7 Zealous Flowers That Start with Z + Growing Guide Charts

Brock Ingham

This post follows our research editorial guidelines.

Brock Ingham

Some zoom up, others prefer to catch their zs, but the z flowers are just as zany and zesty as any other. They call zooming bees to buzz by, butterflies that dance on zephyrs as they feed, and hummingbirds get zealous over their sweet nectar.

Pink Zephyranthe Flowers
Pink Zephyranthe Flowers

You don’t need to be the most zealous of gardeners to grow a zen garden’s worth of blooms through the season. Zillions of them are easy to grow, a poetic experience for all to behold.

I’m zapping along a zine’s worth of flowers, zigging along in alphabetical order. We’ve zagged down to ‘Z’!

List of flowers A-Z


1. Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)

Zinnias vibrant and multicolored petals, bring an artistic splash to gardens

The frothy, multilayered flowers of the zinna have always perked up bouquets and cut flower displays, but they provide much more long-lasting charm grown in the garden. Each flower is a tufted disc in radiant shades of pink, red yellow and white, just attractive to visiting insects and birds as it is to the humble gardener.

The zinna is also so widely grown that its fans have created dozens of different hybrids in every color and configuration you can imagine. They’re a fantastic choice for young gardeners, as even young children can muster the scattering of seed and the subsequent relaxed watering schedule they require, and they’ll delight in the arrival of its fast-growing flowers.

Botanical Name:Zinnia elegans
Growth Rate:Fast
Native Range:Mexico
Hardiness Zones:2a to 11b
Soil Needs:Organically rich loamy soils
Exposure:Full sun
Blooming Period:Summer to fall
Zinnia Growing Guide Chart

2. Zantedeschia (Zantedeschia spp.)

Zantedeschias are fiery gems of the garden with bold hues, symbolizing enthusiasm and creativity.

Also known as the calla lily, this is a small, exclusive family of around eight plants. Each has an elegant sheath blossom, a single sleek spadix wrapped around the inflorescence itself. They’re generally pale, funereal flowers in shades of ghostly white, pink, and gold. In popular culture, they’re the bloom placed atop a casket, but they are equally refined when grown in the garden.

Despite their refined appearance, zantedeschias actually quite hardy, and will do well in a wide variety of conditions. They’re drought resistant once established and do quite well in low-fertility soils. Over time they can spread to form jaw-dropping mass displays of emerald green punctuated with bright blooms.

Botanical Name:Zantedeschia spp.
Growth Rate:Fast
Native Range:South Africa
Hardiness Zones:8 to 10
Soil Needs:Moist soils of most types
Exposure:Full sun to partial shade
Blooming Period:Late spring to summer
Zantedeschia Growing Guide Chart

3. Zephyranthes ‘Aquarius’

The star-shaped flowers of Zephyranthes ‘Aquarius’ always seem to remind me of the night sky in bloom

More commonly called the rain lily, these charming bulbs break forth from the soil after soft summer rains. The Aquarius hybrid is particularly hardy and reliable, a bright pink and white star-shaped flower with a delicate golden heart.

They’re sweet when grown on their own, but the most endearing trait of the Aquarius is the rate at which they propagate. It quickly establishes a group of friends, with many bright flowers making an appearance each season. Container-grown specimens don’t take long to fill out their pot, spilling over in vibrant displays of verdant leaves and bright blooms.

Botanical Name: Zephyranthes ‘Aquarius’
Growth Rate: Fast
Native Range: Man-made hybrid
Hardiness Zones:7 to 11
Soil Needs:Moist soils of most types
Exposure:Full sun
Blooming Period:Summer to fall
Zephyranthes Growing Guide Chart

4. Zabel’s Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)

Zabels Cherry Laurel
Zabel’s Cherry Laurel offers dense evergreen leaves and fragrant, white flower clusters

The powerful scent of Zabel’s cherry laurel oozes in thick waves from its blowsy clusters of pale flowers. So abundant is the perfume that some consider it too overwhelming and will only plant this tough shrub away from buildings.

It’s a hardy evergreen, capable of toughing it out in all types of soils, deep shade or full sun, poor fertility, and even areas of high pollution. As a result, it’s a solid choice for hedges and screening, they laugh in the face of heavy pruning, only growing more dense as they regrow.

Botanical Name:Prunus laurocerasus
Growth Rate:Fast
Native Range:Europe
Hardiness Zones:6a to 8b
Soil Needs:Well-draining soils of all types
Exposure:Full sun to deep shade
Blooming Period:Spring
Zabel’s Cherry Laurel Growing Guide Chart

5. Zenobia Pulverulenta

Zenobia Pulverulenta, with its silvery leaves and delicate white blossoms, thrives in the woodlands of the southeast USA

Zenobia is a sweet, compact shrub speckled with clusters of darling bell-shaped flowers. They range from white to tan and earn the plant its common name of ‘honeycup’. All manner of useful insects is drawn by its sweet fragrance, including native bees and butterflies.

It’s an American native and can be found in low-lying areas like bogs or ponds, where it thrives in damp, swampy conditions. It’s an excellent choice for poorly drained areas of the garden, especially beside water features. They’ll thrive no matter how wet their feet become.

Botanical Name:Zenobia pulverulenta
Growth Rate:Moderate
Native Range:Southeastern United states
Hardiness Zones:6a to 9b
Soil Needs:Moist to boggy loamy or sandy soil.
Exposure:Full sun to partial shade
Blooming Period:Late spring to early summer
Zenobia Growing Guide Chart

6. Zebra plant (Aphelandra squarrosa)

Zebra plant
Zebra Plant’s bold, dark-green leaves adorned with striking white veins make it a standout choice for indoor jungles

I love a good leaf, and the zebra plant’s foliage and flowers are dazzling. The flowers are bright gold, almost tessellated one inside the other into towering spires that rise from the heart of the plant’s foliage. The leaves themselves are striped and frame the blooms wonderfully, bright green and dazzling yellow and cream.

It’s a tropical rainforest specialist and is best grown indoors, where it can be enjoyed year-round. In order to see flowers when grown as a houseplant, it needs a lot of strong light and consistently warm temperatures. Some enthusiasts even provide the zebra plant with a humidifier too, in order to most closely approximate its jungle home.

Botanical Name:Aphelandra squarrosa
Growth Rate:Slow
Native Range:Brazil
Hardiness Zones:11a to 12b
Soil Needs: Organic rich, moist soil
Exposure:Bright, indirect light
Blooming Period:Year round when grown indoors
Zebra plant Growing Guide Chart

7. Zygopetalum (Zygopetalum spp.)

Zygopetalum orchids captivate with their intricate, fragrant blooms

Orchid enthusiasts know the broad group of Zygopetalum orchids are some of the most captivating and fragrant orchids available today. They’re a diverse group of epiphytes, evolved to grow on trees and so well suited to indoor cultivation. Their flowers are dappled and extravagant, with long lower lobes and rippling upper leaves.

It seems every month brings a new hybrid to the club, with heady perfume and ever-more elaborate flowers. Despite this, they make an excellent beginner orchid, just as happy in a well-lit, warm bathroom as they are on a competition floor. Be sure to let them dry between watering – while they love to be kept moist their stretching roots need breathing room to thrive.

Botanical Name:Zygopetalum spp.
Growth Rate:Slow
Native Range:Southern Brazil
Hardiness Zones:12
Soil Needs:Dry well-draining soil that is meant for orchids
Exposure:Bright, indirect light. Partial shade if grown outdoors
Blooming Period:Spring to fall
Zygopetalum Growing Guide Chart

Final thoughts

Every zone in your yard has zesty properties that get flowering plants zipping up. There’s zero drama getting the zaniest to take root, zooming up over their season. Zillions of zoological visitors like birds and insects zealously zigzag from bloom to bloom, inspiring feelings of zen and delight.

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