by Matt Gibson
Looking for the best blue flowers to grow in your garden this season? Blue flowers are always an attractive option for your flowerbeds, so we’ve compiled this list of the the best blue-hued blossoms available for you to grow this year.
Featuring blue blossoms in your garden will make your yard a peaceful retreat you’re glad to steal away to each day, even if you live in the bustling city.
According to several different surveys, both in America and across the globe, the color blue is the world’s favorite color, and it’s the favorite shade of both males and females in America. Blue is popular for good reason. Universally, a temperate day is associated with a clear blue sky, and clear blue water is naturally connected with good health. Blue can even have connotations of Americana or comfort, reminding us of our favorite pair of worn blue jeans.
In the garden, where green foliage dominates the color palette, blue flowers are a perfect fit. In fact, a plot filled with blooms in different hues of blue is wonderfully elegant and serene. The following list highlights the best of the best blue flowers that Mother Nature has to offer so you can deck your garden out with the most inviting blue blooms and learn to keep them healthy.
If you want a bit of tonal variety aside from blue, sprinkle in a few complementary white, yellow, or pink blossoms. We suggest pairing blue with only one or two other colors in the garden, though, as too many competing shades will lessen blue’s vibrant effect and distract from the theme. For flower beds that evoke an expansive ocean of blue, try planting about 90 percent blue flowers with a contrasting touch of white, or mix 80 percent blue blooms with 20 percent pink or yellow petals (but not both) for a bluecentric garden getaway.
The bell-shaped columbine (Aquilegia) flower in full bloom is a stunning, sculptural sight. The blue variety of columbine has five azure petals that frame a white honeycomb-like centerpiece (called a sepal). The sepal’s blue interiors are highlighted by a bright yellow bunch of pistils jutting out of the core of the bloom.
Columbine’s dark green foliage turns maroon during the winter months, so these plants will add color to your garden year-round, even when they are not in bloom. These perennials will steal the show by starting to bloom in the springtime, bringing lively color to your garden with a deep, dramatic sapphire flower edged with white and yellow accents. Give columbines plenty of mulch to keep their soil nice and moist, and for best results, give their roots plenty of insulation during cold winter months so that they will return to draw your gaze in spring year after year.
Columbines thrive in zones 3-8 and prefer partial shade to full sunlight and fertile, well-drained soil.
Similar in style to the popular forget me not flower, brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla) makes the list over the more common forget me nots because of their striking heart-shaped leaves, which are primarily cream-colored accented with green trim.
These shade-loving perennials bloom dark corners of your garden with large clusters of tiny pale blue flowers amid their large leaves, and the leaves tend to draw the eye as much or more than the blooms themselves. The variegated variety of Brunnera is even more stunning than the standard breed.
Brunnera prefers full shade, zones 3-7, and consistently moist, well-drained soil.
Blue delphiniums have glorious cerulean floral spires that seem to reach upward into the clouds. Sometimes they reach a little too high for their own good, as taller varieties may need the help of stakes to keep them from toppling over when they stretch too far toward the sky. These cottage-style beauties also make great cut flowers in arrangements, as they are known to retain their beauty for months after their stems have been snipped.
Delphiniums prefer a mix of full sun and partial shade, well-drained soil, and do well in zones 4-7.
The bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana) flower is an unusually hardy springtime flower. The star-shaped blooms appear in clusters made up of thin, pointed petals and dark green foliage that tends to turn yellow near the end of the season. Bluestar requires very little care and is resistant to drought and heat, as well as a deterrent to deer and rabbits who might tend to plunder your garden’s plumage.
Bluestar is at home in zones 3-9 and flourishes in well-drained soil and full sunlight to partial shade.
The Oxford Blue (eryngium bourgatii), also called Mediterranean sea holly, graces this list because of how unusual its blooms are. Reminiscent of a thistle, the cone-shaped flower heads are dark blue with spiny bracts that are sharp to the touch. The heads are framed by thin blue petals that shoot out from the center like the rays of the sun.
The Oxford Blue is a welcome addition to any garden as it will attract an array of pollinators to your yard, such as birds, butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. However, the spiky center appears ominous for a reason. Parts of the flower are highly poisonous to humans and should never be ingested.
Oxford Blues fancy full sun and dry, well-drained soil. They excel in zones 9-11.
Empire Blue Butterfly Bush
This hearty shrub is a must-have for a beautifully blue garden. As its name suggests, the Empire Blue Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii) is practically guaranteed to attract butterflies and is also a favorite of hummingbirds. It is such a favorite of wildlife due to its abundantly fragrant flowers. Framed by lance-shaped leaves, the butterfly bush’s many blossoms cluster on the ends of its large, arching branches.
Butterfly bushes thrive in zones 5-10 and enjoy full sunlight and well-drained soil.
The globe thistle is truly a one-of-a-kind perennial. Its tiny, spiky petals form a perfect globe shape, from which this plant gets its name. Unlike the traditional thistles, such as the national flower of Scotland, the globe thistle flower only appears to be spiky and prickly to the touch.
The bloom itself is soft, just like a flower should be. However, to make up for the confusion and to earn its thistle name, the globe thistle’s leaves are prickly enough to draw blood, so wear gloves or handle globe thistles with care. These round blue beauties are also great for attracting bees and butterflies. For the most stunning results, deadhead globe thistles whenever necessary to promote new blooming, but wait to cut the blossoms back until early spring.
Spring Gentian (Gentiana verna) is an alpine flower with dazzling sky-blue blossoms offset with bright white centers.
Gentians tend to grow low to the ground and are resistant to pests, not to mention, they’re quite easy to grow once they become established. Getting the plants settled in and started, however, is a more complicated task. As it can be a real struggle to get Spring Gentians to grow from seed, it might be easier to purchase fully grown plants from your local garden center instead of cultivating them yourself.
Genitians prefer moist, well-drained soil, full sun to partial shade, and growing zones 3-8.
The grape hyacinth is so named because of its small round blossom clusters, which crowd together in formations similar to grapes on a vine.
The grape hyacinth flower (Muscari) is also perfect for attracting all types of birds to your garden, as the hue of this spring beauty and its unique, luscious-looking petal formations catch the eye of passing wildlife. Once they stop to take a look, the sweet scent of the bloomsinvites them to take a closer look and stay around a while.
Grape hyacinth thrives in zones 4-8 with well-drained soil and a mix of partial shade to full sunlight.
These nine standouts are hardly the only blue flowers you can choose from when building your blue-tinted flower garden. Many more popular flowers are available in blue hues and are easier to find, such as lilies, morning glories, forget me nots, periwinkles, and many others.
These nine are just a few of our favorite blue blossoms, and we know that you will love them as much as we do once they are adorning your garden and luring in plenty of of colorful winged friends for you to admire as they flit across the wide blue floral yonder you’ve created. Do you have a different favorite blue flower? Leave a comment and tell us about it!