What Flowers Grow Well in Rhode Island? 8 Great Options!

Rhode Island is the perfect place to live if you love to live by the ocean. However, the nasty winter weather can be a real challenge when you’re trying to pick flowers for your garden.

So, what flowers grow well in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island planting zones fall between 5b and 7a, so you need to pick flowers that are tolerant of the cold weather. Some cool-season bloomers will work for you, while others will only bloom during the warmer summer.

We’ve done the research on your behalf, and in this article, we’ll tell you about the best flowers to add to your Rhode Island garden. So, keep reading.

8 Eye-Catching Flowers that Grow Well in Rhode Island

Despite the harsh winter weather, your Rhode Island garden will look its best if you know which flowers to plant. Here are some attractive blooms to add a pop of color to your garden.

Echinacea plant in a garden - used in article titled What Flowers Grow Well in Rhode Island

Pale Purple Coneflower

As a member of the daisy family, the drooping pale purple coneflower is different from other varieties thanks to its thin white, pink, or pale purple petals. Just like all other coneflowers, the petals surround an elevated center that attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds because of its sweet nectar. The plant reaches a height between 2 and 4 feet, depending on the variety and growing conditions.

You can grow the pale purple coneflower in your garden bed or along the border as a perennial that blooms in spring and summer. It’s a resilient native flower that is known to be deer-resistant and can also tolerate drought, heat, and humidity.

These flowers need access to full sun for at least six hours per day, but they can tolerate shady conditions. However, flowering will be less prominent. The attractive flowers can be used to treat coughs and other inflammatory conditions.

Pale purple coneflowers thrive in poor well-draining soil and have medium watering requirements until they’re well-established. After that, they become drought-resistant. However, adding fertilizers can make your purple coneflowers become leggy.

Garden Phlox

Also known as tall phlox, garden phlox is appreciated for its long-lasting blooms. The flowers come in different shades of white, lilac, pink, purple, lavender, and salmon and have a light fragrance that attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators to your garden.

Garden phlox flowers bloom in the summer with full sun exposure, and in the right growing conditions, they can grow for several years. The plant prefers rich, fertile, and well-draining soil, and overhead watering should be avoided because it increases the risk of powdery mildew.

This plant is not that tolerant of heat, so it’s an excellent choice for Rhode Island’s weather, which tends to be cool all year round. Adding compost to the soil every spring will encourage more growth.

Golden sedum Angelina - Latin name - Sedum rupestre Angelina

Angelina Stonecrop

This perennial evergreen plant has succulent foliage that reaches a maximum height of 6 inches and grows tiny yellow flowers that bloom in summer. In fall and winter, the foliage turns bronze or copper, making your garden look great all year round.

The name stonecrop comes from the plant’s ability to grow in sandy and rocky locations, so it will be an excellent addition to your garden if other perennials are difficult to plant because the roots can spread in the small gaps between rocks. Clay soil should be avoided because poor drainage can kill your Angelina stonecrop.

It thrives in slightly acidic soil and needs medium watering until it’s well-established. Once you grow your Angelina stonecrop in a sunny spot, it won’t need much more care. You can also grow it in a container, and in this case, it should be watered more often.

Shasta Daisy

The Shasta daisy is a hardy perennial that grows white flowers with yellow centers. The flowers’ color is the reason why they got their name, as they resemble the color of the snowy Mount Shasta in California. The plant can grow to a height between 9 inches and 3 feet, depending on the growing conditions.

Shasta daisies are perfect for colder climates and are usually planted in spring and summer, blooming throughout the warm season. They attract butterflies and other pollinators, and they make excellent long-lasting cut flowers. However, the flowers are toxic to pets.

These plants thrive in full sun settings but can tolerate some shade. They grow in different types of soil, as long as it’s fertile and well-draining, but they prefer soil that is rich in organic matter like compost. Overwatering should be avoided because it can lead to root rot.

Sweet Alyssum

This cool-season flower is suitable for adding a pop of color to your Rhode Island landscape. The ground cover grows within a couple of months, whether it’s grown from plant or seed. It has gray-green hairy leaves and grows small four-petal white, pink, and purple flowers.

The flowers fade when the temperature rises and bloom again in fall. They emit a sweet honey-like fragrance and are generally problem-free, so they’re suitable for novice gardeners.

You can grow sweet alyssum flowers in hanging baskets, containers, flower beds, or under taller plants. They can also be planted along driveways and where you need to fill crannies and nooks.

Sweet alyssum plants need to get between six to eight hours of sunlight, but partial shade in the afternoon can be beneficial. They can tolerate different types of soil, including sandy soils, and can even be grown on dunes, as long as the soil is well-draining. They need at least one inch of water per week and a little more during the hot months.

Closeup photo of Blackberry lily, leopard flower, leopard lily (Iris domestica) in the garden in Singapore, blurred background

Blackberry Lily

The blackberry lily is usually grown from a nursery plant because when planted from seeds, it takes about three years to flower. It’s a short-lived perennial, but the roots spread in your garden to grow year after year.

The plant can reach a height of 3 feet, growing orange, yellow, and red flowers that are toxic to humans and pets. Just like other members of the Iris family, the blackberry lily prefers growing in full sun conditions. Staking might be needed if the flower stalks get too long, as this will protect them from blowing over.

Although the blackberry lily isn’t picky about the soil conditions, the plant grows taller when the soil is rich. It doesn’t tolerate poor-draining soils, which cause root rot. Blackberry lilies need regular watering, but if it rains every two weeks in your garden, you won’t have to provide more water.


Celosia or cockscomb gets its name from the way the blooms resemble the comb on a rooster’s head. This plant is grown as an annual in Rhode Island, although it can be a perennial in warmer areas.

The cockscomb reaches a maximum height of 12 inches and blooms in summer and fall, growing beautiful flowers that come in different shades of pink, red, orange, yellow, and white. These attractive flowers keep their bright colors even when they dry, so they’re perfect for dried flower arrangements and wreaths.

This plant doesn’t require much care other than deadheading the spent flowers, so it’s suitable for less experienced gardeners. It thrives in full sun but can tolerate some shade. However, too much shade can increase the risk of fungal diseases.

The cockscomb thrives in slightly acidic nutrient-dense soil. Adding compost and a monthly dose of liquid fertilizer during the growing season will keep the foliage and flowers in perfect shape.

Picture of Viola flower field


There are literally hundreds of hybrids of cultivars and varieties that all gather under the name of violas. The plants grow as annuals or short-lived perennials, and the attractive blooms appear in the cold season in spring and fall. In Rhode Island, they’re usually planted in spring, and in warmer regions, they can bloom throughout winter.

Violas come in different shades of light to deep violet, purple-black, white, cream, yellow, blue, and peach. They’re edible and are often added to salads or used to decorate cakes.

The plant grows to reach a height between 4 and 10 inches, depending on the variety, and it prefers well-draining, moist, acidic soil. Violas need to be spread out in the ground to have room to grow, and the blooms usually appear 14 weeks after planting the seeds.

Violas love the sun, but in the hot summer, they prefer partial shade. They bloom best with regular watering but can tolerate some drought. You can fertilize the soil in spring and late summer to promote flowering.

Wrap Up: What Flowers Grow Well in Rhode Island?

The weather can be a little gloomy and cloudy in Rhode Island, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t add vibrant shades and attractive colors to your garden. Luckily, several varieties bloom even in colder regions, but you must ensure that you’re following their care conditions to keep your landscape in top shape.

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