Flowering plants typically are categorized according to their respective life cycles. Flowering annuals are temporary plants that live out their life cycle within one year and that usually reseed themselves. Perennials are permanent additions to a garden. Biennials are plants that take two growth periods to complete their life cycle. Within these broad categories can be found a listing of flowers that run the alphabet from A to Z. Don’t think I’m going to give you 26 suggestions for flowers, however. I will give you an A flower and a Z flower because, well, I’m a nice guy.
The African Lily is a perennial that blossoms with blue or white tube-shaped flowers. Propagation of the African Lily is accomplished by division of the tubers in spring. This lily thrives in well-drained, richly nutritious soil exposed to the full sun. The ideal hardiness zone is zone 8, when the plant is watered vigorously during summer, but very little during the winter.
The begonia is best grown in hardiness zone 9 where it will produce red, pink, or white flowers amongst its shiny green leaves. Soil should be composed of soft compost, peat, and sand equally distributed. Water the begonia regularly so that the soil can be termed moist rather than wet. There is a Doonesbury comic strip that I remember solely for the line that went something like, “But what the hell do I know; I’m just a dumb begonia.” Or something along those lines.
The camellia is an evergreen plant that produces large pink flowers with five petals. Hardiness zone 7 is the perfect spot for growing this flower as long as you provide plenty of water during dry periods. Propagation of the camellia can be accomplished by layers, air layers, or bud cutting.
The gardenia is an evergreen shrub that produces a very fragrant white flower. Hardiness zone 8 is the ideal location for growing gardenias in moist soil during the summer and slightly less moist soil during the winter. The gardenia can thrive in either the full sun or a partially shaded spot. Gardenia is also the last name of a great character actor named Vincent who won a Tony Award in 1972. Just one of those things that I know that never really comes up in polite conversation, so I thought I’d take my chance.
The moth orchid produces showcase flowers that are best-suited for conditions that exist in hardiness zone 10. This orchid needs generous watering until its dormant stage, when the flower can get by with watering considerably less often. The big white flowers grow in clusters amid leather leaves that are notched at the top.
The poinsettia is also known as the Christmas flower and thrives in hardiness zone 9. If you notice the leaves of the poinsettia drooping, that is a sign of overwatering. The Christmas flower is an appropriate name for this plant that produces big green leaves and bright red flowers. The poinsettia can be grown inside as a container flower in northern regions, but does better outside in the full sun in tropical regions.
The rose is a familiar red flower that does best in hardiness zone 4. Plant in heavy loam soil that was well-fertilized the previous autumn. Roses should be watered only during very dry periods. During the later years of their existence, roses will thrive if you mulch in the springtime.
The zinnia produces large-headed flowers that can be colored white, red, yellow, violet, or orange. The zinnia does best when it exposed to full sun and is less successful during cool and cloudy times. Plant zinnias in loamy soil that is deep and moist. Make sure that the plant is well-watered and well-fed to produce the best results in hardiness zones that are cool and temperate.