Best white flowers for your garden

here’s something to be said for the ethereal beauty and purity of white flowers. They provide contrast to the rich jewel tones of a garden, offer a backdrop for the varying shades of green, and add a subtle glow on a moonlit night. They offer even greater visual impact if you design an entire section of your garden around them, preferably in an area where you sit in the evenings so you can enjoy their luminescence. That's we've rounded up the best white flowers right here.

These pretty white flowers work in a variety of garden and landscape settings. Mix and match them however you prefer, but for more formal gardens, roses, peonies, and gardenias can be the stars. Country or cottage gardens shine with butterfly bushes and containers, hanging baskets, or landscape plantings of trailing flowers, such as bacopa and fan flower. And the sweet scents of alyssum and nemesia are best when placed in containers or hanging pots next to a seating area, or someplace where you can enjoy their delicate fragrances.

Gardening Tool Set for Mom

Here are 15 of our favorite white flower annuals, perennials, and shrubs to add pale brilliance to any garden. (Don't forget to check out the best types of flowers for your garden too, along with the easiest flowers to grow.)

1 Lily of the Valley Shrub

Like its namesake, these shrubs have showy clusters of bell-shaped flowers that dangle from the arching branches in late winter to early spring. Lily of the valley needs mostly shade.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 6 to 8

Varieties to try:

White Pearl


2 Sweet Alyssum

Tiny blooms on this delicate annual beckon to pollinators. Sweet alyssum looks lovely cascading from containers, window boxes, and hanging baskets, or tucked into a rock garden as a flowering ground cover. Sweet alyssum likes full to part sun and will tolerate a light frost, so you'll enjoy abundant flowers all season long.

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Varieties to try:

Snow Princess

Blushing Princess

3 Lobelia

Cascading blooms of this annual will fill your planter in cool weather; newer types tolerate more heat, but still don’t bloom best when nighttime temps stay in the 70s. Trim them up in hot weather, and they’ll revive when things cool down. Lobelia prefers part sun or full shade in hot climates.

Varieties to try:

Laguna White

4 Peony

This shrubby perennial plant with glossy, dark green foliage may require staking to keep its heavy blooms from drooping, but their lush flowers are worth it. The ants which visit the flowers aren’t pests; they’re sipping the nectar. Peonies prefer full sun.

Varieties to try:

Festiva Maxima

Shirley Temple

5 Nemesia

Tons of teeny flowers that resemble baby snapdragons flourish from spring to fall without deadheading (removing spent blooms). This annual tends to do better in pots, though it will tolerate well-drained soils in the garden or in raised beds. Nemesia likes part sun, but does okay in full sun in cooler climates.

Varieties to try:

Sunsatia Coconut

White Knight

6 Petunia

Old varieties of this annual required deadheading to keep blooming, but new hybrids bloom all season without any fussing on your part. Trailing or double varieties are especially lovely in window boxes. Petunias do best in full sun.

Varieties to try:

Blanket Double White

Supertunia White

7 Fan Flower

These annuals are the stars of any low-maintenance garden, as they don’t require deadheading, yet still bloom all summer. Their trailing habit makes them a natural for baskets and window boxes. Fan flowers like full sun.

revive air plant

Varieties to try:

Whirlwind White

Bondi White

8 Rose

Every garden needs at least one rose; they’re not as fussy as many people believe, and many newer roses have been bred for insect and disease resistance. Shrub varieties have a bushy shape and fill in areas beautifully. Many have gorgeous scents too. Roses bloom best in full sun.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 11

Varieties to try:


White Drift

9 Gardenia

Glossy green leaves and creamy white flowers highlight this pretty, old-fashioned garden favorite. Most varieties of this shrub bloom from late spring to early summer. Plant them near patios and walkways to enjoy the scent. Gardenias like part shade.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10

Varieties to try:

Snowy Girl

August Beauty

10 Bacopa

This trailing annual has tiny, round flowers that seem to thrive on neglect. They bloom all the way until frost and like mostly sun.
Varieties to try:

Betty White

Snowstorm Snow Globe

11 Hydrangea

These stunning shrubs range in height from a few feet tall to eight or more feet. The blooms can be tiny like softballs or gigantic like bowling balls. Many types have white to cream-white blooms that last for months. Hydrangeas need sun to bloom best.

Varieties to try:



12 Rose of Sharon

When other shrubs are starting to wind down for the season, Rose of Sharon is kicking into high gear in late summer. They work well as a hedge or an accent. New types have a columnar habit, so they take up less space. They need full sun.

Varieties to try:

White Pillar

White Chiffon

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13 Angelonia

Some types of this annual, also known as summer snapdragon, cascade, while others have an upright form. They look amazing starring alone in a container, but they also play well with others in mixed containers. Angelonia prefers sun.

Varieties to try:

Angelface Cascade White

Angelface Superwhite

14 Moonflower

As the name indicates, these vining annuals bloom at night and stay open until dawn! Mix them in with morning glories for daytime blooms. They do best in the ground, not pots, and prefer full sun.

15 Butterfly Bush

These shrubs really do attract pollinators, so you'll enjoy blooms and butterflies all at once! This plant ranges in size from two to eight feet tall, so read the label. Prefers full sun.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

Varieties to try:

Inspired White

Miss Pearl

Arricca Elin Sansone Arricca SanSone has written about health and lifestyle topics for Prevention, Country Living, Woman's Day, and more.


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