Gardening in the south can be challenging. From the dry months to the harsh winter nights, many flowers won’t be able to survive. However, it isn’t impossible to find out what flowers grow well in Alabama.
You can grow ruellia petunias, zinnias, marigolds, daylilies, pansies, foxgloves, azaleas, and many more hardy flowers in Alabama. They’re all compatible with USDA zones 7-8, which is crucial for thriving outdoors in the Cotton State.
In this article, we’ll go over a selection of the most versatile flowering plants to grow in Alabama. We’ll also discuss a few factors you need to keep in mind before settling on a garden bloom. Let’s get started!
11 Flowers to Grow in Alabama
It can be tricky to settle on a blooming plant for your garden, but we’ve narrowed down the options for you.
Here’s a list of 11 flowering species to consider:
The ruellia is also known as the Mexican Petunia, and it’s a great fit for your Alabama home garden for a number of reasons.
For one, it thrives on hot and humid weather, with an ideal USDA Hardiness Zone 8-11. It can also handle soil with poor drainage.
Additionally, the patch tends to grow in size when it comes back through the second year. That’s why it’s better to give it some room for spreading.
If you want a colorful backdrop for your garden, zinnias are the way to go. Their solitary flower heads grow in almost every color except blue.
However, they’re annuals, so they only last for one season, from late spring and through the first signs of frost.
Unlike the ruellias, zinnia flowers need proper drainage. Try tilling or spading the ground at around 10 inches deep before laying your seeds.
Although marigolds are also annuals, they can be mistaken for perennials. That’s mainly because they self-sow. So, you could get to see them bloom for a second season without much effort!
You get to choose from around 50 species, but we’d recommend going for either the African or the French ones. Just make sure to plant them around spring, right after the frost clears up.
As an added bonus, marigold flowers have insect repellent qualities and will keep many pests away from your garden.
The daylily is a low-maintenance perennial that thrives in full and direct sunlight, which makes it ideal for the scorching Alabama sun.
However, if it gets over 90°F, it might be a good idea to get a cover and make a light shade spot when the sun’s at its peak.
If you’re using it as a flowerbed, don’t put it near trees with high water demand. They’ll compete over it, and odds are, the delicate daylilies will lose that fight.
If you’re looking for a hardy bloom that can handle the southern heat, you can’t go wrong with the classic sunflower kits.
They’re easily one of the most drought-tolerant and low-maintenance plants to consider. You’ll only need to keep your soil nutrient-rich and weed-free.
Remember to go for the dwarf variety if you don’t have enough space.
With minimal effort, you can keep your garden looking like a movie scene from summer to autumn!
With butterfly-patterned petals, pansies are one of the most unique flowers to choose from. Because they’re so delicate looking, they’re also called the Lady’s Delight.
Ideally, you’ll use it as a bushy green border in your garden, but it also works in bedding and pots.
If you plant the biennial during the fall, it’ll keep its bloom from October to April. That’s quite the bargain!
Yet another purple flower to consider is the Digitalis purpurea or the foxglove. Its flower heads are so uniquely shaped that there’s no mistaking it for something else.
This hardy perennial can handle temperatures up to 80°F, but you’ll want to protect it from stronger heat or it’ll wilt.
If you care for it properly, it could reward you handsomely by attracting a few hummingbirds to your backyard.
Keep in mind that foxgloves are actually used to make heart medication and can be toxic!
8. American Bluehearts
Going for flowers native to Alabama, like the American bluehearts, can save you a lot of hassle in adaptation.
It’s an annual and unbranching wildflower that usually grows sparsely. However, it can make for a nice bloom backdrop when planted in bulk.
Despite the tiny size, the bluehearts can be a delightful addition to your garden, especially when you consider that it grows all year round.
Geraniums are very hardy when it comes to hot weather. While there are multiple varieties, the most common ones are considered evergreen perennials.
Besides their pretty blooms, they’ll fill your garden with a pleasant aroma, ranging between citrus and roses!
However, they can be susceptible to many pests, particularly caterpillars. It’s safer to stock up on a spray insecticide and stay on top of infestations before they take up the entire plant.
10. Climbing Aster
Another native flower to consider is the delicate climbing aster, with blue or lavender petals.
In terms of maintenance, you’ll mainly need to keep its water needs fulfilled, sit back, and wait for it to bloom in the late summer.
Just like the name implies, this aster has particularly long and bendy stems. They can go over 10 inches long.
So, if you want to make a green partition, set up a trellis right beside the aster’s flowering bed.
If you want to add a splash of pink blossoms to your garden, the deciduous azaleas are your best bet.
Alternatively, you can go for the native honeysuckle with its golden-yellow bloom. Either way, it’s a hardy shrub that can handle Alabama’s weather changes.
You’ll just need humus-rich soil and a dappled shade. This is crucial to let your flowers grow to their peak size.
What Factors to Look For in Alabama Flowering Plants
Knowing what to expect in terms of plant care will help you plan and choose the perfect pick of flowers for your home garden. That way, you won’t be surprised by unexpected problems.
Here are some factors to consider:
1. USDA Hardiness Zones
Before you commit to any plant, flowering or not, you need to make sure that it’s compatible with your local USDA Hardiness Zone.
Alabama happens to be in Zones 7-8, and the average annual temperature there is 64 °F. Summers are warm, while the winters are cold, snowy, and usually cloudy.
Choosing native plants, like bluehearts or asters, is an easy way out of trying to figure out the climate compatibility.
2. Bloom Type and Season
Next, you’ll need to consider when you want the flowers to bloom and how long you want them to last.
Annuals bloom for only one season, mostly throughout the fall, before the flower dies in the winter. They tend to have a lengthy flowering season, though.
Perennials, unlike annuals, usually bloom again in the spring. Additionally, it doesn’t completely die off. Only the heads of the flowers die off when they aren’t flowering.
Meanwhile, biennials go inactive during the cold weather. The flower’s growth finishes during the second season with the bloom and fruiting.
3. Ideal Placement
You might not think much of it, but the position of the flowers in your yard can make a difference.
Some plants demand direct sunlight to bloom, like daylilies. Meanwhile, others will only bloom if they’re under partial shade.
Plus, certain flowering beds will spread by their second year, like ruellias. You’ll need to factor in extra space when planting them.
So, think a moment to plant your garden placement before putting in your seeds.
Wrap Up: What Flowers Grow Well in Alabama
Figuring out what flowers grow well in Alabama becomes a lot easier when you know the local USDA Hardiness Zone.
So, take your pick between marigolds, ruellias, azaleas, zinnias, daylilies, foxgloves, marigolds, sunflowers, geraniums, or the native bluehearts.
It’s always a good idea to mix and match flowers with different bloom seasons. This way, you’ll have a beautiful and lush yard all year round!
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