These blooming beauties have stood the test of time. It’s no wonder they made our list of must-have favorite old-fashioned flowers!
Digitalis, Zones 3 to 10
A proﬁcient self-sower, foxglove is a biennial or short-lived perennial that generally doesn’t ﬂower until the season after it’s planted. Leave the spent ﬂower spires in place, and you’ll be treated to a new crop of foxgloves each spring. The colorful group of Excelsior hybrids is fantastic for cutting.
- W. Atlee Burpee & Co
Centaurea cyanus, annual
Also known as the cornﬂower, this charmer is longlasting when cut and holds its color when dried. Growing best in full sun, bachelor’s button comes in several colors, including blue, pink, red, white and purple. Though considered an annual, it’s a successful self-seeder, so make room for volunteers each summer.
- Heather McIlravey
Campanula spp., Zones 3 to 9
This dainty plant, available in annual, perennial and biennial cultivars, enjoys moist soil and thrives in full sun to partial shade. In late spring and early summer, it unveils bell-shaped ﬂowers in colors ranging from blue to purple to white. Some varieties, like the Serbian bellﬂower, have long-lasting blooms and evergreen foliage in Zones 8 and 9.
Dicentra spectabilis, Zones 3 to 9
Long-lasting blossoms open in late spring, covering this plant with gorgeous ﬂoral pendants in shades of rose pink and creamy white. Bleeding heart goes dormant by midsummer, so it’s best planted at the back of a border, where later-blooming ﬂowers can camouﬂage the dying foliage.
- Ball Horticultural Company
Aquilegia, Zones 3 to 9
One of the easiest wildﬂowers to cultivate, columbine sports distinctively shaped ﬂowers that hummingbirds can’t resist. Growing 8 inches to 3 feet high, the plants blossom in many shades of red, yellow, blue, purple and white.
- Chuck Hardy
Dianthus, Zones 3 to 10
One of the world’s oldest cultivated ﬂowers, dianthus is prized for its rufﬂed petals, pleasant scent and generous spring and summer blooming period. Ranging from just 4 inches to 36 inches high, dianthus grows well in full sun.
Primula vulgaris, Zones 4 to 8
In spring, tight clusters of colorful, often fragrant blossoms appear on compact bright-green plants that grow only about 8 inches high. Though this primrose does best in partial shade, it can tolerate full sun if the surrounding soil remains moist.
Alcea rosea, Zones 3 to 9
These old-time favorites unfurl richly colored single or double ﬂowers on lanky stems that can reach 8 feet in height. Hollyhock is a biennial, which means it grows foliage on short stems its ﬁrst year but doesn’t ﬂower until the following year. Be sure to plan accordingly.
Paeonia, Zones 3 to 9
Gardeners can choose from hundreds of peony hybrids in a wide range of sizes and colors. The herbaceous peony dies back to the ground in fall, then re-emerges in spring. It beneﬁts from stakes or rings to keep it from ﬂopping over under the weight of its showy, delightfully fragrant blooms.
Lathyrus odoratus, annual
This fragrant ﬂower is easy to grow and provides ﬂowers for cutting all season long. Like edible peas, sweet pea prefers the cooler weather of spring and early summer, gradually declining in the heat of August. A few cultivars, including the Royal and Old Spice mixes, are exceptionally heat-tolerant.
- More From Birds & Blooms
- Top 10 Colorful Coleus Favorites
- Top 10 Miniature Plants for Small Space Gardening
- 10 Plants For Bees and Other Pollinators
- 9 Little-known Herbs
- Top 10 Fast Growing Trees
- Top 10 Plants For Swallowtails
- Top 10 Edge Plants for Three Seasons of Color
- Top 10 Vines For Hummingbirds
- Top 10 Easy-to-Grow Vegetables