(Editor’s note: What are the most popular flowers in the U.S. garden? We polled 30,000 U.S. gardeners and the results stunned me! The top flower was SO dominant we have a separate story about it! But here are the Top 5, with insights by horticulturist Nancy Wallace! Take it away, Nancy!)
Popular Flowers: #5 – Iris
(2% of the votes in our poll)
There are so many to choose from, and I love them all. There are irises for sun or shade and boggy soils, so there’s something for everyone.
Iris variegata has green and white striped leaves, prefers a shaded area, and will tolerate wet feet. For boggy, sunny soil conditions, consider Iris ensata or the Louisiana Swamp Iris.
Both the Bearded Iris and the Siberian Iris bloom at the same time as herbaceous Peonies (April-May), so they make perfect companions in a perennial border. There are many fine mail-order sources for irises.
Popular Flowers: #4 – Tulip
(3% of the votes)
Is there anyone who isn’t addicted to these bulbs? I use well over a thousand each fall in my clients’ container gardens. Here in Zone 7B I rely on the Single Early and the Double Early Tulips for best performance. (Tulips blooming much later here in Georgia may “fall flat” if summer temperatures arrive too early.)
Use tulips in container gardens, mass plant one variety in multiple, identical flowerpots, use in flower beds, and as cut flowers in spring.
Popular Flowers: #3 – Lilac
(4% of the votes)
The best Lilac here in Zone 7B, in my experience, is the Syringa patula ‘Miss Kim’. It grows into a medium-large shrub (5-7′ tall) and produces lovely, fragrant lavender flowers in May. Promptly remove the flower heads after bloom, to increase flower production the following year. Good burgundy leaf color in fall.
Popular Flowers: #2 – Zinnia
(7% of the votes)
With scorching colors like these, it’s no wonder everyone loves zinnias. One of my two favorite zinnias is the Profusion Series (Cherry, Fire, and Apricot) which I use consistently since they bloom into November if dead-headed.
My other favorite? The California Giants (they grow 3-4′ tall), which I use as “vertical accents” in butterfly gardens and wildlife habitats.
Popular Flowers: #1 – Roses
(32% of the votes — Roses were so loved, we have a story on Nancy’s favorite rose types.)
Roses are way ahead of the pack, and for good reason. There is a rose for virtually any climate and horticultural condition you can think of, except perhaps, deep shade. When I use roses in the landscape for my clients, they have to be tough enough to handle severe humidity and soaring summer temperatures here in Georgia, Zone 7B.
One of my favorite, no-fuss roses is ‘Betty Boop’ – Part of a modern group of roses called Floribunda (meaning “many-flowering), Betty Boop was a 1999 All-America Rose Selections (AARS) winner. It’s a medium-size shrub, re-bloomer, with stunning color combinations: reddish orange to yellow.
(Nancy LOVES roses, so we have a separate story on them. Check out Nancy’s favorite rose types.)