Flowers for the White Garden

A white garden, or the garden created to showcase white flowered plants, can include many different annual, perennial and biennial flowers as well as bulbs, rhizomes and tubers with white flowers.

You may also want to include silvery or blue foliage or white variegated foliage plants to enhance the effect and create a moon garden to be viewed in the evenings. Here we look at white flowered annuals, perennials, biennials, and bulbs that are perfect additions to the white or moon garden.

Annuals for the White Garden

Annuals will bloom all season to provide a consistent display of flowers. Consider using dependable annuals such as cosmos, cleome, nicotiana, sweet alyssum, flowering vinca and petunia as the backbone of your white garden.

Next add some unusual annuals such as the variegated snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata) as well as perennials for an ongoing and ever changing display.

Perennials for the White Garden

Perennial choices for a white garden are vast. Peonies, candytuft, dianthus, iris of all kinds, Shasta daisies, bulb lilies, foxgloves, Gaura lindheimeri, tall border phlox, boltonia, the white flowered form of baptisia, fall blooming anemones, and the winter blooming hellebores should be in every white garden.

You will find white flowered forms of many more perennials ranging from Agapanthus to Hemerocallis to Papavar to Yucca. When you search these out, remember that the word “Alba” as part of the botanical name denotes white, or you may find a hint as to the color in the variety name. Be sure to explore and try some of the less widely grown perennials where they can add textural interest or fill a gap in the bloom calendar.

If not winter hardy in your area, consider growing the more tender plants, such as jasmines or the white flowered forms of lantana or brugmansia, in containers that can be stored indoors for the winter.

Bulbs, Tubers and Rhizomes

Spring blooming bulbs such as crocus, daffodils and tulips can also provide seasonal infusions of white. Summer blooming bulbs plus tubers and rhizomes such as lilies, gladiolus and tuberose, calla lilies, and dahlias can all be added as accents. Where hardy, bulbs such as Hymenocallis (Peruvian daffodil) and white flowered forms of Lycoris and Hippeastrum or amaryllis can also be used.


Lychnis coronaria brings not only gleaming white blooms but also silvery foliage to the garden. Money plant (Lunaria annua) can be found in a white flowered form; the flowers are followed by white disc shaped seed pods that eventually age to a silvery gleam. Additional self seeders such as larkspur and bread seed poppy can be rogued and selected annually to encourage a profusion of white offspring.