White-flowered plants are a key component in many types of garden.
They are particularly useful in shady corners, where the blooms show up especially well, and their luminescent blooms are also the most visible at dusk. They will combine with other flowers of virtually any colour in beds, borders and containers, or you could create a white-themed flower border, inspired by Sissinghurst.
Many white-flowered plants are richly scented, which helps to attract nocturnal pollinators, like moths.
Find more plants with white flowers by taking a look at our handy Plant Finder.
Discover some of our favourite plants with white flowers, below.
Snowdrops have got to be one of the best known plants with white flowers. If dividing existing clumps, do so while they’re still ‘in the green’, which is just after they have finished flowering. Will provide early nectar for bees.
White-flowered anemones you could grow include Anemone nemorosa, Anemonella thalictroides and Anemone blanda ‘White Splendour’. All are woodland plants that enjoy a rich, moist but well-drained soil.
There are several climbing jasmines you could grow for their white, fragranced flowers. The most reliable in the UK climate are star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides and common jasmine, Jasminum officinale.
No white garden is complete with a romantic, frothy white rose. Browse our plant database for beautiful white roses, including ‘Claire Austin’ (pictured), ‘Iceberg’, ‘Wedding Day’, ‘York Minster’, ‘Kiftsgate’, ‘Rambling Rector’ or the recent introduction, ‘William and Catherine’.
Gauras are beautiful and useful in equal measure. Their bushy, informal growth makes them perfect for filling gaps in beds, borders and containers. These perennials also have a long flowering season, usually from spring into autumn.
Cosmos are half-hardy annuals that are easy to grow from seed. Keep deadheading them as the blooms fade, to prolong flowering. For planting ideas, check out eight plants to grow with cosmos.
Looking for plants with evening scent? Nicotianas are renowned for their heady perfume, which is released from the trumpet shaped blooms. Discover how you can boost your borders with these half-hardy annuals.
Also known as Japanese mock orange, Pittosporum tobira is an attractive evergreen shrub or small tree. The clusters of white flowers have a powerful fragrance and are very attractive to honeybees.
Seeking a small tree? Snowy mespilus (Amelanchier lamarckii) is a great choice. The pretty white blossom appears in spring, just as the leaves are opening. Snowy mespilus is also a good plant for clay soil.
Gardening in shade? Solomon’s seal (polygonatum) is an instantly recognisable perennial, with white, pendulous flowers hanging from arching stems. Try growing alongside other shade-lovers like lamprocapnos, anemones and ferns.
This evergreen shrub will provide year-round colour, with the bonus of deliciously fragranced flowers in winter and spring. Grow Sarcococca confusa in sun or shade, in a moist, well-drained soil.
Think about foliage
White-flowered plants combine especially well with plants with silver or grey foliage, so be sure to add some of these to your planting scheme.
Houseplants with white flowers
- Stephanotis floribunda – tropical evergreen climber with jasmine-scented flowers
- Peace lily (spathiphyllum) – evergreen with lush green leaves and elegant white blooms
- Jasminum polyanthum – grow this tender jasmine in a spot with bright, indirect light. Strongly scented
- White-flowered dendrobium orchid – easy to grow, they require cooler temperatures and less humidity than phalaenopsis
- White-flowered phalaenopsis orchid – also easy to grow, choose a warm, bright, humid spot for them, such as a kitchen or bathroom
- Gardenia jasminoides – glossy, evergreen leaves with rose-like, richly scented flowers
- Paperwhite narcissi – a tender, indoor daffodil with white, fragranced flowers in late winter and spring