This popular perennial is probably best known by its botanical name, Sedum cauticola, but its other common name, stonecrop, hints at just how easy the plant is to grow. Stonecrop is an ideal choice for borders and rock gardens because it needs very little soil or water and easily withstands both drought conditions and outright neglect [sources: Dayton Nurseries; Midwest Gardening]. Its thick, succulent leaves come in a variety of colors from gold to silvery green to dark burgundy to nearly black, while the flowers span a wide range of dusty pinks and deep reds. Stonecrop blooms in late summer and into fall, and plants can be pinched back or divided to maintain a compact shape. Stonecrop is resistant to deer and other pests, and it does well in full sun to light shade in hardiness zones three through eight. It can withstand just about anything except overwatering or excessive shade, making it a great choice for gardeners throughout the Midwest.
For another Midwest favorite that even the brownest thumb can grow with ease, be sure to check out the versatile plant on the next page.