Perennials are plants that continue to grow year after year. That means that if you live in the Midwest, with its cold, wet winters, you'll need to choose hardy perennials that can deal with low temperatures and grow back in the spring. They may take a few years to settle into your garden, but once established, perennials need little work to add life and color to your yard.
Leading the pack of perennials that are sure to do well in any part of the Midwest are coneflowers. Coneflowers are native to the Midwest, so they're a sure bet for this part of the U.S. Their Latin name is Echinacea Purpurpea (yes, that's the same plant whose roots are made into natural immunity-boosting medicines), which means purple hedgehog. The purple part is the daisy-like petals; the hedgehog is the spiky "cone" in the middle of the flower. They prefer sunny conditions and attract butterflies and birds.
Peonies are colorful and hardy -- single plants have been known to grow for 100 years. They have a history of at least 2,000 years as a medicinal as well as a beautiful plant. They thrive in well-drained, sunny conditions, and are usually disease and pest free [source: Koehne]. You might associate the hibiscus with Hawaii, but there are varieties that will bring a tropical glow even to the American Midwest. The large white, red or pink flowers bloom through the summer and into the fall. During the winter the plant dies back, but it will spring back to life as the weather warms.
There are more than 500 types of hostas available, and they are prized for both their foliage and their flowers. They do well when kept out of the full sun, brightening even the shady corners of your yard. Finally, individual daylily flowers may only last a day, but a well-established plant will bloom almost constantly from May to October in the Midwest. Daylilies are resilient and don't need much care. They prefer at least half a day of sunlight and well-drained soil.