Annuals, Perennials, Shrubs, Trees & More: Our Complete Guide To Growing Flowers

Want to grow bold, bright, beautiful flowers? Check out the Gardening Know How guide to growing ornamental flowers, trees, and shrubs.

A Colorful Wildflower Garden
(Image credit: Jacky Parker Photography)

Unlimited Flower Power

Did you know that according to recent research, there are nearly 400,000 flowering plants in the world? However, despite the impressive number of options available to gardeners, fewer than 5% of those plants are regularly grown.

So what are the most common ornamental flowers around the world? Well, here are some of the most popular flowers according to Gardening Know How visitors. Click the image below to learn more about growing any of these popular petals:

Find even more flowers you can grow by visiting our full collection of flower articles.

Full Sun vs. Shade: Understanding Your Flower Options

Just like people, some flowers live for the sunshine. Others would much rather have some protection from the rays.

What this means for gardeners of all skill levels, is that the key to growing happy, healthy flowers usually starts with knowing which ones will thrive in different parts of your garden space. Explore more below:

Know Your Zone

In addition to understanding the sunlight that is or is not reaching your gardening space, it's also helpful to know your zone.

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map can help you determine the likelihood that certain plants will thrive in your garden. In late 2023, the USDA updated its zone maps for all 50 states. Click the image below to see what exact zone you're gardening in, and learn what it means for your garden.

(Image credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Dig Deeper Into Flower Bulbs, Cacti & More

In general, ornamental gardening can be broken down into dozens of sub-categories, including succulents and cacti, flower bulbs, vines, ground cover, and so much more. To help guide you on your journey, we've made several of these subcategories easily accessible below:

Want More Flowers? Try These Bushes, Shrubs & Trees

Many of the most popular flowers grown all around the world are found on bushes, shrubs, and trees.

Below you'll find the most popular flowering bushes, shrubs, and trees that Gardening Know How users are growing. Get the Know How and growing or caring for these flowers by clicking on any of the images below:

Annuals, Perennials & Biennials

The life cycle of nearly all plants can be divided into three categories: annuals, perennials, and biennials. Understanding the differences between each can help gardeners determine not only when and how they grow, but also how to use them in the garden. 

Learn more about each category below to save yourself time and money: