There are approximately 391,000 different plant species grown in the wild and in the backyards of avid gardeners like yourself. To make matters even more confusing, 2,000 more are discovered each year. It’s impossible to weed through all of these varieties to find your favorite, so that’s why we’ve narrowed down the list for you. We’ve gathered up 50 of the best plants for your backyard garden. Some varieties produce beautiful flowers, while others provide elegant evergreen foliage. Others still produce fruits, vegetables, and herbs you can harvest and enjoy in the kitchen.
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50 Amazing Types Of Plants For Your Garden
Roses typically have soft petals and thorny stems with a beautiful scent. In almost every color under the rainbow, roses come in a multitude of varieties, including climbing roses, groundcover roses, and miniature roses.
Tulips are an iconic flowering spring bulb and have been cultivated to produce just about every color except for true blue. There are thousands of different types of tulips grouped into 15 classifications based on flower shape, height, and time of bloom.
Lilies feature large petals in various shades of white, yellow, orange, red, purple, and pink, and they can even have freckles. Interestingly, they can grow from both a bulb and a seed and can thrive without much human intervention.
Begonias come in all shapes and sizes, from small houseplants to large bushes ideal for landscaping. They typically feature green or bronze leaves with white, pink, or red flowers, but can also come in various shapes of yellows, reds, and oranges.
Hibiscus plants are typically grown in tropical climates or indoors, and hardy hibiscus plants make for gorgeous blooms in the garden. Featuring blooms as big as a dinner plate, tropical hibiscus comes in salmon, peach, orange or yellow, while hardy plants are available in red, pink, or white.
Peony plants offer fluffy and fragrant flowers in a wide range of pink, red, orange, yellow, and white. They’re quite a hardy plant with bushes that can live over a century and can reach up to seven feet tall and five feet wide.
Orchids feature beautiful waxy blooms in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and colors. Due to the fact that they do not grow in dirt, they can seem difficult to care for. However, it’s actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it.
Hydrangeas are one of the most beautiful landscaping bushes. In the spring, the plants are completely covered with globs of flowers in striking colors, from pink to blue (including all shades of purple) as well as green and white.
Rhododendrons feature bell-shaped flowers that bloom from spring until fall, in hues of red, pink, purple, and yellow. They are similar to azaleas, but they’re evergreen and a bit fussier in regard to their growing conditions.
Pansies are vigorous flowers with petals that appear to form a heart-shaped face in the center in bright colors. They tend to prefer cooler temperatures and bloom best in full sun to partial shade.
Petunias are one of the most popular flowering annuals. They bloom from spring until frost and produce a lovely fragrance. Not only that, but they are extremely easy to care for whether grown in the ground or in containers.
Gardenias are beautiful subtropical flowers that feature waxy, creamy white flowers and thick rubbery green leaves. They love the heat and do best in areas of high humidity.
Honeysuckle perfectly covers walls, fences, and pergolas with tubular flowers that smell like summertime. They come in shades of white, cream, yellow, pink, and orange, and are easy to care for as long as they have a place to climb.
Camellias feature beautiful blooms in red, pink, and white. Despite common belief, they’re actually pretty carefree and easy to grow. They thrive in temperate zones in part shade and moist, slightly acidic soil.
Hyacinths feature all spikes of eye-catching blooms and bright green foliage. They come in a variety of beautiful colors, including white, cream, pink, rose, lavender, blue, purple, and red.
Lily of the valley is one of the most fragrant blooming plants in the northern temperate zone. It features tiny white bell-shaped flowers with a sweet perfume amidst bright green leaves.
Marigolds are a popular annual that attract butterflies, bees, ladybugs, and other beneficial insects and can even deter predators and pests. They’re easy to grow and bloom from late spring through fall.
18. Black-Eyed Susan
This cheerful wildflower boasts sunny yellow daisy-like petals with a dark brown central cone. Each flower grows atop a one to two-foot stem covered in coarse, rough hair with oval leaves.
A sweet and cheery wildflower, buttercups feature five petals and come in various shades of yellow, red, orange, pink, white, and lavender. Though sometimes considered weeds by gardeners, buttercups can help enhance your garden by attracting pollinators, such as butterflies and bees.
The quintessential fall flower, chrysanthemums feature spectacular blooms that look like a carpet of flowers. They come in virtually every shade of the rainbow, including purple, green, red, orange, pink, and yellow.
Azaleas are one of the most popular ornamental shrubs in the South. They come in a wide variety of different shapes, sizes, and colors but unfortunately only bloom for about three weeks in the spring.
Forsythia bushes welcome spring with a bright bouquet of yellow flowers on graceful branches. The bush grows rapidly, maxing out at about ten feet tall and twelve feet wide at maturity.
Lavender is a shrubby perennial grown for both its beautiful light purple flowers and delicious fragrance. It’s very easy to grow and is surprisingly tolerant to heat and drought.
Lilac brushes produce beautiful, fragrant blooms in colors that range from pink to purple. Dwarf lilac bushes can get as large as eight feet tall, while regular varieties can reach up to heights of 30 feet.
Well-loved around Christmastime, holly bushes are an excellent addition to almost any garden. They provide a pop of color with bright red berries and dark green thorned leaves. Once established, they’re relatively easy to care for.
26. Japanese Maple
Japanese maples feature a bright red to deep burgundy color that instantly adds a focal point to your garden. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from tall and upright to short and weeping.
Viburnums produce beautiful blooms in white and pink. There are numerous viburnum cultivators that produce a wide array of shapes and styles, featuring flowers that range from flat clusters to large snowball-like clusters.
Boxwood plants are dense, evergreen shrubs that can be trimmed to create an elegant focal point, formal hedge, or matching border. They require low maintenance care unless you plan to keep them as a sheared hedge, which will require pruning.
Got a lot of space in your garden? An oak tree might just be the ticket. Oak trees support more life forms than any other trees in North America. They also come in a wide array of shapes and sizes to suit any style, with even some evergreen varieties.
This beautiful tree features clusters of soft blue-green needles and elongated brown pinecones. It requires a good amount of space, reaching heights of up to 80 feet tall and 40 feet wide at maturity.
31. Sweet Cherry
Sweet cherry trees can grow up to 65 feet tall and produce actual edible cherries (which typically taste quite bitter). They are a beautiful focal point to any garden with unmistakable pretty pink and white blooms in early spring.
Arborvitaes are hardy, resilient trees that are resistant to drought and extreme temperatures. They make excellent accent trees or privacy screens due to their thick, glossy-green foliage and low maintenance care.
Flowers aren’t the only thing to grow in your garden. Vegetables not only look great, but they also serve a purpose. Tomatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow but are one of the most susceptible to disease. Be sure to look out for disease-resistant varieties.
Corn requires a bit more room to grow, but is well worth the investment if you love the sweet taste of fresh corn. You can find a wide array of corn cultivators, so be sure to choose a variety that has shown to do well in your area.
Homegrown potatoes taste far better than storebought varieties. Potatoes belong to the tuber family of plants, which means that the edible portion of the potato is grown underground.
Pear trees are low-maintenance, have beautiful blossoms, are resistant to pests and disease, and are easily trained to grow in a small space. Plus, they can start producing pears in as little as three years.
Homegrown apples are a bit more tricky to master, as the fruit can often be wormy, bitter, and unappealing. Apple trees are also prone to pests and diseases. However, if you find a disease-resistance tree that’s right for your conditions, you’ll be off to a great start.
A bulbous perennial, garlic is closely related to chives, leeks, onions, and shallots. The plant features flat, grass-like leaves that grow up to two feet inches tall and segmented bulbs that are highly aromatic (not to mention, delicious).
Strawberries are relatively easy to grow, and they can even be grown in a container or pot on a deck or balcony. Strawberries are also perennials, which means that they will keep coming back, year after year.
Coconuts only grow in certain climates, but they’re a great tree to grow if you live in a tropical climate. Not only can you harvest the delicious coconut flesh, but you can also drink the delicious coconut water and use the fibrous shell for various applications.
Peach trees grow best in zones six and seven, but it’s important to choose a cultivator that does well in your particular area. Peach trees often fall prey to problems such as peach leaf curl and browning, pests, or diseases, so it’s important to pay close attention and eliminate problems before they overtake your tree.
Basil is relatively easy to care for and can even be grown in small containers on a windowsill or patio. It requires around six to eight hours of full sun daily and can be harvested once the plants are six inches tall.
Rosemary features woody stems and needle-like leaves that can reach three to five feet in height unless pruned. The herb can be harvested at any time and provides a hint of sage, citrus, and pine to various dishes.
Producing a large bounty of fruit, peppers are one of the most rewarding plants to grow. There are also so many varieties to choose from, including sweet bell peppers, spicy jalapeno peppers, and unbelievably hot Carolina Reapers.
Cucumbers provide an attractive feature in the garden, with pretty yellow flowers that turn into delicious elongated fruit. Cucumbers are also prone to climb, making them highly space-efficient.
Growing grapes is highly rewarding, allowing you to pick fresh fruit for jams and jellies. Grapes will grow in almost any part of the country, but you need to choose one that works best in your local climate conditions.
Lemon trees make excellent houseplants and can even be grown in containers. They do, however, require full bright sun and may need supplemental fluorescent grow lights during winter.
Growing oranges can be a delicious endeavor. There are countless varieties of oranges, so it’s important to find a cultivator that does best in your region. Some types of small orange trees can even be grown indoors.
Eggplant grows well and looks beautiful in containers, raised beds, and traditional in-ground gardens. Small-fruited varieties tend to be heavy bearers, while larger varieties (like Black Beauty) bear fewer and more traditionally-sized fruits.
Though they do well planted in the ground, raised beds provide carrots with the ideal conditions to reach their full potential. They must be planted in early spring to be harvested midsummer for the best results.
These amazing plants make great additions to any backyard garden. Whether you have only a small amount of room for a garden or a large plot of land, you’ll find plants that work for your unique purposes on this list. Not only do they create a beautiful display of flowers in your yard, but they can also provide delicious homegrown produce for you to enjoy!