Flower Bed Ideas: Guide to Decorative Plants

Decorative plants can be a delight at any time of the year and are suitable for many positions in the flower garden.

English: Anthurium scherzerianum inflorescence...

Image via Wikipedia


They can look stunning in your flower beds, flower borders, and containers such as hanging baskets, pots, urns and window boxes to name but a few.

I have compiled a list below, which should be used as a quick guide to such decorative plants, highlighting their features, their approximate time of display and the conditions needed to grow them successfully. I am sure you will have fantastic displays of beautiful colour in your garden with whatever plants you choose from this list.

 

Name

Decorative Features

Time of Display

(Approximate)

Conditions Necessary

Abutilon

Evergreen shrubs with attractive funnel-shaped flowers

All seasons, but best in spring and summer

Cool greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory

Achimenes

Pink, purple, scarlet and white flowers. Used as pot plant or for hanging baskets

Summer and autumn

Cool greenhouse

Allamanda

Evergreen climber with trumpet flowers in different shades of yellow

Summer from June onwards

Warm greenhouse

Annuals

Many, in a wide variety of forms and colours

April to July or August

Cool or unheated greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory

Anthurium

Best known ones have striking spathes in white, pink, red and orange. Others have decorative foliage

All seasons, but best in spring and summer

Warm greenhouse

Aphelandra

Bright yellow bracts and dark green, white-veined leaves

Mainly summer and autumn

Warm greenhouse

Arum

Pure white or yellow spathes

Spring and early summer

Warm greenhouse

Asparagus

Handsome foliage plants

All seasons

Cool greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory

Azalea

Flowers in red, pink or white, borne profusely

Winter and early spring

Cool greenhouse

Begonia

Various kinds with decorative flowers and foliage

All seasons

Cool or warm greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory

Beloperone

Salmon-red bracts and white flowers

All seasons

Cool greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory if heated

Bromeliads

A group of plants with striking foliage, some with handsome flowers

All seasons

Warm greenhouse

Browallia

Blue or white flowers

Early summer until autumn

Cool greenhouse

Brunfelsia

Evergreen flowering shrub with lavender-purple flowers

Late winter and spring

Cool greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory

Bulbs

Many lovely and familiar bulbous flowers

Winter and spring

Cool greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory

Cacti and Succulents

A very wide range of plants with decorative flowers and/or interesting shapes

All seasons

Cool greenhouse

Calceolaria

Bright, gay, curiously pouched flowers

Spring and early summer

Cool greenhouse

Camellia

Superb evergreen flowering shrubs with blooms ranging in colour from red to pink and white

Late winter and spring

Cool greenhouse

Campanula

The delightful Bell Flower with white or blue flowers, one kind trailing the other making a plant 4 ft. tall

Spring and summer

Cool greenhouse

Carnation

Perpetual-flowering kind in wide range of beautiful colours

All seasons, but best in spring and early summer

Cool greenhouse

Chlorophytum

Handsome green-and-cream striped foliage

All seasons

Cool greenhouse

Chrysanthemum

Flowers in many colours

Autumn and early winter

Cool greenhouse

Cineraria

Massed flower heads in gay colours

Late winter and early spring Cool greenhouse

Clivia

Lily-like flowers in yellow, red or orange

March to June

Warm greenhouse

Codiaeum

Colourful foliage

All seasons

Warm greenhouse

Coleus

Beautiful, multi-coloured foliage

All seasons

Warm greenhouse in winter, sun lounge or conservatory in summer

Columnea

Red and yellow flowers

Winter

Warm greenhouse

Cyclamen

Superb pot plants with pink, red, white, violet and crimson flowers, including some with frilled petals

Autumn until spring

Warm greenhouse

Dieflenbachia

Attractive large-leaved foliage plant. Leaves spotted with white

All seasons

Warm greenhouse

Dizygotheca

Decorative foliage plants

All seasons

Warm greenhouse

Dracaena

Handsome, colourful foliage

All seasons

Warm greenhouse

Ferns

Foliage effects

All seasons

Cool or warm greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory

Ficus

Bold, attractive foliage

All seasons

Warm greenhouse

Freesia

Beautiful flowers in delightful soft colourings

Winter

Cool greenhouse

Fuchsia

Handsome shrubs for pots or hanging baskets with flowers of purple, pink, red and white colouring

Spring and summer

Cool greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory

Gardenia

Evergreen shrub with heavily fragrant white flowers

Spring, summer and autumn

Warm greenhouse

Gloriosa

Climbing plant. Very distinctive crimson or orange and red flowers with narrow, wavy, recurved petals

Summer

Warm greenhouse

Gloxinia

Velvet-like blooms in red, purple, rose and white. Handsome foliage

Summer

Cool greenhouse

Grevillea

Attractive foliage plants

All seasons

Cool greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory

Hedera

Ornamental foliage

All seasons

Cool greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory

Hippeastrtun

Huge trumpet flowers in scarlet, crimson, pink and white

Late winter and spring

Cool or warm greenhouse

Hoya

Includes a climbing species and one of bushy habit suitable for hanging baskets or for growing in pots. Attractive flowers

Mainly summer and autumn

Warm greenhouse

Hydrangea

Splendid pot plants with large flower heads in pink, red, white or blue

Spring and summer

Cool greenhouse

Impatiens

The popular Busy Lizzie with colourful flowers of various shades

Summer, continuing into autumn and winter

Cool greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory

Ipomoea

The well-known climbing Morning Glory. A splendid pot plant with flowers in blue, white or dark red

Summer

Cool greenhouse

Jasminum

The popular species with white or bright yellow flowers

Winter and spring

Cool greenhouse

Lachenalia

Beautiful South African plants with many species and varieties in a good range of colours

February to May

Cool greenhouse

Lapageria

Evergreen shrub with pink, bell-shaped flowers. There is also a white variety

Summer and autumn

Cool greenhouse

Lily

Various kinds with a good colour range

Spring, summer and early autumn

Cool or unheated greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory

Maranta

Attractive plants with beautifully marked leaves

All seasons

Warm greenhouse

Nerine

Umbels of distinctive flowers in colours which include pink, salmon, orange, red or white

August until autumn

Cool greenhouse

Nerium

Evergreen shrubs with terminal clusters of flowers in colours from white to deep pink

June to October

Cool greenhouse

Orchids

Wide range of species and varieties with beautiful flowers

Winter, spring and summer

Cool or warm greenhouse, depending on type grown

Pelargonium

Three types grown for their flowers, the other for its fragrant foliage

Spring and summer. Foliage type all seasons

Cool or warm greenhouses, sun lounge or conservatory

Peperomia

Handsome foliage, often variegated

All seasons

Warm greenhouse

Plumbago

Shrub with pale blue flowers

Summer

Cool greenhouse, sun lounge or conservatory

Poinsettia

Showy bracts in scarlet, pink and white

All seasons, but especially Christmas

Warm greenhouse

Primula

Various kinds with attractive flowers in wide colour range

Winter, spring and early summer

Cool greenhouse

Saintpaulia

The well-known African Violet with flowers in such colours as purple, violet-blue, pink or white

All seasons

Warm greenhouse

Sansevieria

Distinctive sword-like leaves

All seasons

Cool or warm greenhouse

Schizanthus

Lovely half-hardy annual with flowers in such colours as red, pink, crimson, mauve or purple

Spring and summer

Cool greenhouse

Smithiantha

Tubular flowers in red, orange, yellow and apricot shades. Handsome foliage

July to December

Warm greenhouse

Solanum

Bright red berries

October to February

Cool greenhouse

Stephanotis

Evergreen twining shrub with fragrant pure white flowers

May to July, sometimes also winter

Warm greenhouse

Stock

Flowers in such colours as rose, pink, violet, salmon and white

Late winter and early spring

Cool greenhouse

Strelitzia

The spectacular Bird of Paradise Flower with brilliant orange and purple colouring

Spring

Warm greenhouse or well heated sun lounge

Streptocarpus

Attractive greenhouse perennials with trumpet flowers in purple, blue, red, pink and white

Mid-summer until autumn

Warm greenhouse

Streptosolen

Evergreen climbing shrub with orange flowers

June to September

Cool greenhouse

Tibouchina

Beautiful shrub with rich purple flowers

Summer

Warm greenhouse

Tradescantia

Attractive variegated foliage

All seasons

Cool greenhouse

29. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Container Gardening, Cottage Gardens, Courtyard Gardens, Flower Beds/Borders, Flower Gardens, Hanging Baskets, Natural Gardens, Plants & Trees | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Flower Bed Ideas: Guide to Decorative Plants

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