10 Native Iowa Perennial Flowers (2023 Guide)

What are Common Native Iowa Perennial Flowers?

Finding Common Native Iowa Perennial Flowers was harder than I thought. Some require extensive care, others are prone to pests, and lots are just not simple & quick enough to maintain.

That’s why I created a list of the 10 Common Native Iowa Perennial Flowers!

This ultimate guide will give you common native Iowa Perennial Flowers, why you should grow them, and even how to grow them.

Read THIS Before Growing Native Iowa Perennial Flowers

Knowing what hardiness zone Iowa is in is critical to understanding the best flowers that can be grown.

It can be the difference between your native perennial flower garden and yard thriving or dying.

Iowa is mostly considered Hardiness Zone 5, while some of the lower-level regions are Hardiness Zone 6.

hardiness zone map

10 Common Native Iowa Perennial Flowers

#1. Aster


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Popular Varieties: New England, Alpine, Calico

Why Grow Aster in Iowa?

Aster Flower

Thrives in Heat:

  • Aster is a great native Iowa perennial flower in late summer all the way until late fall. You’ll notice the hotter it is the more blooms there are!


  • Native Iowa Perennial flowers are low maintenance. And aster is one of the easiest flowers to grow. They require no deadheading for more blooms and can grow almost anywhere.

Perfect for ANY Garden:

  • Some native Iowa perennial flowers require all sun or all shade to grow. Not Aster. They can grow anywhere in your garden, in hanging baskets, window boxes, and anywhere else you can think of. As an added bonus they can even attract pollinators.

Related: BEST Flowers to Attract Pollinators

THESE Could Harm Your Aster


  • Like many other native Iowa perennial flowers, the biggest threat to perennial flowers is humans. Most of the time you may accidentally destroy them with too much care, with the lawn mower, or even trying to prune them too much.

Additional Resources

Did you know that native Iowa perennial flowers like Aster are not only easy to maintain and care for, but are considered native flowers that can attract beneficial insects and pollinators?

#2. Daisies


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Popular Varieties: English, African, Shasta

Why Grow Daisies in Iowa?


Beautiful Summer Blooms:

  • Daisies are a great flower if you want a plant it and forget about it native Iowa perennial flowers. Plant bulbs in the fall and actual plants in the spring and watch this beautiful flower come back year after year with little to no maintenance.


  • Not every plant on this list can tolerate heat and full sun. Daisies thrive the hotter it gets and the more sunlight it receives, making this the perfect flower to plant anywhere in your yard.


  • It seems like deer and rabbits will eat almost any flower or plant in your garden. Deter them from your flower garden with the pungent flavor of daisies.

THESE Could Harm Your Daisies


  • Before Daisies bloom their plant looks like weeds. Sometimes humans will accidentally mow them, cut them, or remove them before they have a chance to grow and bloom.

Diseases & Fungus

  • Wet conditions and cold conditions usually mean more disease and fungus. While it does not happen often daisies plants come fall prone to fungus and disease and cause no blooms or death of the flower.

Additional Resources

Learn More About Daisies HERE

#3. Goldenrod


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Popular Varieties: Giant, Canada, Late

Why Grow Goldenrod in Iowa?


Low Maintenance:

  • Goldenrod is the easiest flower to grow. You do not need to fertilize it, barely need to water it, it can be planted in any soil, and you never have to worry about it!

Perfect for Pollinators:

  • Most of the native Iowa perennial flowers on this list bloom in spring and summer. But what happens when bees and other pollinators need to feed on fall plants? Plant Goldenrod and you will not only have to worry about that, but pollinators will be thrilled!

THESE Could Harm Your Goldenrod

Garden Pests:

  • Like several other flowers on this list, Goldenrod is prone to garden pests. Unlike other flowers garden pests are a main source of food for both beneficial and harmful insects in the fall.

Additional Resources

Did you know that honey made from goldenrod will actually taste different than other types of honey?

#4. Bee Balm

bee balm

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Popular Varieties: Scarlet, Wild, Lemon, Spotted

Why Grow Bee Balm in Iowa?

bee balm flower

Thrives in the heat:

  • While you can plant your Bee Balm in the fall for a headstart, Bee Balm will have beautiful blooms in early spring to late spring no matter how hot the weather gets.

Easy to Grow from Seed:

  • Bee Balm is the easiest and most popular type of flower to grow from seed. It requires less sunlight, water, and care to germinate compared to other flowers during the winter.

Perfect in All Types of Gardens:

  • Some flowers only do well in certain soil. Not Bee Balm. You can grow this flower in any soil and it will thrive.

THESE Could Harm Your Bee Balm

Too Much Water:

  • Bee Balm is a beautiful flower, but if the soil gets too wet fungus can cause root rot. Not only this, but it can affect the colors and how long blooms last.

Additional Resources

Did you know Bee Balm is one of the best flowers to attract not only birds but hummingbirds?

#5. Milkweed


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Popular Varieties: Common, Butterflies, Swamp

Why Grow Milkweed in Iowa?

milkweed flower


  • Not only is milkweed easy to maintain, but it is beautiful. Expect lovely shades of pink and purple all summer long to attract monarch butterflies and other pollinators.

Perfect for Any Yard:

  • Some flowers only do well in certain soil and sunlight. Not Milkweed. You can grow them in containers, window boxes, raised garden beds, and even in poor soil.

THESE Could Harm Your Tulips


  • Not many elements can affect milkweed. It thrives in heat and cold. Disease and pests don’t bother it. Typically, humans destroy it on accident because they do not realize it is a perennial flower and pick it early and don’t realize how great of a pollinator it is and remove it from the soil.

Additional Resources

Did you know milkweed is the perennial flower of choice for Monarch Butterflies? You’ll attract more butterflies with milkweed than any other flower.

#6. Joe Pye Weed

joe pye weed

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Popular Varieties: Sweet, Spotted, Trumpet

Why Grow Joe Pye Weed in Iowa?

joe pye weed

Thrives in the heat & cold:

  • If you have early spring frosts or late fall frost then Joe Pye Weed is the perfect flower to plant for an extended flower garden season.

Continuous Blooms:

  • Joe Pye Weed is another flower that has continuous blooms for 6-8 months of the year. All you have to do is deadhead them.

Attracts Pollinators:

  • Attracting Pollinators is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. Just plant your Joe Pye Weed flowers and watch bees, butterflies, and birds come to it.

THESE Could Harm Your Joe Pye Weed

Spider Mites:

  • Joe Pye Weed is one of the more insect-resistant flowers. But its weakness is spider mites. Spider Mites are known to quickly destroy marigolds if not remedied early.

Related: 10 Best Insecticides for Flowers

Additional Resources

Did you know Joe Pye Weed can grow almost 7 feet tall? If you don’t want them that tall just prune them back!

#7. Daffodils


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Popular Varieties: Trumpet, Large Cup, Small Cup, Double, Triandrus

Why Grow Daffodils in Iowa?


Little Care:

  • These low-maintenance flowers require very little care. You don’t have to prune it or deadhead it to have more flowers bloom. Not only this, but it thrives in cold and hot!


  • Daffodils are probably the hardiest flower on this list. They can survive long periods of cold, heat, garden pests, and sometimes even disease and fungus. You plant them and they’ll keep coming up year after year.

THESE Could Harm Your Daffodils

Garden Pests

  • Daffodils can quickly be eaten in early spring by garden pests like deer and rabbits who are hungry. Typically this happens before any type of flower grows.


  • While cold and frost won’t hurt a daffodil, if it happens late in spring when flowers have bloomed it will stunt, diminish color, and even kill the flower bloom itself.

Additional Resources

Learn More About Daffodils HERE

#8. Columbine


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Popular Varieties: Common, Red, Alpine

Why Grow Columbine in Iowa?

columbine flower

Blooms All Summer:

  • If you pick the right type of columbine, it can bloom not only in spring but also throughout the summer. And if you like different types you can’t plant these flowers so different ones bloom at different times in the year. Best of all is that they are perennials!

Great for Small Spaces:

  • Columbines are one of the only flowers on this list that grows perfectly vertically. This means it is perfect for small spaces, urban gardeners, or in between other plants as a cross-pollinator.

THESE Could Harm Your Columbine

Garden Pests:

  • Deer loves Columbine perennial flowers. Make sure to plant this flower close to your house, in a raised garden bed, or in a fenced-in area of your yard or garden.

Additional Resources

Did you know that Columbine Flowers are one of the most popular types of native Iowa perennial flowers to plant in Iowa?

#9. Black-Eyed Susans

black eyed susan

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Popular Varieties: Black-Eyed Susan, Brown-Eyed Susan, Cutleaf Coneflower

Why Grow Black-Eyed Susans in Iowa?

Black Eyed Susan

Thrives in Droughts:

  • Black-Eyed Susan do extremely well in droughts and although flowers may not bloom as plentiful, they will still thrive.

Perfect for All Gardens

  • Black-Eyed Susans are the perfect flower that can be planted anywhere in your yard, garden, and even inside your house for all-year summer blooms. While they thrive in gardens they also do well in compacted soil or in mulched areas of your yard.

Attracts Pollinators:

  • If you want to attract butterflies, bees, and birds to your flowers and garden all summer long then grow black-eyed Susans! This is the perfect flower to attract pollinators not only in the summer but even in early fall.

THESE Could Harm Your Black-Eyed Susans


  • There aren’t many items that can harm or kill your black-eyed Susans. One of the few things that can harm your flower is weeds. Once weeds begin to take over your garden or yard they will overtake your flower, hindering it from growing and blooming.

Additional Resources

Learn more about black-eyed susans and other spring flowers that attract pollinators HERE.

#10. Coneflowers


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Popular Varieties: Purple, Yellow, Pale Purple

Why Grow Coneflowers in Iowa?


Perfect for All Summer Gardens:

  • Coneflower flowers are the perfect flower that can be planted anywhere in your yard, garden, and even inside your house.

Numerous Varieties:

  • There are almost 24 variants of Coneflower flowers. They come in many sizes and bloom in beautiful colors of pink, purple, white, yellow, etc. They are easy to grow and can be planted anywhere in the world making them a favorite of beginner flower gardeners.

THESE Could Harm Your Coneflowers


Garen pests won’t bother coneflowers, drought and rain won’t either, but insects will. Japanese beetles, potato whiteflies, aphids, and mites will not only harm but destroy your coneflowers.

Additional Resources

Learn How to Grow Coneflowers HERE

Common Growing Factors of Iowa’s Best Flowers


As a reminder, the below factors are common native Iowa perennial flowers:

  • Thrives in Heat & Drought
  • Thrives in Cold
  • Can Grow anywhere in your yard
  • Hardy against Pests & Insects
  • Requires Little Care & Water
  • Attracts Pollinators
  • Ground Covers
  • Great for Small Garden Space
  • Durable & Versatile

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