How To Create A White Flower Garden

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When a dramatic effect is needed in the garden, consider planting some white flowering plants. Not only does white add brightness to a garden, but white flowers make an excellent contrast to other garden flowers. As a special bonus, many white flowers are also fragrant which creates a calm and relaxing atmosphere in any garden area.

Here are a few popular white flowering plants with some easy care tips to keep plants big and blooming.

Gardenia

Gardenias have long been prized for their big beautiful blooms and their rich scent. There are almost 150 varieties of gardenia with species ranging from 1 to 6 feet tall. Most plants bloom from mid-spring to mid-summer. During the rest of the year, the gardenia’s glossy dark evergreen foliage makes a decorative backdrop for other types of plants.

The gardenia is one of those plants that does double duty as a landscape plant or a houseplant. In the warmer sub-tropical climates, gardenias can be grown outdoors all year long as hedges, borders or free-standing specimens. In those areas where temperatures drop below 60 degrees, gardenias will need to be brought indoors in the winter months.

Gardenias do not rate very high when it comes to easy care and ability to resist pests and diseases. But, the bright white showy blooms and fragrant perfume make gardenias a delightful addition to any garden. Here are a few care tips:

  • Place gardenias in full sun, keep the soil moist and mist daily.
  • Fertilize monthly during the spring and early summer. When fertilizing, use a fertilizer formulated for rhododendrons and azaleas.
  • Keep blooms bright white by not spraying water on the flowers.

Gardenias are often plagued by sooty mold and scale. In most cases, a mixture of 1 tablespoon light dish soap and a quart of water make an easy remedy of those pests. To reduce the occurrence of sooty mold, make sure the plant has adequate air circulation and plenty of indirect bright sunlight.

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Stephanotis

Stephanotis is easily grown up a trellis or in a hanging basket. Stephanotis has glossy deep green leaves and clusters of tubular flowers that bloom in June and emit a lightly fragrant scent.

Here’s how to take care of stephanotis:

  • Place in full to semi-full sun conditions with temperatures in the 60s and 70s.
  • Water moderately and keep soil evenly moist.
  • Fertilize every 2 weeks in the spring, summer and fall.
  • Do not turn or move the plant while it is blooming.
  • In the winter, reduce the amount of water supplied to the plant and do not fertilize.
  • Bring the plant indoors during the cold fall and winter months.
  • To keep the plant compact, prune after the plant has finished flowering at the end of summer.

Paperwhite Narcissus

Paperwhite Narcissus is a relative of the daffodil. The paperwhite narcissus is a small plant with tiny white flowers with a sweetly pleasant fragrance.

Paperwhite narcissus can be grown indoors or outdoors. Paperwhites can be forced to bloom indoors during the winter. To grow paperwhites indoors:

  • Fill a shallow container half way with decorative stones.
  • Push the bulbs into the stones so that the bulbs stand upright.
  • Add water until the water just touches the bottom of the bulb.
  • Put the bulbs in a cool dark place until roots begin to grow.
  • Once roots appear, place the plants in a brightly lit room.

To grow paperwhites outdoors:

  • Plant outdoors in the fall in a sunny location.
  • Plant several bulbs together in a cluster.
  • Add a small amount of fertilizer to the soil.
  • Mulch the planting area to inhibit weed growth.

Shasta Daisy

The frilly white petals surrounding the yellow centers of the Shasta daisy attract the attention of bees, butterflies, beneficial insects and birds. The Shasta daisy is a drought tolerant plant that tolerates full sun to partial shade and blooms from mid-summer to mid-fall.

Here are some ideas for using Shasta daisies in the garden:

  • Plant Shasta daisies with other wildflowers in an unused yard space
  • Mix with blue flowering plants
  • Makes a good companion plant for roses
  • Add to a border garden

Lily Of The Valley

Lily of the valley is an extremely hardy plant and is resistant to pests and diseases. It grows throughout most of theUnited Statesand under most conditions. Lily of the valley is low growing which makes it a good choice for a groundcover. The plant thrives in conditions from full sun to full shade. It also makes the perfect filler plant in a rock garden.

Panicle Hydrangea

For a big white showy addition to a yard, plant a Panicle Hydrangea or Tree Hydrangea. As the flowers begin to fade on the plant, harvest to use in dried flower arrangements. Here’s how to make a Tree Hydrangea happy:

  • Plant in full sun to partial shade.
  • Water regularly. Do not let the soil dry out between waterings.
  • Prune in the fall or spring.

Plumeria Pudica, Bridal Bouquet

The Bridal Bouquet is a lightly scented small tree that has tubular shaped white flowers that retain their blooms from April through October and fiddle shaped leaves that stay green all year long. Bridal Bouquet will tolerate some winter frost but should be brought indoors during the coldest parts of the winter.

White flowering plants are truly a joy in the garden. The lightly scented blooms and bright green foliage make these plants the perfect accent to any garden. Pair white flowering plants with other colorful blooming plants to create contrast and interest in any garden area whether it’s inside a home, in a greenhouse or outdoors in the garden.

Last Updated: December 21, 2011
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About Coletta Teske Coletta Teske has 25 years' experience in tech journalism, as well as home and gardening topics. She has freelanced for Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, published more than two dozen computer books for Prima Publishing and Macmillan, and worked as a freelance correspondent for West Hawaii Today. Coletta has been an avid gardener since she was 2 years old. While living in Hawaii, she achieved a lifelong dream of becoming a certified master gardener.

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