12 Powerful Flowers That Start with P for You to Grow This Year

Brock Ingham

This post follows our research editorial guidelines.

Brock Ingham

Pretty as a picture and pleasingly precious. Picking the perfect plant each season is a profound pleasure of mine. Perhaps you’re looking to pull pollinators into your garden for their principal occupation, or possibly you prefer to preview a list of flowers starting with P.

Periwinkle flowers
Periwinkle flowers

I’m proceeding along through my favorite flowering plants to add to the garden this year, letter by letter. Predictably, I’ve stumbled along to the letter ‘p.’

List of flowers A-Z


1. Painted daisy (Tanacetum coccineum)

Painted daisy
Pink and yellow Painted daisies

Also known as the pyrethrum daisy, painted daisies are one of the most useful sweeties to plant in your garden.

Painted daisies produce a natural insecticide in their tissue that dissuades pests, while their bright pink, white, or red flowers attract bees and other beneficial insects. It’s an all-around champion and a delight to behold, too.

Botanical Name:Tanacetum coccineum
Growth Rate:Medium
Native Range:Western and Central Asia
Hardiness Zones:3 to 7
Soil Needs:Sandy, loamy soil. Requires good drainage
Exposure:Full sun to partial shade
Blooming Period:Summer
Water needs:Moderate
Painted daisy Growing Guide Chart

2. Pansy (Viola × wittrockiana)

Purple Pansies

Pansies evoke a classic cottage garden, with pert round blossoms in a variety of colors and patterns. They’re a hybrid first developed from Viola flowers at some point in the 18th century, and they’ve been a popular choice for short-season gardens and annual displays ever since.

Botanical Name:Viola × wittrockiana
Growth Rate:Moderate
Native Range:Man made hybrid
Hardiness Zones:6 to 10
Soil Needs:Organically rich, loamy soil
Exposure:Full sun to partial shade
Blooming Period:Late spring to summer
Water needs:Moderate
Pansy Growing Guide Chart

3. Paraguay Nightshade (Lycianthes rantonnetii)

Paraguay Nightshade
Paraguay Nightshade with purple petals and yellow nectar

Paraguay nightshade is a sizable, easy-to-grow warm climate shrub. It can be trained into elegant hedges speckled with delicate purple flowers that mature into bright red berries. Be warned, however!

This plant is nightshade by name and nightshade by nature, and every part is poisonous to humans. Plant with care.

Botanical Name:Lycianthes rantonnetii, formerly Solanum rantonnetii
Growth Rate:Fast
Native Range:South America
Hardiness Zones:8 to 11
Soil Needs:Sandy, loamy soil. Requires good drainage
Exposure:Full sun to partial shade
Blooming Period:Late spring to fall
Water needs:Moderate to high
Paraguay Nightshade Growing Guide Chart

4. Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

Pasque flower
Purple Pasque flower with soft stems and leaves

This fuzzy alpine wildflower is a type of buttercup, though it’s hard to see the similarities. Pasque flowers are regal purple, star-shaped, and covered in a light layer of soft down. They grow naturally in dry mountain meadows throughout northern Europe, kept warm by their cover of fuzz.

Botanical Name:Pulsatilla vulgaris
Growth Rate:Fast
Native Range:Northern Europe and Great Britain
Hardiness Zones:4 to 8
Soil Needs:Chalk, Loam, Sand
Exposure:Full sun
Blooming Period:Early spring
Water needs:Low
Pasque Flower Growing Guide Chart

5. Peony (Paeonia japonica)

Clustered pink petals on a Peony flower

Peonies are long-lived, compact shrub known for fast seasonal growth that dies back entirely each winter. They produce spectacular white flowers, strongly fragrant and blowsy. So powerfully and wonderfully perfumed are peony blossoms that it’s possible to perfume your whole garden with a single planting.

Botanical Name:Paeonia japonica
Growth Rate:Fast
Native Range:Japan
Hardiness Zones:5-9
Soil Needs:Organically rich, moderately moist soil
Exposure:Partial shade
Blooming Period:Spring
Water needs:Moderate
Peony Growing Guide Chart

6. Petunia (Calibrachoa)

Purple Petunias with yellow centers

Sometimes called a Million Bells for their astonishing profusion of blooms, these dainty dwarf Petunias are best grown in hanging baskets and small containers.

They don’t ask for much, but keep them happy and they’ll deliver a dazzling abundance of flowers in a wide range of colors, including yellow, red, orange, and even purple, burgundy, and magenta.

Botanical Name:Calibrachoa
Growth Rate:Fast
Native Range:Free-draining, fertile soils
Hardiness Zones:9 to 11
Soil Needs: Slightly acidic soil
Exposure:Full sun
Blooming Period:Spring to fall
Water needs:High
Petunia Growing Guide Chart

7. Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa atropurpurea)

Pincushion Flower
Light purple and white Pincushion Flower

The pincushion flower lives up to its name, sporting sweet round flowers that resemble a small mauve cushion speckled with pins.

Blossoms are long-lasting, produce abundant nectar, and attract bees butterflies and hummingbirds. They also make excellent cut flowers, and many fans keep them in dried flower arrangements for a truly enduring display.

Botanical Name:Scabiosa atropurpurea
Growth Rate:Moderate
Native Range:Native to Northern Africa 
Hardiness Zones:4a to 11b
Soil Needs:Rich, alkaline soil high in organic matter
Exposure:Full sun
Blooming Period:Late spring to fall
Water needs:Low to moderate; drought resistant
Pincushion Flower Growing Guide Chart

8. Prairie poppy mallow (Callirhoe alcaeoides)

Prairie Poppy Mallow
Delicate white Prairie Poppy Mallow flowers

Prairie poppy mallow is a ghostly flower, a single white bloom that rises from a low-growing sprawl of simple leaves. They’re an American native wildflower, common in the plains from Illinois to the Great Plains. It sneaks its way into barren grounds and the disturbed land at roadsides, a whisper of lost prairies long forgotten.

Botanical Name:Callirhoe Alcaeoides
Growth Rate:Fast
Native Range:South central and Eastern United States
Hardiness Zones:Well-draining rocky or sandy soils
Soil Needs: Well draining rocky or sandy soils
Exposure:Full sun
Blooming Period:Summer
Water needs:Low to moderate, drought resistant
Prairie Poppy Mallow Growing Guide Chart

9. Poppy (Papaver alpinum)

Tall orange Poppy flowers

A cold-weather flower, this form of poppy is also known as the alpine or dwarf poppy. They produce compact flowers no less lovely than their larger cousins, in similar shades of white, yellow, orange, or red. They’re an ideal choice for cottage gardens in cooler areas, or at elevation.

Botanical Name:Papaver alpinum
Growth Rate:Fast
Native Range:Alpine regions of Europe
Hardiness Zones:4 to 6
Soil Needs:Some risks of aphids
Exposure:Full sun
Blooming Period:Summer
Water needs:Moderate
Poppy Growing Guide Chart

10. Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)

Polka Dot Plant
Pink-dotted leaves and purple flowers of the Polka Dot Plant

With splashy bright leaves and dainty purple blooms, the polka dot plant grows equally well as an indoor plant as it does out in the garden. While it’s mostly grown for its dark leaves dappled with pink, it produces elegant spears that hold tiny purple blooms. It’s a swan song, as the polka dot plant is short-lived and will die off once its flowering is complete.

Botanical Name:Hypoestes phyllostachya
Growth Rate:Slow
Native Range:Madagascar
Hardiness Zones:10a to 11b
Soil Needs: Rich in organic material and freely draining
Exposure:Partial shade
Blooming Period:Summer to fall
Water needs:Moderate
Polka Dot Plant Growing Guide Chart

11. Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)

Diamond-shaped petals of a purple Periwinkle flower

For year-round flowers, it’s hard to go past the periwinkle. They’re a great choice for water saver gardens as they require very little irrigation. Even when dry they grow in profusion, producing as if by magic thick beds of glossy green leaves and pert, simple flowers in bright pink, purple, or white.

Periwinkle has a long history of use as a medicinal plant which continues to this day, forming a key part of modern cancer treatments.

Botanical Name:Catharanthus roseus
Growth Rate:Moderate
Native Range:Madagascar
Hardiness Zones:9b to 11
Soil Needs:All types with sufficient drainage
Exposure:Partial shade
Blooming Period:Year round
Water needs:Low, drought tolerant
Periwinkle Growing Guide Chart

12. Perennial Phlox (Phlox paniculata)

Perennial Phlox
Pink and white Perennial Phlox flowers

Hummingbirds and butterflies find the tall, swaying blooms of perennial phlox to be simply irresistible. In good conditions, it will reach four feet tall without breaking a sweat, with dense fragrant clusters of simple flowers in pink, lavender, or white.

It’s an excellent addition to any wildflower garden, where its long blooming period will ensure your local pollinators are fed well through the year.

Botanical Name:Phlox paniculata
Growth Rate:Medium
Native Range:Eastern United States
Hardiness Zones:4a to 8b
Soil Needs:Moist, organically rich loam, tolerates clay
Exposure:Prefers full-sun to very light shade
Blooming Period:Summer through fall
Water needs:Moderate
Perennial Phlox Growing Guide Chart

Final thoughts

Proud and pleasing, placing pert and perky flowers promote peace and pleasure in any plot or patch. Protecting pollinators is a profound payoff, a prize for painstaking planting.  Perfect!

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