flowers also need well-draining soil.Spring through summer.
12VerbenaVerbena requires partial shade to full sun. It is drought-tolerant. Spring through fall.
13PeonyPeonies grow best in full sun to partial shade. They thrive in fertile, well-draining soil.Late spring into summer.
14Purple Poppy-mallowPurple poppy-mallow loves full sun to partial shade and will live in any type of soil.Summer through fall.

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Jennifer Hollohan is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on gardening, mammals, and travel. Jennifer has over twenty years of writing experience. She holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, which she earned in 2005, and is a Herbalist. Jennifer lives in Colorado with her family. She loves hiking, admiring wildflowers, gardening, and making herbal tea.

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