Discover the key things that you need to know about flowering plants, providing you with the knowledge needed to grow plenty of spectacular blooms in your garden and other outdoor spaces.
What are flowering plants?
Flowering plants, also known as angiosperms, Magnoliophyta or Angiospermae, are the most varied group of land plants. There are over 416 families, around 13,164 known genera and 295,383 known species. All angiosperms are seed-producing plants.
Which flowering plants can grow in the shade?
There are a number of shade-tolerant flowers in existence, which is great news for those who only have shady outdoor and indoor spaces to work with. Many are actually under the impression that only foliage gardens are obtainable in shady yards, back gardens and dark rooms. This isn’t true however.
So which flowers grow well in the shade? Perennials are the easiest option and include the likes of Bee Balm, Astilbe, Bell Flowers, Bleeding Heart, Forget-Me-Nots, Violets, Hellebore, Hydrangeas, Lily-of-the-Valley, Primroses, Foxglove and Siberian Iris, to name just a few.
There are also a few annuals that are able to tolerate the shade. They may not come back year after year, but when they are in bloom, they add an instant injection of colour to the garden and home. In fact, annual flowers that are able to grow in the shade will fill even the darkest corners with plenty of colour.
The best annuals to opt for include Larkspur, Lobelia, Alyssum, Begonia, Baby Blue Eyes, Calendula, Cleome, Monkey Flower, Snapdragon, Wishbone Flower, Pansy, Nicotiana and Impatiens.
Which flowering plants prefer the sunlight?
Those who wish to learn how to grow outdoor flowering plants firstly need to learn more about the plants that are able to thrive in the locations they have to offer. For example, if you have an extremely sunny garden, you’ll need to pick flowers that are able to grow in the sunlight.
These include Petunia flowers, Salvia, Moss Rose, Ageratum, Sunflowers, Zinnia, Marigolds, Geranium, Shasty Daisy, Hibiscus, and Dianthus. Many of these flowers can be grown in containers or pots and most are low maintenance. To get the most from your flowering plants, it’s important to match their growing needs to that of your area.
How to grow indoor flowering plants
Whether you live in a house or apartment that boasts little outdoor space, or simply wish to add a splash of color to the home or office environment, indoor flowering plants are a great idea.
Provided that you care for them in the correct manner, they’ll flourish adding brightness and fragrance to your interior space. Below we’ve listed a few of our favourites, along with tips on how to grow them:
African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha): These species are said to be one of the easiest flowering houseplants to grow. They bloom year-round and require little maintenance.
There are hundreds of varieties and forms to choose from, including some with ruffled or white-edged blooms and others with variegated foliage. For best results, place them in a warm environment, complete with filtered sunlight, and keep the soil moist.
Coldwater can cause unsightly brown spots, so it’s therefore important to avoid getting water on the fuzzy leaves.
Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis): This is an ideal plant for those who wish to add a touch of the tropics to their home. They boast impressive blooms, which measure up to eight inches in diameter, and sit on a shrubby upright plant that you can train to grow as a tree.
These plants flower freely from late spring to fall and in some cases throughout the winter months. For best results and to encourage optimal growth, keep the soil consistently moist and give the plant as much indoor light as possible.
Flowering Maple (Abutilon x hybridum): With their crepe-paper-like blooms, these plants are extremely delicate in style. They come in shades of pink, red, orange and yellow, and the flowers resemble festive lanterns. Many varieties boast splotched or variegated foliage and can be grown in a hanging basket or upright as a tree.
It’s important to prune this plant every now and again and ensure even watering. Too little water can cause the flowers to drop.
Jasmine (Jasminum spp.): There are many variants of jasmine, including the likes of Many-flowered jasmine (J. polyanthum), and Arabian jasmine (J. sambac). These are two of the easiest jasmine plants to grow. All they require to thrive is plenty of light and moisture.
When in bloom, they showcase fragrant pink and white flowers, which sit on vining plants.
In fact, they’re some of the most fragrant flowering houseplants in existence. To ensure they grow to their full potential, allow them to sit in an area that offers bright to intense light, and a temperature of 60-75 degrees. They grow to around four feet tall and six feet wide.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii): This popular indoor flowering plant is easy-to-care-for and easy to grow. It’s able to tolerate low light and low humidity, which makes it ideal for indoor use. Flowers come in the shape of a showy spoon-shaped white spathes in a creamy hue.
They tend to bloom heaviest in the months of summer, but many varieties flower throughout the year. However, the glossy tropical leaves are attractive even when the plant has no flowers to show.
Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum): These flowers bloom in an array of hues including pink, red, lavender and white, and last for around two months. For best results, place them in a location that gets medium to bright light. They can also be grown as a foliage plant with less light.
Autumn and winter flowering plants for UK gardens
When it comes to deciding which are the best autumn and winter flowering plants for UK gardens, there are a number of options to choose from, including:
Spring and summer flowering plants
- Cyclamen hederifolium
- Gladiolus murielae and;
The best spring flowering plants and the best summer flowering plants for UK gardens include:
- Globe Amaranth
- Rose of Sharon
- Marigold (Tagetes)
- Purple coneflower
Now that you know more about flowering plants, you can start to think about introducing them to both your home and garden.
Sources: gardeningknowhow.com, bhg.com