Flowers are categorized as annuals, biennials or perennials, depending upon the variety and local climate conditions. In order to flourish and thrive, flowers require water and sunlight, as well as fertilization and pruning. Adding nutrient-rich soil to their planting site also helps to ensure a successful establishment of the bulb, seed or direct transplant. Keeping these fundamental requirements in mind as you grow flowers will ensure healthy and beautiful blooms within the garden.
Roses (Rosa) are classic perennial garden flowers that are divided into 150 different species. Roses are identified by their fragrant flowers that come in popular colors such as red, pink and yellow. Blooming in spring to summer, the often-thorny stems of roses can be arching, erect or trailing. The flowers come in a wide range of shapes, including rounded, cupped, flat and urn-shaped. They grow best in full sun and fertile soil that is well-drained. Roses require an early spring or fall planting. Plant roses in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zones 4 to 10.
Tulips (Tulipa) are perennial bulbs that grow 6 to 24 inches tall in April and May. A garden staple, tulips are commonly found within perennial borders or lining front flowerbeds. The vessel-like or cup-shaped blooms of tulips come in many forms, including peony, double, single, fringed and lily. Blooming in red, pink, white and yellow, some tulips are striped, while others are flamed from the base, creating a swirl of colors. Tulips grow best in full or afternoon sun and well-drained, nutrient-laden soil. Plant in USDA zones 3 to 8.
Daffodils (Narcissus) emerge in late winter and early spring to light up a garden with their cheerful blooms. They make superb long-lasting fresh-cut flowers because of their sturdy, erect stems. Grown in colors from pale white to egg-yolk yellow, daffodils have 13 different forms. Some of the forms include trumpet, small- and large-cupped, double and split corona. In formal spring displays or grown in masses along a meadow or within a rock garden, daffodils create a showy display. Daffodils require full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. Plant in USDA zones 4 to 9.
The zinnia (Zinnia elegans) is a summer-blooming annual flower with a clumping growth rate and bright blooms. The flowers bloom in a wide range of forms, including double, semi-double and single. Grown in colors such as red, pink, crimson and yellow, the 2-inch blossoms sit atop long, erect stems to make stunning fresh-cut flowers. Growing 1 to 3 feet tall and wide, zinnia flowers are deer- and drought-tolerant, creating a hardy annual variety. They require full sun and well-drained, nutrient-rich soils to thrive. To promote a long flowering season, remove old zinnia blooms as soon as they are noticeably dead. Hardy in all USDA zones.
The petunia (Petunia x hybrida) is an annual flower that grows in a wide range of colors, including red, purple, yellow and white. Growing 6 to 18 inches tall and 12 to 14 inches wide, the mass of blooms emerges in spring to last into summer. The petunia has a moderate drought tolerance and mounding shape and works well tucked into a hanging basket or container. Petunias require full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. Hardy in all USDA zones.