12 Blooming Plants That Make a Statement

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

Pink Dahlias on fence

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

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

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

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
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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


strawberry candy daylily flowers

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
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Globe Thistle “Blue Glow”

Blue Glow Globe Thistle

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
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Hibiscus “Disco Belle Pink”

Hibiscus Disco Belle Pink

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
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Ornamental Tobacco

Ornamental Tobacco

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
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Red Feathers

Red Feathers

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
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Red Yucca

Hesperaloe parviflora (red yucca)

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
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Texas Bluebonnet “Alamo Fire”

Bluebonnet flowers

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
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True Lily

True Lily flowers

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

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