Wander through your local garden center or search for flowering garden plants online and you will likely notice a commonality. Many of the prettiest flowers have names that start with the letter “P”. In fact, there are a plethora of them.
If your last name starts with a “P”, or if you just have a penchant for this consonant, consider growing some of these pretty, petite, perky pleasers in your flower garden.
The popular perennial primrose makes a welcome addition to your garden, particularly because it is one of the earliest plants to flower in the spring. That’s actually how it got its name. The “prim” part was taken from the Latin word for “first,” which is “primus.”
Primrose flowers can be white, pink, yellow, purple, or red in color. Each bloom has five petals arranged in a rosette around a solid, darker-colored center. The flowers themselves are quite dainty… only about one inch wide.
Gardeners love primroses because they are adaptable. They can be grown in your flower beds, as well as in container pots and hanging baskets. They even make good houseplants.
Pansies are most often grown as annuals or biennials because they are too short-lived to be considered a perennial. The colorful pansies, members of the Viola family, are easy to spot because of the face-like characteristics of their unusual flowers.
The pansy blooms have a dark blotch at the base of the petals and five petals in colors ranging from vibrant purples, oranges, and blues, to brilliant pinks, yellows, and reds.
The name ‘pansy’ was borrowed from the French word, ‘penser’, meaning ‘to think’, because, as the story goes, the flower represents a lover who spends his days doing nothing but thinking about his dear love.
Pansies are compact plants that only grow about five to ten inches tall. The plant begins blooming in early spring and will continue to flower well into the fall, if the conditions are right. Pansies prefer cooler temperatures and partial shade.
The picture-perfect peony is an attention-grabbing flowering plant that produces large, rose-like blooms in the late spring and early summer. A perennial plant, peonies will return year after year and serve as a good anchor for your landscape design.
Peonies are sizable enough to stand on their own – along a driveway or to create a divider in your yard – or they can be a focal point of your flower garden.
The lovely, sweet smell of the blooming peonies is inviting and pleasant. Gardeners love cutting the massive, four to six-inch peony flowers to use in fresh floral arrangements. The blooms add a touch of romance to your dining room table.
A go-to annual for many gardeners, petunias are so popular because they have a lot to offer. They offer an instant splash of color, thrive in full sun, and don’t mind being planted in container pots, window boxes, or hanging planters.
Petunias have been highly hybridized over the last several decades, so we now have varieties with a profusion of large, bright blooms.
You can find petunias in a multitude of colors, including red, purple, pink, lavender, white, and yellow. Hybrid varieties are even available with striped or dotted petals.
Petunias will bloom all season long, prolonging the color and interest of your flower beds.
Petunias are easy to grow and don’t require too much fuss. They only ask to be deadheaded a few times a week. By removing the dead flowers, you are helping the plant bring forth new blooms.
Periwinkle is a variety of vinca that is most often used as ground cover. From spring through early summer, the compact, low-growing mass of periwinkle blooms with small bluish flowers. Each flower has five petals and is arranged in a star shape.
The trailing, spreading periwinkle is often used to cover natural areas, under trees, or along walkways. The leaves stay green all year round, giving your outdoor spaces a touch of color even during the gray of winter.
Periwinkle requires some maintenance to keep it from spreading into unwanted places.
Although the periwinkle flowers are small – only about one inch in diameter – they provide an important source of nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Tall, light, and airy, phlox is a native wildflower that has found a home in the flower gardens, especially with gardeners who seek to grow only native plants or gardeners looking to create the feel of an English cottage garden.
Phlox, a perennial, grows to about four feet in height with a cluster of small flowers arranged in a grouping on each stem.
Sometimes called sweet Williams, phlox plants flower in late spring and keep their colors for up to six weeks. The blooms can be white, light blue, lavender, pink, or purple in color.
Individual flowers, each with five petals, are small but they grow in clusters, so it looks like larger flowers.
Phlox helps attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees to your garden. The height of the plants, coupled with the delicate flowers and sweet aroma, will give your garden the charm of yesteryear.
A sprawling perennial shrub, plumbago can grow to be nine or ten feet tall but will also spread horizontally. In fact, plumbago plants can become untidy quickly unless they are kept in check with careful, routine pruning.
Plumbago’s flowers resemble phlox in that they produce small, one-inch blooms that grow in groups. The unusual thing about plumbago is that the flowers are bluish in color.
In fact, the plant’s name comes from the same Latin word that means ‘lead’, because the color is similar to the bluish gray of lead.
A strikingly beautiful ornamental perennial, poppies are bright orange or red in color. The flowers have either four or six petals that form a cup shape. At the center of the cup is a distinctive dark purple or black mark.
The poppy plant reaches between one and three feet in height and has lacy leaves. During World War II, trenches were dug in the poppy fields of Flanders in Belgium. Since then, poppies have symbolized honor and remembrance of soldiers killed in war.
Opium, a powerful drug, is derived from certain varieties of poppy plants. Many countries now place restrictions on growing these varieties of poppies.
It is illegal to grow them without a permit from the government, however, the poppies for sale at your local garden center won’t get you into trouble.
9. Purple Coneflower
The daisy-like purple coneflower, also known as Echinacea, is a beloved perennial plant that is a favorite among gardeners. Purple coneflowers can grow up to three feet in height and have a clumping growth habit.
The flowers are produced in mid to late summer and remain colorful through early fall.
As the name suggests, purple coneflowers are purple. The long, thin petals, which can be up to three inches long, range from deep purple to a pinkish-lavender color. The petals encircle a spiky, cone-like center that is typically brown or orange in color.
Purple coneflowers are easy to grow and adapt to many growing conditions. Their height adds visual interest to gardens and the flower is attractive to butterflies and bees.
10. Pink Dianthus
Typically planted as an annual, pink dianthus is a frilly, dainty flower that reaches about eight to ten inches in height. The plant will start to bloom in early summer and continue through the growing season.
Pink dianthus will produce more blooms if the plants are regularly deadheaded.
The flowers are pink or red in color with five petals arranged in a star pattern. The blooms give off a slightly spicy fragrance. The leaves of the plant are slender and have a silvery green shade.
Although pink dianthus prefer to live in full sun gardens, they will also thrive in partial shade. Their small size makes them popular for window boxes and container pots.
Pink dianthus is also drought-tolerant, which is why they are often used in rock gardens.
11. Princess Flower
With a name like princess flower, you know this plant is especially gorgeous. This sprawling, flowering evergreen bush bursts with a plethora of two- to four-inch-deep purple blooms in the summer months.
The flowers grow in thick clusters nearly covering the bush.
Individual flowers have five petals arranged in an orderly fashion around the center. A hallmark of the princess flower is its long stamens that give the blooms a lacy appearance.
Princess flowers thrive in full sunlight and moist soil. If you pinch off new growth, you will encourage the bush to produce more blooms.
12. Pincushion Flower
Typically used as an annual bedding plant, pincushion flowers are known for their striking flowers that resemble a pincushion. The blooms have a ring of flat petals surrounding a round, raised center that is covered in tiny, protruding stamens.
Most varieties of pincushion flowers produce blooms that are blue in color. In fact, this is a selling point for the flowers. Varieties have names such as “Blue Diamonds,” “Blue Stars”, and “Blue Note.”
The plants are about two feet tall when mature, with long, slender stems. Pincushion flowers grow in clumps and look best when several plants are grouped together.
Flowers appear in mid-summer and will last through late fall, especially if the faded blooms are routinely deadheaded.
Perfect and pretty, these flowers with “P” names all have something special to bring to your outdoor space. Some are petite, some are prolific, and some are poised, but all of them are pleasing, which is why they are popular with gardeners.