12 Blooming Plants That Make a Statement

These stunners will bring all the drama to your landscape or patio.

Pink Dahlias on fence
PHOTO: JENA ARDELL / GETTY IMAGES

Focal points in your landscape or garden add visual order by telling the eye where to look first. You can create them with hardscaping, like a bench or statue, or with a flowering plant that’s so big, colorful, or surprising that it’s impossible to ignore. As you assemble (and reassemble!) your landscape’s casts of characters, consider these showstoppers.

Angel’s Trumpets (Brugmansia)

Angel's Trumpet flowers
NTDANAI / GETTY IMAGES

Grown as a woody shrub or tree, Brugmansia can reach the top of a house in warm climates and will thrive in pots in cold ones, where it will happily overwinter in a garage or basement, says Dave Whitinger, the executive director of the National Gardening Association. Its cone-shaped flowers—as big as 24 inches long, depending on the cultivar—dangle downward like trumpets from the heavens.

“If you have a Brugmansia on your patio where it gets plenty of sunlight during the day, at night you can sit outside, and it just it fills the air with the sweetest fragrance,” says Whitinger. Enthusiasts buy and sell cuttings online, but be aware that it’s considered one of the most toxic ornamental shrubs.

  • Zones: 9 to 11 (and as an annual in colder zones)
  • Size: 6 to 35 feet tall x 3 to 10 feet wide
  • Growing conditions: full sun (with afternoon shade in very hot regions); moist, well-draining soil

Panicle Hydrangea

panicle hydrangea bush
GETTY IMAGES

Just about any hydrangea variety will add drama to your yard, but there’s something about Hydrangea paniculata. This flowering plant grows massive cone-shaped flowers that bloom on new wood and put on quite the color show: Flower heads emerge as white or green in mid-summer, fading to gentle pink or red as the season draws to a close.

  • Zones: 3 to 9
  • Size: up to 10 feet tall x 10 feet wide
  • Growing conditions: full sun or part shade; well-drained soil

Balloon Flower “Astra Blue”

Purple balloon flower in garden
KATRIN RAY SHUMAKOV / GETTY IMAGES

Buds on this perennial inflate like living balloons, opening into large bell-shaped flowers from early through late summer. In addition to Astra Blue’s super-cool periwinkle hue, Platycodon grandifloras comes in pink and white. 

  • Zones: 4 to 9
  • Size: 8 to 24 inches tall x 8 to 18 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: part sun, sun; rich, loamy, well-draining soil
04
of 12

Dahlia

dahlias
JACKY PARKER PHOTOGRAPHY / GETTY IMAGES

This bulb perennial’s massive flowers bloom from mid- to late summer. They’re striking in cut arrangements, where they can hold their own for nearly a week. Bloom colors range from sumptuous tangerine and electric purple to the prettiest pale pinks. Want even more drama? Dinner plate dahlias have enormous blooms that can measure 10 inches across.

  • Zones: 8 to 10
  • Size: 12 to 36 inches tall x 12 to 24 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: full to partial sun (with afternoon shade in very hot regions); fertile, moist, well-draining soil

Daylily

strawberry candy daylily flowers
MINZAR / GETTY IMAGES

It’s time to ditch the term “ditch lily,” Whitinger says. Decades of dedicated breeding have produced nearly 100,000 different varieties of Hemerocallis. Newer tetraploid selections with 44 chromosomes—twice the normal number—have bigger flowers and bigger, darker green leaves, “so you get a much bolder statement in the garden,” says Whitinger. Among his favorites: Strawberry Candy, which combines yellow-throated blooms with “the loveliest pink you’ve ever seen, ” and Webster’s Pink Wonder, which has big 13-inch blooms with spidery petals and a gorgeous chartreuse center.

  • Zones: 3 to 10
  • Size: 6 to 60 inches tall x 12 to 48 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: full to part sun; rich, well-draining soil
06
of 12

Globe Thistle “Blue Glow”

Blue Glow Globe Thistle
JENNIFER SANERKIN / GETTY IMAGES

Glowy, ball-shaped Echinops blooms add a playful touch to your garden, “sort of dancing around above everything else,” Whitinger says. These tough little blooms hold their own in arrangements, too.

  • Zones: 3 to 10
  • Size: 12 to 36 inches tall x 12 to 24 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: sun; well-draining soil
07
of 12

Hibiscus “Disco Belle Pink”

Hibiscus Disco Belle Pink
MAGICFLUTE002 / GETTY IMAGES

This tropical perennial produces big, pink blooms with stunning red eyes from July to September. “The flowers are humongous,” says Dawn Fradkin, a horticulturist with Colorado State University Extension in Arapahoe County, where intense sunlight and clay soils can be a challenge for gardeners. “They’re just striking for our area and our environment.”

  • Zones: 4 to 9
  • Size: 24 to 30 inches tall 18 to 24 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: full sun; rich, moist soil
08
of 12

Ornamental Tobacco

Ornamental Tobacco
TOM MEAKER / GETTY IMAGES

Also known as woodland tobacco, Nicotiana sylvestris is in the same genus as the tobacco cultivated for smoking, but it doesn’t contain nicotine and has a floral scent that’s more like jasmine. Southern gardeners love its pendant clusters of trumpet-shaped white flowers, which resemble shooting stars and bloom from early through mid-fall.

  • Zones: 10 to 11
  • Size: 36 to 60 inches tall x 12 to 24 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: full sun to part shade; rich, moist, well-draining soil
09
of 12

Red Feathers

Red Feathers
BOGGY22 / GETTY IMAGES

A wildflower that thrives even in dry conditions, Echium amoenum produces feathery 12- to 15-inch flower spikes “in a beautiful raspberry-crimson color,” Fradkin says. Pinch off spent blossoms to keep it blooming, but hold off late in the growing season to encourage reseeding.

  • Zones: 3 to 9
  • Size: 12 to 16 inches tall x 6 to 10 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: full sun to part shade; evenly moist to dry, well-draining sandy loam
10
of 12

Red Yucca

Hesperaloe parviflora (red yucca)
TIMOTHY HEARSUM / GETTY IMAGES

Hesperaloe parviflora (also known as false yucca and hummingbird yucca) is actually a member of the century plant, or agave Americana, family. Its bright red tubular flowers keep on blooming even in summer’s hottest months, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.

  • Zones: 5 to 10
  • Size: 36 to 60 inches tall x 48 to 72 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: full sun; dry, sandy soil with excellent drainage
11
of 12

Texas Bluebonnet “Alamo Fire”

Bluebonnet flowers
GEORGE ROSE / GETTY IMAGES

Plant this fragrant, winter-hardy annual en masse to cut a dramatic swath through your garden. It reseeds vigorously, so you can look forward to new blooms every spring. If you’re in search of cool hues, check out the Lady Bird Johnson Royal Blue bluebonnet, a violet-blue overachiever named after the former first lady who advocated for the spread of wildflowers along Texas roadways.

  • Zones: 4 to 8
  • Size: 12 to 24 inches tall x 12 to 24 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: full sun; dry, fast-draining soil
12
of 12

True Lily

True Lily flowers
LUDMILA KAPUSTKINA / GETTY IMAGES

Part of the genus Lilium, true lilies produce striking flowers in a huge range of colors. Their long vase life and dramatic blooms—think bright spots, ruffled petals, and elegant curves—have made them some of the most popular cut flowers in the world.

  • Zones: 4 to 8
  • Size: 12 to 36 inches tall x 1 to 12 inches wide
  • Growing conditions: full sun or part shade; well-drained soil

Related Posts

10 Must-See Wildflowers in Full Bloom: A Visual Feast

Texas Iпdiaп Paiпtbгush (Castilleja iпdivisa) The Texas Iпdiaп Paiпtbгush is a captivatiпg wildfloweг kпowп foг its stгikiпg гed bгacts that gгace the Texas laпdscape each spгiпg. These blooms ofteп appeaг aloпgside blueboппets, cгeatiпg a stuппiпg coloг …

Top Flowers to Create Stunning Container Gardens

Aпgeloпias: Bloomiпg iп shades of blue, puгple, piпk, aпd white, aпgeloпias pгoduce deпse floweг spikes that pгovide vibгaпt coloг thгoughout the summeг. They typically гeach heights of 18 to 24 iпches aпd thгive iп full suп to light shade. Begoпias: …

How about this: 10 Most Beautiful Trees with Pink Blossoms to Transform Your Landscape

Floweгiпg Almoпd Tгee (Pгuпus tгiloba ‘Multiplex’) The Pгuпus geпus compгises maпy tгee vaгieties, some pгized foг theiг edible fгuits aпd otheгs foг theiг oгпameпtal beauty. The floweгiпg almoпd tгee (Pгuпus tгiloba ‘Multiplex’) staпds out with its vibгaпt …

How about this: 12 Stunning Orange Flowers to Add Vibrant Color and Depth to Your Garden

Black-eyed Susaп (гudbeckia hiгta) If you’гe aimiпg to attгact key polliпatoгs to youг gaгdeп, coпsideг gгowiпg гudbeckia, a пative wildfloweг that dгaws iп bees, butteгflies, aпd otheг beпeficial iпsects. These floweгs bloom fгom Juпe to August. Chгysaпthemum …

Nature’s Best: 7 Plants and Flowers Thriving in the Rocky Mountains

Lupiпus x ‘Beefeateг’ Like the illustгious Beefeateг giп, this botaпical specimeп is utteгly eпchaпtiпg. Howeveг, its пomeпclatuгe pays homage to the icoпic seпtiпels of the Toweг of Loпdoп. Accoгdiпg to the hoгticultuгal coппoisseuгs at CSU, “The pгofusioп …

Blossoming Beauties: 10 Spring Flowers to Brighten Your Outdoor Space

Pгimгose Adoгпed with delicate yellow petals aпd cгisp, cгiпkled foliage, the eпchaпtiпg pгimгose, a пative of Bгitaiп, is a cheгished haгbiпgeг of spгiпg. Oveг time, pгimгoses foгm clumps that caп be divided aпd pгopagated thгoughout the gaгdeп foг a …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *