This article has been checked for horticultural accuracy by Oliver Parsons.
Green is a soothing and calming colour, found abundantly in foliage, but it's much less common as a flower colour. Plants with blooms in shades of green are well worth seeking out for their subtle sophistication, both in the garden in pots and borders, as well as for cutting and flower arranging. There’s a wide range of plant types offering green blooms: annuals, perennials, biennials, shrubs, and bulbs. However you won't find a green rose.
Green flowers vary in tone from creamy-greens to bright lime-green, and work well with many other flower colours. Lime works particularly well with oranges and blues, creating a contrast that is fresh but not overpowering. Greens with whites and soft pastels is refreshing and relaxing. Bold green flowers look spectacular with bright reds, oranges, and pinks as part of an exotic planting.
Here we list 20 of the best green-flowered plants to grow. Whatever the size of your outdoor space, there is a green flower to suit.
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Lady’s mantle is a hardy perennial and an old cottage garden favourite, producing frothy masses of tiny lime-yellow flowers from a clump of scalloped-edged green leaves. It makes a lovely edging plant and works well beneath under roses and among other herbaceous plants like geraniums and salvias. Though beware, it does self-seed freely.
Height x Spread: 60cm x 75cm
Amaranthus ‘Green Thumb’
This half-hardy annual stands out from the crowd with unusual apple-green flowers, like long tassels, that contrast with darker foliage. Grow in containers or mix in with other exotic-looking tender plants like dahlias, cannas, and zinnias, for an eye-catching summer display.
H x S: 60 x 30cm
The tall flowering stems of angelica, topped with dome-shaped blooms made up of many tiny flowers, are so statuesque that it’s a surprise to realise this plant is a biennial and hence short-lived, completing its life cycle within two years. Grow this striking plant at the back of the border or in a wild garden. Traditionally the stems were candied and eaten as a sweet, but today it’s more likely to be the bees and other pollinating insects that appreciate this plant.
H x S: 2 x 1.2m
Chrysanthemum Green Mist
Popular as long-lasting cut flowers, hardy chrysanthemums also make excellent border plants for late-season colour, either with other perennials like Michaelmas daisies and verbenas, or tender plants such as dahlias. Chrysanthemum stems can snap easily and benefit from staking or grow-through plant supports, especially in windy locations.
H x S: 50 x 50cm
Dianthus Green Trick ('Temarisou') (PBR)
This variety of sweet William stands out from the crowd with unusual flowers that are a rounded globe of many slender petals, borne on sturdy stems. It makes an excellent cut flower, too, lasting for weeks in water. Sweet William is a short-lived perennial usually grown as a biennial with seed sown one year to flower the next, useful to fill gaps in borders or in a cut flower patch. Grow in good soil and sun.
H x S: 50 x 30cm
Echinacea purpurea ‘Green Jewel’
A hardy herbaceous perennial that forms clumps of sturdy upright stems topped with large daisy-like flowers with a bold central ‘cone’, hence this plant’s common name of coneflower. Darker green in the centre fading to lighter green petals. Grows best in good soil in sun and associates well with ornamental grasses.
H x S: 70 x 50cm
The pineapple lily is a frost-tender bulb yet is easy to grow and makes a long-lasting attractive feature plant in sunny pots, raised beds, borders and gravel gardens. Large heads made up of many small, soft green, purple-tinged flowers are topped with a tuft of green that resembles a pineapple, hence the name. Wide strap-shaped green leaves look good from spring to autumn. In all except mild areas, move pots into a dry undercover place or lift and store over winter.
H x S: 50 x 30cm
Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii
This sun-loving spurge makes an attractive and architectural feature plant all year round with evergreen blue-green leaves, becoming a real stunner in spring when tall stems are topped with large heads of bright lime-yellow flowers. Tolerant of drought and lovely in a gravel garden or dry border along with other sun-lovers such as lavender, Verbena bonariensis, sage, and rosemary. Cut back flower stems when faded, wearing gloves as the milky sap may cause skin irritations.
H x S: 90 x 90cm
Euphorbia x martini
Bold, upright heads of flowers are lime-green with a red eye, contrasting with blue-green to green-purple leaves, and good for all-year interest in sunny or part-shaded borders as the young stems of this perennial remain evergreen. Wear gloves when cutting back the faded flower stems at ground level to protect against the potentially irritating sap.
H x S: 45 x 60 cm
Gladiolus ‘Green Star’
The showy ruffled blooms of this tender bulbous plant are great for summer colour in pots, borders, and for cutting. Many bright colours are available, including this ultra-unusual and vivid green. Plant gladioli in spring and stake as the flower buds develop, as the tall top-heavy blooms are liable to topple. To keep for next year, lift the bulbs in autumn, store in a dry place over winter, and replant next spring.
H x S: 90 x 15cm
Handsome in both flowers and foliage, the jagged edged dark green leaves of this perennial show off the bold clusters of apple-green flowers borne in spring. Tolerant of both sun and shade, and withstanding drought once established, this hellebore is a good ingredient in borders and gravel gardens.
H x S: 75 x 60cm
The dark green foliage of this evergreen perennial brightens part or fully-shaded spots and contrasts with heads of nodding pale green flowers, cheering borders and woodland gardens in early spring. This plant partners well with early spring-flowering bulbs and shrubby dogwoods with coloured stems.
H x S: 80 x 45cm
Hydrangea macrophylla Magical Green Delight ('Hokomagrede')
A new colour-changing form of this popular hardy garden shrub is a real eye-catcher. Rounded heads of flowers open apple-green, then develop a contrasting pink eye and turn a darker green. Ideal for part-shaded spots, this deciduous plant is compact and suits a large container as well as growing in the ground.
H x S: 1m x 1m
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’
This deciduous shrub is a wonderful sight in late summer and into autumn with large, conical heads of flowers made up of many tiny blooms, which open lime-green and age to cream and finally deep pink. Ideal for borders in partial or dappled shade, growing in soil that doesn’t dry out in summer. The variety Little Lime is more compact than ‘Limelight’ and could be grown in a large container.
H x S: 2m x 2m
This tender annual, otherwise known by the common name bells of Ireland, is a flower arrangers’ favourite with stems clustered with pale yellow ‘ruffs’ surrounding the tiny purple-pink true flowers. When dried the flowers can last for several years. Raise from seed and plant out after the frosts.
H x S: 75 x 23cm
A dainty form of flowering tobacco plant, which is a frost-tender annual flower, bearing slender branching stems of nodding, tubular flowers in a soft shade of lime green. Delightful in patches and drifts in sunny sheltered borders, amongst perennials and roses. Grow from seed sown in late winter to early spring.
H x S: 90 x 30cm
Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’
This variety of the frost-tender tobacco plant is a showy flower with larger and more open blooms in bright lime green. Grow in a border or in large pots, in sun and a sheltered spot. Grow from seed or buy as plants.
H x S: 60 x 30cm
Tulipa ‘Spring Green’
An elegant tulip with blooms broadly marked with green on the outside and edged with white. Partners well with topiary plants such as box, with other tulips of contrasting colours, or underplanted with a frothy mass of blue forget-me-nots (Myosotis).
H x S: 38 x 15cm
Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Green Goddess’
Better known as arum lily or calla lily, this striking plant is perfect for moist soil in a pot, in the ground, at the edge of a pond, or in a bog garden. A perennial that grows from a thick, fleshy root or rhizome, it produces spathes of bright green flowers with a contrasting white throat amongst large, lush foliage. Hardy down to -5°C and suitable for growing outside in mild areas where the leaves often remain evergreen. In colder areas, grow in a pot to bring indoors for the winter.
H x S: 60 x 60cm
The blooms of this frost-tender annual are unusual and showy, with semi-double blooms of lime green borne on slender stems. It makes an excellent cut flower as well as a good plant for summer and autumn displays, perfect for partnering other colourful blooms such as dahlias, cosmos, salvias, and verbenas. Sow seed in warmth in spring and plant out in summer, siting in sun and shelter.
H x S: 60 x 30cm