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15 Types of Small Flower for Your Garden (With Pictures)

phlox flowers

Small flowers bring a welcome dainty quality to a garden. Whether the blooms or the plants are petite, you can make a big statement with some carefully chosen species. Our list covers 15 types of small flowers that would add something special to any garden. Of course, you’ll find many cultivars of flowers on our list. Often, the variations include different colors or forms. Our round-up points out some of the more popular ones.

We suggest matching the type with the conditions of your yard, particularly the amount of light it gets and the drainage. Some species are fussier about these things than others. Fortunately, many are easy to raise if they get what they need. We’ve grouped the flowers into annual and perennial plants.

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The 15 Types of Small Flower for Your Garden (With Pictures)

1. Lobelia

Lobelia flower
Image Credit: Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region 3–11
Sun Full sun
Soil Type Well-drained

Lobelia comes in several cultivars with varying sizes. If you want a specific size, make sure to check the specs before planting this flower. Some of the smaller varieties have a limited hardiness range. They are true beach bunnies that like it warm. However, cold-tolerant ones also exist. These flowers are fast-growing and require little maintenance once established.

You can also plant Lobelia in containers. It’ll make an attractive display with the blooms cascading over the edge. You’ll find cultivars in white, red, and blue shades.

Pros
  • Heat-tolerant
  • Excellent container plant
  • Adaptable
Cons
  • Annual flower

2. Pansy

purple pansy
Image Credit: Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region Perennial 6–10
Sun Full sun/partial shade
Soil Type Well-drained soil

The pansy sometimes gets a bum rap because people don’t appreciate this small flower for what it is. It can put on a gorgeous display of colors because of the many cultivars available. If you want to add some pop to your garden, look no further. It’s usually planted as an annual addition since it can’t tolerate cold temperatures or drought.

The pansy is easy to grow, which probably explains why there are so many varieties. Most get under 10 inches tall. Their colors attract pollinators, particularly butterflies.

Pros
  • Butterfly-friendly
  • Wide variety of colors
Cons
  • Annual plant
  • Not drought-tolerant

3. Sweet Alyssum

sweet alyssum flowers
Image Credit: Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region 7–11
Sun Full sun/partial shade
Soil Type Rich soils

Just its name tells you’re dealing with something special with the Sweet Alyssum. It is pollinator-friendly, as you may surmise. Its fragrance is delightful and not overpowering. However, it’s enough to turn the deer away from your garden. You’ll find it in a broad range of colors, from white to red. They are also an early bloomer that you can even start from seed.

We’re partial to perennials. Unfortunately, Sweet Alyssum is an annual. However, that’ll just give you another excuse to visit the nursery for more things to add to your garden.

Pros
  • Fragrant
  • Pollinator-friendly
  • Deer-resistant
Cons
  • Annual plant

4. Begonia

begonia flower
Image Credit: Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region 3–11 as an annual
Sun Full sun/partial shade
Soil Type Well-drained

The Begonia is a fast-growing plant that will steal the show with its brilliant colors. While it’s not fragrant, it’ll still attract pollinators. The blooms are large, resembling roses. You find a wide range of cultivars in varying shades, from white to apricot to fiery red. Even though it’s an annual, the Begonia will make its presence known. It’ll do well in containers or window boxes. However, it’s not deer-resistant.

These flowers don’t get very tall, usually under 12 inches high. They are relatively heat-tolerant and easy to grow.

Pros
  • Vibrant color selection
  • Pollinator-friendly
Cons
  • Not deer-resistant
  • Annual plant

5. Thyme

thyme flower
Image Credit: Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region 3–9, depending on the variety
Sun Full sun/partial shade
Soil Type Well-drained

Thyme is a flower that does double-duty. It provides a gorgeous groundcover that can quickly fill in bare patches. It is also fragrant, making it a good choice for walkways. Of course, it’s also an herb that you can use for cooking. It’s hard to beat the convenience of stepping outside to snip a few sprigs. English Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is one of the most popular varieties for zones 5–8.

Another plant to look for is Creeping Thyme (Thymus praecox ‘Coccineus’). This one is more tolerant of less-than-ideal conditions. It also can tolerate a broader range of zones from 3–9. The flowers are also showier than English Thyme.

Pros
  • Easy to grow
  • Fragrant
  • Drought-tolerant
Cons
  • Not suitable for poorly drained soils

 


 

6. Tulip

white tulip
Image Credit: Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region 3–8
Sun Full sun
Soil Type Well-drained

Many tulip varieties can get large. However, you’ll also find cultivars that are smaller and no less attractive. The great thing about these flowers is the broad range of colors and forms you’ll find with them. You’re sure to find the right plant to fit your landscaping theme. Pay attention to the specs with these varieties. You may find differences in zones and conditions with some cultivars.

We love that tulips bloom early, welcoming spring with a burst of color. These flowers require extra care, especially when blooming. Regular watering and pest management are necessary.

Pros
  • Pollinator-friendly
  • Wide range of color and form choices
  • Early bloomer
Cons
  • Regular watering imperative when blooming
  • Prone to slugs and other pests

7. Periwinkle

purple European Periwinkle
Image Credit: TasfotoNL, Shutterstock
USDA Hardiness Region 4–9
Sun Full sun/partial shade
Soil Type Well-drained

Periwinkles have delightful tiny flowers. Even their name is fun to say. Most come in varying shades of blue and violet. Some may also have variegated leaves. This plant is relatively tolerant of varying conditions. Some cultivars form dense mats that act as an effective weed barrier. Periwinkles also grow quickly and don’t get very tall.

Periwinkles are an excellent choice if rabbits and deer have your garden in their sights. These plants are resistant to both animals. You can also use these flowers to anchor the soil in a place where erosion is an issue.

Pros
  • Pollinator-friendly
  • Deer-resistant
  • Weed control
Cons
  • Not fragrant

8. Crocus

purple crocus in the meadow
Image Credit: Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region 4–8
Sun Full sun/partial shade
Soil Type Well-drained

The crocus is another early bloomer that may even peek out from under the snow in the right conditions. You’ll find these plants in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, and shades of blue-violet. It’s a small flower that usually gets less than 6 inches tall. However, that takes nothing away from its beauty. It’ll still take center stage in the spring.

You can grow crocuses in containers if you keep the soil moist. They’re best planted in large groups because of their small size. Some varieties are more deer-resistant than others. The Autumn Crocus (Colchicum sp.) is an excellent example.

Pros
  • Brilliant color varieties
  • Excellent for cut flowers
  • Attractive shape
Cons
  • Best planted in larger groups

9. Forget-Me-Not

Forget me not
Image Credit: Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region 3–8
Sun Full sun/partial shade
Soil Type Well-drained

The Forget-Me-Not is, well, unforgettable. It’s an adorable little flower that screams for attention. It usually grows less than 12 inches high. You’ll find it in white, yellow, pink, and blue shades. You can use it as an attractive ground cover that is rabbit and deer-resistant. You can grow it in containers or make it the centerpiece of your rock garden.

On the downside, Forget-Me-Not isn’t a long-lived plant. Instead, it self-seeds, making it somewhat weedy and invasive. It’ll likely spread to the rest of your garden if you don’t keep it under control.

Pros
  • Deer-resistant
  • Broad color range
  • Attractive flowers
Cons
  • Short-lived for a perennial
  • Sometimes weedy

10. Sedum

pink sedum
Image Credit: Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region 3–8
Sun Full sun
Soil Type Well-drained

The sedum isn’t as showy as some plants on our list. You’ll find it in bright colors that are somewhat muted compared to others we’ve considered. It’s a low-growing plant that will typically stay less than 6 inches high. It’s remarkably cold-tolerant and low maintenance once it’s established. It’s an adaptable species that can handle almost any condition.

Sedum produces seed heads that can provide an excellent source of winter food for birds. Unfortunately, deer also like it and will likely nibble on your plants.

Pros
  • Cold-tolerant
  • Attractive, muted colors
  • Winter color
Cons
  • Not deer-resistant

11. Catmint

catmint
Image Credit: PollyDot, Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region 4–9
Sun Full sun/partial shade
Soil Type Adaptable

It’s essential not to confuse the wild catnip plant with catmint. The former is a pungent species that is often invasive, like most in its family. This one is the cultivated variety. Catmint will behave itself and not become weedy. The plant is quite adaptable and can tolerate a variety of conditions, including drought. It’s also rabbit and deer-resistant.

Catmint has a scent like its wild counterpart. You can collect the leaves and flowers and give your kitty a treat. Bear in mind that it will attract bees, making its location near your house worth considering.

Pros
  • Rabbit and deer-resistant
  • Attractive flowers
  • Pollinator-friendly
Cons
  • Attracts bees

12. Coral Bells

coral bells
Image Credit: Piqsels
USDA Hardiness Region 4–8
Sun Full sun/partial shade
Soil Type Well-drained

The beauty of Coral Bells cultivars is in the foliage. It’s gorgeous that is only made more attractive by its color and flowers. It’s a versatile plant that you can keep in containers, a garden, or window boxes. If it has well-draining soil, they will stay happy. There are many cultivars with varying zone requirements. We suggest verifying this information before you plant them.

You’ll find a wide range of color variations, from muted greens to vibrant reds—and everything in between! Most plants will stay under 12 inches tall.

Pros
  • Evergreen
  • Versatile plant
  • Beautiful foliage
Cons
  • Good drainage imperative

13. Phlox

flame flower phlox
Image Credit: Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region 3–8
Sun Full sun
Soil Type Well-drained

Phlox may seem like a dainty plant, but it packs a punch with its color and sweet fragrance. That’s probably one reason that deer like it, too. You’ll find it in varying shades of white, pink, violet, and blue. They can make an eye-catching display in a stand of plants. You can use phlox as a ground cover or put it in a vertical container.

Phlox is a low-maintenance variety that will also fare well in a rock garden to provide a splash of color. Some varieties will put on a fall display with gold shades.

Pros
  • Low maintenance
  • Cold-tolerant
Cons
  • Not deer-resistant

14. Foamflower

foam flower
Image Credit: Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region 4–9
Sun Full sun/partial shade
Soil Type Well-drained

Foamflower is a fitting name for this plant with its delicate flowers. It almost looks as if someone sprayed them on their stems. Many cultivars have equally attractive foliage for creating a stunning display in your garden. They usually get less than 10 inches high with a moderate spread. They’ll do well as a border or in containers.

While they look like phlox, the foamflower is not fragrant. Nevertheless, it is pollinator-friendly. This plant is also shade-tolerant if you need a ground cover someplace that receives indirect sunlight.

Pros
  • Butterfly-friendly
  • Small footprint
  • Attractive flowers
Cons
  • Limited color range

15. Dianthus

Dianthus flowers
Image Credit: Pixabay
USDA Hardiness Region 4–8
Sun Full sun
Soil Type Well-drained

Dianthus comes in so many colorful cultivars if you’re looking for a focal point for your garden. It’s also quite tolerant if you’re a beginner at landscaping. It stays under 12 inches high, but it must have full sun to thrive. It has a relatively long flowering season so that you can get the most out of this beautiful plant. It is fragrant and deer-resistant, too.

You’ll find it in a range of white, red, pink, and maroon shades. You can grow them in containers or use them as cut flowers to brighten a room.

Pros
  • Gorgeous colors
  • Low maintenance
  • Drought-tolerant
Cons
  • Shade-intolerant

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Conclusion

As our list has shown, looking for small flowers doesn’t limit your choices. You can find the full gamut of colors, forms, and maintenance needs. The plants we selected are all pollinator-friendly if you want to attract butterflies, bees, or hummingbirds to your home. Whatever your theme, you’re sure to find something that won’t take up a lot of space. Happy gardening!


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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