Top 14 Favorite Plants List

After hours of research, reminiscing, comparisons, self evaluation, honest arguments with myself and numerous drafts thrown in the garbage in a fit of rage, I’ve finally completed my long awaited “Top 14 Favorite Plants List”.

Why 14? Why not, I say. Truth is that was the natural cutoff point and there was no way I could limit it to 10.

10 is so 2015.

Consider the “extra 4” a bonus for your botanical viewing pleasure.

A few suggestions before the reveal:

  1. Print this list and take it to your local nursery when shopping for plants in fall.
  2. Memorize this list and share it with your friends while at your kids soccer game.
  3. Email it to all of your friends and show them that you’re thinking about them.
  4. Share this on all forms of social media so you can say that you read this list before it exploded and became the go-to list for gardeners all over the globe. #WhatAList

When compiling this list, I took a lot of different criteria into account from multiple season impact, ease of maintaining, prettiness level, level of creature attraction, focal pointed-ness, etc. In the end, there was no official scoring system and all of these plants (perennials, shrubs, grasses only) naturally fell into their ranking. Some are ubiquitous and others not so well known.

All of these plants currently reside in my garden and I eliminated all plants from contention if I haven’t had years nurturing/killing/crying with them.

Each plant has a hyperlink to the original blog posts I had dedicated for each or were part of another story that I’d think you’d enjoy. Go ahead, click them and get educated.

So here we go, in reverse order starting with:

14. Mountain Mint



13. Viburnum carlesii ‘Aurora’

viburnum aurora


12. Sorghastrum nutans (Indian Grass)

indian panicum sage


11. Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’

karl foerster bee balm


10. Redtwig Dogwood 

pruning redtwig dogwood 4


9. Astilbe arendsii ‘Amethyst’



8. Veronica ‘Royal Candles’



7. Panicum ‘Rotstrahlbusch’



6. Purple Coneflower 

butterfly coneflower


5. Miscanthus purpurascens (Flame Grass)

rots flame grass


4. Baptisia australis

baptisia 2


3. Panicum ‘Northwind’



2. Amsonia hubrichtii and/or tabernaemontana 

amsonia and panicum


1. Eupatorium ‘Joe Pye Weed’

joe pye playroom bed

What do you think of the list? Any surprises? Any strong disagreements? Fill those comments up now and let’s get a discussion rolling.

2 thoughts on “Top 14 Favorite Plants List

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      You nailed it Zengard. I have virtually no shade and the deer ignore the grasses. Probably should have qualified that in the post.

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