How to Choose Flowers

Overview

Growing flowers not only adds natural beauty to your surroundings but is very rewarding too. Watching the plants slowly mature and then blossom into beautiful flowers is a satisfying experience. Improve the overall look and increase the value of your land with flowers. Knowing which kinds of flowers to select for your specific location and conditions is important as there are many things to consider before you start planting any flowers.

Step 1

Check the USDA plant hardiness zone map to learn what zone you live in. Remember your plant hardiness zone and only buy flowers for your exact zone.

Step 2

Understand the difference between perennial and annual flowers. Decide which type you want to grow or if you want a combination of both types throughout your garden or landscaping.

Step 3

Choose perennias if you would like to have the same flowers appear each year. Pick perennials if you want to spend less money on buying flowers and devote more time to dividing flowers and protecting the plants in cold temperatures.

Step 4

Select annual flowers if you want to have different flower gardens each year. Choosing annuals means you will spend money each season on flowers, never have to take time to divide flowers and will not have to provide protection over winter.

Step 5

Pick flowers for each specific location in your yard or garden depending on how much sun is provided. Choose only shade-loving plants for shady areas, and full sun plants for sunny sites. Trying to grow a flower in the wrong location can result in disappointment.

Step 6

Know the soil requirements of your flowers ahead of time. Choose flowers that will work best in your specific soil conditions or alter the soil to match these specifications. For example, grow cactus in sandy soil and ferns in moist soil conditions.

Step 7

Contact your local Extension or horticultural office to test your soil's pH level, if the flowers you want call for a precise level. Learn what is needed to change this level to grow these flowers in it. Cultivate this deep into the soil prior to planting your flowers.

Step 8

Understand the pruning needs or growing habits--such as climbing, top-heavy or very tall types--of the flowers. Choose flowers that you can readily prune or cut as needed and provide other necessary growing conditions like trellises or stakes.

Step 9

Decide what else you would like from your garden, whether an abundance of flowers you can cut and enjoy indoors or butterflies and hummingbirds visiting your garden. Choose flowers that match these requirements.

References

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
  • National Gardening Association: Annuals and Perennials

Who Can Help

  • Purdue University Cooperative Extension: Garden Publications
  • Cooperative Extension System: Find Your Local Office
  • USA Gardener: List of Flowers
Keywords: Choose flowers, Growing flowers, How to pick flowers to grow

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published online at the Travel Channel and Intel.