Plants Perfect for the
Upper Midwest Region

If you’re a gardener in the upper Midwest region of the country (Zones 2-5), you need plants that can withstand the harsh cold of winter and the intense heat of summer. Luckily there are dozens of options in the First Editions® collection that can withstand cold and heat while bringing beauty and interest to your landscape.

Check out our Rock Star Plants for Cool Climates blog as well for shrubs and trees that are guaranteed to make a splash in your space.

Panicle Hydrangeas

There is nothing quite like the stunning impact a panicle hydrangea brings to the landscape. In the First Editions® collection, there are multiple panicle hydrangeas of various sizes, shapes, and colors to fit your every need. Hardy from Zones 3-8, these hydrangeas will bring multi-season interest, structure, and beauty to your space. Check out each hydrangeas individual plant page for more information.


The four arborvitaes in the First Editions® collection offer varied size, shape, and color options to play with in your space. Wherever you need structure, privacy, or multi-season interest, these four evergreens have got your back. To learn more, check out our Arborvitae 101 blog that covers plant details, landscape inspiration, and care tips.


Barberry offer a clean look to the landscape thanks to its dense habit. The variety of colors and sizes in the First Editions® barberry collection ensure that your garden will be full of interest and color thanks to the vibrancy of the foliage. Head to each individual plant page to learn more.


Spirea are low-maintenance plants that offer great color and structure to any space. Their compact size and tolerance of full sun allows for a lot of freedom in your landscape design. As an added bonus, any of the spirea in the First Editions® collection are an excellent choice for tolerating salty soil. Check out each individual plant page to learn more.


Lilacs are a beautiful staple in any colder climate landscape thanks to their classic fragrance, gorgeous color, and hardiness. These four lilacs offer a variety of size, color, and shape so you can best match your needs in the garden. Check out each individual plant page for more information about each lilac.


Ninebarks are amazing structural shrubs to create informal hedges, foundation plantings, and focal points. The stunning colors and multiple size options offer a range of possibilities when designing your space. Their ability to be planted in full sun and great cold hardiness makes ninebark an essential for cold climate gardeners. Head to each individual plant page to learn more.


Roses are such a gorgeous addition to any space with their stunning color and beautiful blooms. With both shrub roses and a climbing rose option in the First Editions® collection, gardeners in the upper Midwest are sure to find a match for their landscaping needs.

Tiger Eyes® Cutleaf Sumac

Tiger Eyes® is a beautiful golden-leafed form of cutleaf staghorn sumac. New growth is a lively chartreuse green that quickly changes to yellow with both colors contrasting nicely with the rosy-pink leaf stems. As magnificent as the summer colors are, the dramatic effect of yellow, orange, and intense scarlet in autumn is unparalleled. Tiger Eyes® tolerates a wide range of soils and urban conditions, making it the perfect focal point or mass planting across landscapes. Check out our blog to learn more about Tiger Eyes®.

Iceberg Alley® Sageleaf Willow

The silver and powdery foliage on Iceberg Alley® give unique contrast and interest to any garden or landscape, especially when paired with other plants. Plus, in the spring it blooms with red stamins that are great for our pollinator friends. Iceberg Alley® is a Rock Star for many reasons, but it’s cold hardiness and tolerance of moist soil make it an undeniable choice for cold climates and rain gardens! Learn more from our blog on Iceberg Alley®.

Fiber Optics® Buttonbush

Fiber Optics® Buttonbush is a more compact variety of this North American native shrub. This shrub is quite happy in moist conditions, tolerating flooding and wet spring soil. It’s an ideal choice for low areas in the landscape that stay moist, but also does well in more drought prone areas. Fiber Optics® has exceptional wildlife benefits including nectar-filled flowers and a seed head that is eaten by waterfowl.

You can shop the First Editions® collection online during our shipping season and also use our Find a Retailer tool to locate First Editions® shrubs at garden centers near you. Remember to tag us on social @firsteditionsshrubstrees if you plant one of these shrubs and sign up for our newsletter for monthly inspiration, tips, and more delivered right to your inbox.