What Flowers Grow Well in Illinois? (Here Are 9 Amazing Options)

Illinois is home to the second-tallest building in North America and the first McDonald’s. It’s also home to a lot of plants and flowers that can handle the heat and humidity of the summer as well as the coldness of winter.

So, what flowers grow well in Illinois? Lots of colorful and attractive perennials and annuals grow in Illinois. You need to go for plants that grow in USDA zones 5, 6, and 7. Otherwise, they won’t be able to tolerate the climate. Such plants include daisies, zinnia, tulips, false indigo, coral bells, and more.

In this article, I’ll talk about some of the most beautiful flowers that you can successfully grow in Illinois, explaining how to care for each type. So, let’s dive in.

9 Amazing Flowers that You Can Grow in Illinois

With multiple shapes and colors, some of these flowers will only grow in zone 7a, and won’t be able to handle the winter of the 5a zone, while others can grow across the entire state of Illinois.


Daisies are biennials that can handle the heat and drought of Illinois. When planted in late fall, the blooms appear in the late spring and continue to bloom until the next fall.

Daisies come in amazing varieties growing yellow, white, pink, red, orange, purple, and even blue blooms.

These flowers thrive in neutral to slightly acidic soil and don’t need much attention. Regardless, you need to water them periodically, preferably allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.

The plants can grow up to the height of 2 feet and can be planted in your backyard or indoor garden. They’re resistant to pests and add a pop of color wherever you decide to plant them.

Hardy Hibiscus

Also known as rose mallow, the hardy hibiscus thrives in the tropical weather of Florida, but can also be grown in the summers of Illinois as perennials.

Hibiscus flowers can be red, pink, white, or blue, and the plant grows up to 7 feet tall with full sun exposure.

This plant needs to grow in organically rich soil that’s neutral or slightly acidic. You can also grow these flowers in an indoor pot if you place them facing a sunny southwest window.

You need to water your hibiscus flowers every other day in hot weather or twice a week if it’s not that warm.

Picture of pink and purple zinnia flowers used in article titled What Flowers Grow Well in Illinois


Zinnias are beautiful flowers that are originally native to South America and the southern regions of the US. These plants can grow up to 4 feet tall and 18 inches wide, offering pink, yellow, purple, orange, lavender, yellow, white, and red blooms.

To grow these flowers, you need to pick a spot where they can enjoy full sun exposure. The soil needs to be well-draining, and they don’t need to be watered regularly because they’re drought-resistant. In most cases, you don’t need to apply fertilizers.

You can grow zinnias in flower beds and window boxes, as long as they have access to the sun. They don’t grow well in indoor pots unless you choose to grow them in a greenhouse.


Tulips are native to Europe and Asia, but they can grow in the warm springs and summers of Illinois. These perennials grow to reach a height of 24 inches and a width of 9 inches, depending on the variety.

They start blooming in spring with flowers that can be orange, yellow, green, red, pink, white, and even black.

You can grow tulips in the areas between deciduous trees where they can get full sun exposure with some partial shade in the hottest months. They thrive in rich well-drained soil that can be neutral to slightly acidic.

Despite their attractive colors, tulips are toxic to humans and pets. You can also grow them indoors.

Picture of Daylilies flowers or Hemerocallis.


Daylilies are perennials that add bright colors to your Illinois garden, reaching a height of 5 feet and a width of 4 feet.

Daylilies are native to Asia and Europe, but several varieties grow in Illinois, producing red, yellow, orange, purple, and pink blooms. They’re deeply rooted, so they’ll work for you if you have a planting bed on a steep slope.

To enjoy the attractive daylilies, you need to make sure that the plant has full access to the sun for at least six hours per day. It needs to grow in deep fertile loamy soil and should be watered regularly in the first growing season.

Once established, daylilies can tolerate periods of drought. The flowers bloom for several weeks, but you can plant late bloomers in a flower bed to enjoy their colors for the longest period possible. Although you can grow them in outdoor containers, daylilies are difficult to grow indoors.

False Indigo

False Indigo flowers grow from a hardy and diverse plant that tolerates different growing conditions. Also known as blue wild indigo, these flowers can grow in full or partial sun, but the plant is rather slow to establish. In shady spots, the plant can become too leggy and is more prone to fungal infections.

The flowers are violet, blue, or indigo, blooming in late spring and early summer. They’re slightly toxic to humans and pets. You can plant these flowers at the back of flower beds to create structure.

This plant grows in moderately draining soil but can tolerate dry soil once established. It needs regular watering during the first year, but will only require one inch of water every couple of weeks in later growing seasons.

It’s an excellent choice for beginner gardeners and doesn’t need any fertilizers, which might actually cause the plant to flop over.

Coral Bells

Coral Bells are beautiful semi-evergreen perennials that retain their attractive foliage most of the year. Different varieties grow white, red, orange, and pink blooms, and they need full or partial sun exposure depending on the variety.

Because these flowers can reach between 8 and 18 inches high, they can be grown in flower beds, borders, and indoor pots. They require rich, moist, and well-drained soil, which can be neutral or slightly acidic.

The plant needs the soil to stay moist, but once established it can handle longer drought periods. A slow-release fertilizer will keep this flower in perfect shape.

Picture of petunias of various colors


Petunias grow as annuals in Illinois, usually blooming until early November, but they’re unable to tolerate the cold winters. They need full sun exposure to thrive and grow in moist well-drained acidic soil.

The petunia is native to South America, and in Illinois, it can grow red, orange, purple, white, yellow, pink, and even green blooms. Partial shade is recommended in the summer to protect the blooms.

You need to water your petunias regularly, but the soil shouldn’t be too soggy. To help it bloom better, you need to apply a liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the blooming season.

Bridal Wreath Spirea

Bridal wreath spirea is native to Korea, Taiwan, and China, but can successfully grow and bloom in the US, as long as you’re paying attention to their requirements. The flowers bloom from a deciduous shrub that usually reaches a height and width between 4 and 8 feet.

The white flowers bloom in early spring with full sun exposure, although they can handle some partial shade. In this case, the plant will produce fewer flowers. The blooms attract butterflies and the plant makes an excellent choice for hedges. Some varieties have red or pink flowers.

This plant can grow in different types of soil, as long as it’s well-draining. It needs to be watered once a week and will tolerate some periods of drought.

Wrap Up On What Flowers Grow Well In Illinois?

Luckily, there are lots of amazing flowers that grow well in Illinois. You need to do the necessary research to make sure that you have the right spot in your garden to provide these plants with their sun, soil, and watering requirements.

Some flowers can bloom even when they’re grown in indoor pots. However, most of the plants grow fewer flowers in this case.

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