What Flowers Grow Well in Kansas? (Start With These 8 Great Options)

Known for its scorching summers and freezing winters, Kansas isn’t the most flower-friendly state in the US. Not a lot of flowers bloom year-round, and when they do, they require extensive care.

So, what flowers grow well in Kansas? Well, the best flowering plants include petunias, dahlias, zinnias, daisies, tulips, marigolds, black-eyed Susans, and, of course, sunflowers!

Picture of sunflowers in field used in article titled What Flowers Grow Well in Kansas

This article lists some of the best flowers to grow in the Sunflower State, along with their care conditions.

Let’s dive right in!

1.  Sunflowers

  • Botanical name: Helianthus annuus
  • Plant Type: Annual or perennial, depending on the species
  • Mature size: 1 to 2 ft. tall for dwarfs; up to 16 ft. tall for giants
  • Sun exposure: Full
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Bloom time: Spring, summer
  • Hardiness Zone(s): 4 to 9

Let’s start this list with arguably the best flowers to grow in Kansas: sunflowers, of course!

Kansas is dubbed the Sunflower State because its weather is perfectly suited for the growth of sunflowers. They can be found in almost every county, from Johnson to Wyandotte!

Sunflowers are extremely hardy and super easy to care for. They can grow up to 5 meters in length (~16 feet) and bear impressive, long-lasting seed-filled flowers. They thrive in full sunlight and will grow in almost any kind of soil as long as it’s not waterlogged.

2.  Petunias

  • Botanical name: Petunia x hybrida
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Mature size: 12 to 24 in. tall, 24 to 36 in. across
  • Sun exposure: Full
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Bloom time: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Native area: South America

Bright and beautiful, petunias bloom from spring until frost. These sweet-smelling flowers can be planted in beds, hanging baskets, borders, or even containers as long as they’re given enough sunlight.

Petunias thrive in Kansas heat. The hotter it is, the bigger and more plentiful their blooms. They can survive temperatures of up to 85°F but succumb to anything below 40°F and above 90°F. 

Petunias must be planted in well-drained soil for them to grow happy and healthy. They come in almost every color of the rainbow, from red to yellow to purple, and can even be striped or multicolored.

3. Daisies

  • Botanical name: Bellis perennis
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Mature size: 6 in. to 4 ft.
  • Sun exposure: Full
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Bloom time: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Native area: With over 20,000 species, native to most of the world

As the fifth most popular flower in the world, daisies are loved by many. They’re the quintessential bloom of summer, and since they’re so easy to grow, they’re a proven choice for gardens. Plus, they’re gorgeous!

White daisies are the most easily recognizable flowers of all time, but they also come in hues of red, pink, purple, and even blue.

Considering there are 20,000 species of daisies, this shouldn’t come as a surprise; there’s probably a daisy species for every color of the rainbow!

Daisies tolerate hot summers and cold winters, but some species do well in Kansas heat more than others. The most durable, heat-resistant summer daisy is the African daisy, as they’re quite literally bred for heat.

4.  Dahlias

  • Botanical name: Dahlia spp.
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Mature size: 1 to 6 ft.
  • Sun exposure: Full
  • Soil type: Well-drained, evenly moist
  • Bloom time: Summer, Fall
  • Native area: North America, Central America

Dahlias are one of those flowers that make you want to stop and stare. They’re big in size and popularity, and since they symbolize wealth, elegance, and commitment, they’re often used in bridal bouquets.

Dahlias come in shades of red, yellow, orange, purple, pink, white, and various combinations of these colors except true blue. If you’ve seen blue dahlias for sale, they’re probably dyed because they lack the key pigment for blue flowers.

These stunning blooms are easy to grow and care for. They enjoy full sunlight and well-drained soil. They won’t survive freezing temperatures, but they’re pretty sturdy and can tolerate the heat of Kansas.

5.  Zinnias

Picture of a field of Zinnias
  • Botanical name: Zinnia Elegans
  • Plant type: Annual shrubs
  • Mature size: 1 to 4 ft.
  • Sun exposure: Full
  • Soil type: Well-drained
  • Bloom time: Late spring through the first frost
  • Native area: Southwestern United States, Mexico, South America

Native to scrub and dry grasslands, zinnias thrive off the heat. These blooming beauties love heat so much that they don’t flower at all when the weather is cool! They grow at a minimum daytime temperature of 60°F and can survive heat of up to 90°F.

Zinnias are among the easiest flowers to grow in Kansas. They grow quickly and bloom in massive bursts of beautiful colors.

They’re mostly available in bright shades of pink, orange, red, purple, and yellow, but they also come in plain white and bi-color and tri-color variations.

6.  Tulips

  • Botanical name: Tulipa spp.
  • Plant Type: Perennial, bulb
  • Mature size: 9 to 24 in.
  • Sun exposure: Full
  • Soil type: Rich, well-drained soil
  • Bloom time: Spring, Summer
  • Native area: Asia, Europe

Tulips grow in abundance in Kansas, especially in Old Prairie Town Village, Lake Shawnee, and Gage Park. They’d be nestled amongst flowering dogwood and redbud trees, basking under the full Kansas sun.

Tulips grow best when given plenty of sunlight, at least six hours per day. In particularly hot months, they perform well in half-day sun receiving partial shade.

These cup-shaped flowers aren’t picky when it comes to growth location. You can plant them in window boxes, containers, raised garden beds, and even in poor soil. Plus, they come in hundreds of stunning shades, from pure white to cheerful orange.

7.  Marigolds

  • Botanical name: Tagetes spp.
  • Plant type: Herbaceous, annual
  • Mature size: 4 to 48 in.
  • Sun exposure: Full
  • Soil type: Well-drained, evenly moist
  • Bloom time: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Native area: Southern North America

Marigolds bloom throughout most of the year. They begin blooming as early as May and continue to bloom past September. They’ll put on their best show in summer and fall, proudly displaying their bright colors and ruffled petals.

Hardy, quick-growing, and easy to maintain, marigolds grow can effortlessly withstand the extreme summers of Kansas.

Signet and African marigolds, in particular, are drought tolerant. They don’t do well under the shade and cool, moist temperatures, so they’re best planted outdoors where they can enjoy the full glory of the sun.

Marigolds come in various shades of gold, yellow, orange, red, and mahogany. Some species are bicolor or striped, while others have creamy white blooms.

Picture if mixed Marigolds in pots in a garden

8.  Black-Eyed Susans

  • Botanical name: Rudbeckia hirta
  • Plant type: Perennial, biennial
  • Mature size: 2 to 3 ft.
  • Sun exposure: Full
  • Soil type: Well-drained, evenly moist
  • Bloom time: Summer
  • Native area: North America

With their plump, dark centers and their daisy-like petals, black-eyed Susans are a favorite among lazy gardeners. They do extremely well in heat and drought, and although they won’t bloom in winter, they can tolerate cold seasons decently well.

These dark-eyed beauties are available in shades of yellow, gold, and bronze. They’re also available in white, although rare.

They’re best planted in areas with full access to the sun, well-drained soil, and proper air circulation. They don’t need to be watered much and only require the occasional deadheading to keep them pretty.

Black-eyed Susans aren’t to be confused with their close cousins, coneflowers. Although they appear extremely similar, black-eyed Susans are shorter than coneflowers. They also only grow in the colors mentioned above, whereas coneflowers come in almost every shade of the rainbow.

Final Thoughts – What Flowers Grow Well in Kansas?

Dubbed the Sunflower State, Kansas boasts a decent selection of heat-tolerant, easy-to-grow flowers.

Apart from the obvious (sunflowers), Kansas acts as a good home for petunias, dahlias, zinnias, daisies, tulips, marigolds, and black-eyed Susans.

They can all tolerate the state’s unforgiving summers, and while most lie dormant when winter comes, they’ll be ready to bloom at the first sign of spring or summer.

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