White goes with everything, right? That is true in fashion and home décor as much as it is in landscape design.
With all the colorful flowering perennials you will find at your local garden center, there are also plenty of perennials with white blooms. Don’t shy away from including white perennials in your flower beds.
White perennials can add a lot of visual interest and beauty to your garden. They can brighten up a dark spot or bring a touch of elegance and sophistication to your home.
Here are 14 white flowering perennials you might want to consider for your garden space.
Gardenias, with their snowy white, rose-like blossoms, are quintessential white perennials and a favorite among gardeners. The plants themselves are attractive, standing about two feet tall and boasting thick, glossy leaves.
It is the flowers, however, that steal the show.
The flowers can be as big as four inches across and bloom from early spring through the summer months.
Gardenias are one of the most fragrant of all the white perennials. The scent lingers even after the flowers are cut and made into bouquets or corsages.
2. Shasta Daisies
A garden classic, the sunny, happy Shasta daisy is a welcomed addition to any garden style from the cottage garden style and wildflower garden to a formal or Victorian garden. The long, slender white petals surround a yellow center.
Shasta daisies grow in clumps about one to two feet across and reach heights up to three feet tall. The clumps grow and spread each year to create more daisies without the need to reseed.
Shasta daisies are hardy and robust and can become aggressive spreaders if you don’t work to contain them.
Because Shasta daisies are tall, straight plants, they are often used to add height and interest to flower beds. The flowers can also be cut for vases and bouquets.
3. White Roses
Roses come in a few different varieties, such as English tea roses, climbing roses, and traditional rose bushes. White roses are especially lovely and can add a glow of light to a shady area in your yard.
A trellis or arbor covered in climbing roses or a sturdy shrub in your garden will have a clean, innocent vibe with white roses all in bloom.
Botanists have worked to develop white roses in several shades of white, from glowing white to romantic ivory. No matter the shade or the variety of white roses you pick, you will find that white roses are sophisticated, romantic, and charming.
Roses, including white ones, give off a sweet, fragrant smell. The beauty of the full, multi-petal flowers and the pleasant aroma make white roses a welcome addition to your garden.
Avid gardeners will tell you that the color of hydrangea flowers is determined by the pH levels in the soil. That is true of pink, blue, and lavender flowers, but not for white hydrangeas.
White hydrangeas flowers cannot be colored by soil acidity because they do not produce pigment.
As far as flowering shrubs go, hydrangeas are one of the most popular. The plants range in height from three to nine feet tall with blooms that flower from early spring to late fall.
The bushes are covered with clusters of flowers and white hydrangeas look like large cotton balls against the dark green foliage.
Hydrangea flowers grow in flowerheads with a collection of small flowers at the end of woody stems. The flowerheads are shaped like pom-poms. When cut for vases, the hydrangea flowers are dreamy and last for several days.
Hydrangeas are relatively easy to grow, but you may need to prune the shrubs to keep them from looking shaggy. Another benefit to growing hydrangeas is that the flowers attract bees and other pollinators to your garden.
5. Lily of the Valley
Dainty and fairylike, lilies of the valley are sweet-smelling perennial flowers that are big on charm, but small in size. The plants only grow to between four and six inches tall. The white flowers are native to the woodlands of North America.
The lily of the valley plants have narrow, shoot-like leaves. Amid the leaves, the plant produces a stalk with a line of bell-shaped flowers that hang off the stalk in a series.
The little white bells are like drops of glowing jewels in shady spots in your garden.
The fragrance of lily of the valley flowers is often replicated in perfumes. The plants contain a substance called cardiac glycosides which is quite poisonous to animals, including humans.
6. White Peonies
A large, flowering, ornamental plant, peonies are prized for their large, showy flowers that come in a range of colors, including white. The plants are roughly two to three feet tall with compound leaves and thin branches that bow and droop.
Peony flowers are four to six inches wide with complex, rose-like petals. The flowers have a pleasant, sweet fragrance. Peonies typically bloom in late spring or early summer but, sadly, the flowering season lasts only a few weeks.
Gardeners often include peonies in cutting gardens. The enormous blooms are beautiful in vases and fresh arrangements.
The crisp white blooms of peony flowers shine bright against the dark green, glossy leaves of the plant. The foliage remains attractive throughout the growing season, even after the flowers have faded.
Peonies are a beloved perennial because they add height and interest to gardens all summer long.
Peonies are relatively easy to care for, but you can improve your chances of larger, showier, longer-lasting blooms if you plant them in sunny places with well-drained soil. Peonies benefit from soil that is rich in organic matter and from occasional boosts of fertilizer.
Mature peonies can live for more than a half-century and produce eye-catching flowers year after year.
Jasmine, a vine of the olive family, is a favorite perennial because of its lovely white flowers and distinctive aroma. The flowers are small and star-shaped with between five and eight petals.
The blooms grow in clusters of three or more flowers on a stem, giving gardeners an even bigger pop of white.
The sweet, exotic fragrance of the jasmine flowers is more intense in the evening and at night which is why many homeowners plant the vines near their decks or patios.
The pearly flowers reflect the moonlight and, combined with the intoxicating smell, provide a pleasant backdrop to outdoor entertainment spaces.
Jasmine is a native of the tropics, but varieties have been developed to thrive in cooler climates.
The plants are fairly low maintenance, however, if you are growing a jasmine vine as ground cover or a shrub, you will need to train the vines so they don’t grow where you don’t want them to.
Jasmine likes frequent watering, so you may need to hire a neighbor kid to water your garden when you go on summer vacation.
8. White Gladiolus
Gladiolus, also known as sword lily, is a common perennial that produces tall spikes of elegant flowers in gleaming white, as well as other colors.
A charmer that calls to mind the nostalgia of grandma’s flower gardens, the gladiolus have been extensively hybridized over the last two centuries. The result is taller, larger, longer-lasting blooms.
The flowers of gladiolus are large and funnel-shaped, with six petals that are arranged in two rows.
The flowers are typically two to five inches wide and are densely packed along the tall, vertical spike, which can grow up to five feet tall. Each spike can produce twenty or more individual flowers.
The leaves of the gladiolus plants are long and narrow and arranged in a fan-like pattern along the stem. Most gladiolus leaves are green, but some hybrid varieties have been developed with striped or variegated leaves.
Gladiolus are easy to grow and will bloom best if planted in sunny locations. The plant grows from a corm, which is similar to a bulb.
Each corm lasts only about six to ten years, but they form baby corms that will take over as the older corm dies out so you will see your gladiolus return every spring for years to come.
Trilliums are a flowering woodland plant that is native to the forests of North America.
As more and more gardeners are making the commitment to grow only native plants, trilliums are moving from the woods and into flower gardens. The plants grow from underground rhizomes that spread and propagate.
Trilliums are easy to spot. The flowers are white with three pointed petals arranged in a triangular shape. Each flower is about three inches wide.
Trilliums bloom in the spring and are one of the first flowers to appear in wooded areas. The crisp white flowers stand out against the newly emerging foliage and appear like a blanket of white on the forest floor.
As shady lovers, trilliums should only be planted in gardens that receive little direct sunlight or under trees and bushes.
They are not the easiest plants to grow in a garden setting. It may take several years before the trillium plant is mature enough to flower. They are also quite fragile, therefore picking the flowers could damage or kill the plant.
Trilliums have a simple, understated beauty. The bright white, triangle flowers are a welcome sight after the dullness of winter.
If you have a woodland garden or naturalized space, or are looking for native plants, the trillium is a white perennial that can add a rustic vibe to your landscaping.
10. White Veronica
Veronica is a perennial flowering plant that is native to North America and Europe. The plants are typically low-growing and produce tall spikes of small delicate flowers in white, as well as other colors.
The flowers of Veronica plants are densely grouped along the spikes, which can reach one to three feet in height.
The individual flowers are typically small and tubular. If you look closely, you will see four or five petals that are fused at the base. Veronica plants bloom in the summer and attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.
Veronica plants have narrow, dagger-shaped leaves that are arranged in opposite pairs along the stem. Typically, the leaves are green, but hybrid varieties now include leaves that are tinged with red or purple, as well as variegated leaves.
The delicate beauty of Veronica plants and flowers makes this white perennial a popular choice for rock gardens, borders, English cottage gardens, and other flower beds.
Gardeners also value Veronica as a plant that supports the pollinator population, as well as other wildlife.
Veronica is an adaptable plant that can thrive in a range of soil types and growing conditions. To get the most blooms, however, the plant should be grown in a sunny location with well-drained soil.
11. White Tulips
Although tulips grow in a variety of colors, the snowy white tulips are especially stunning. When cut and arranged in a vase, they have a modern, minimalist aesthetic that is quite appealing these days.
Tulips are grown from bulbs that are planted in the fall and produce tall, upright stems topped with cup-shaped flowers in the spring.
Botanists and cultivators have extensively hybridized tulips. Some varieties now have ruffled or fringed edges. Tulip flowers feature six petals that are arranged in two rows and stand upright to form a cup.
Tulips are one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring. Since they often bloom around Easter time, they are closely associated with the holiday.
White tulips symbolize purity and honor which make them a perfect flower to give to celebrate a religious ceremony, like a baptism, first communion, or bar mitzvah.
Tulips have become deeply ingrained in many cultures around the world. The Dutch, for example, are forever linked to tulips.
12. White Phlox
Sometimes called sweet William, white phlox is a species of flowering perennial plants that is native to North America. It grows as a wildflower along roadways, open fields, and parks, but is also a favorite among gardeners.
The phlox plants grow to be between two and four feet tall with stems topped with clusters of small, white flowers. The individual flowers each have five dainty petals arranged in a star pattern.
The flower clusters, however, can be several inches across.
White phlox blooms in mid-summer and the plant continues to produce flowers for six to eight weeks. Bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies love the fragrant blooms of the white phlox.
It is a go-to perennial for gardeners who want to attract pollinators to their year.
Easy to grow, white phlox plants can tolerate several types of soils and growing conditions. They perform best in full sun and with frequent waterings, but they easily bounce back from temporary drought conditions.
Phlox plants spread through an underground network of roots and can take over a garden if left unchecked.
13. White Irises
The iris takes its name from Ancient Greek mythology and “iris” means “rainbow”. In Chinese culture, the word for “iris” translates to “the dancing spirit of early summer.”
White irises and the most common color for this perennial flower after its traditional purple.
White irises are a stunning, elegant addition to any garden. They are regal and graceful. Brides often select white irises for their bridal bouquets because the flowers are classic, sophisticated, and symbolize purity.
The flowers of iris plants are typically large and complex. There are three inner petals that are upright or drooping, and three outer petals that are wider and often curved or flared.
The petals can also be ornate, with intricate markings, fringes, and ruffles.
Irises bloom in the late spring or summer and the flowers last for several weeks. Since the iris plants grow up to three feet tall, the shining white iris flowers add height and visual interest to flower beds.
Even after the flowers fade, the iris plants continue to add to the beauty of the garden. The plant has tall, narrow leaves that form a fan-like pattern around the base of the plant.
Most iris leaves are green, however, newer hybrid varieties have purplish leaves.
14. White Columbine
Columbine varieties come in nearly every color, however, the white columbine flowers have a timeless appeal that will make a beautiful statement in your garden.
The flowers are truly unique. Each bloom has five petals that are arranged in a circle around a central cluster and can have long, slender tubes that extend from the base of the flower.
Columbine flowers bloom in the spring and early summer. The plants reach between six and twelve inches tall and can be nearly twice as wide. The plant’s blue-green leaves can be up to eight inches long.
Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees love columbines. Adding white columbines to your landscape design is a perfect way to attract pollinators to your gardens.
Gardeners value columbine because the plants adapt well to different growing conditions and create patches of white in partially shaded locations.
Mother Nature gave us flowers in all the colors of the rainbow, yet the pure white blooms of these white perennials are something special. Adding white flowers to your garden design can bring light into shady areas and serve as a backdrop to the vibrantly colored flowers. But don’t dismiss white flowers as mere accent plants.
White flowers have a timeless, classic appeal that is elegant and whimsical at the same time. Try a few white flowers in your garden and you’ll discover the appeal of pure white.