Top 10 Fairy Tale Plants
Relive your childhood by choosing a few plants with fanciful fairy-tale names.
I’m always delighted to find a plant with an interesting name that grows well in my garden. Some plant monikers are pretty witty, like the Siberian iris called Temper Tantrum, or a coleus cultivar dubbed Kiwi Herman. These 10 plants are all unique because they have fairy-tale roots to their names. If you have kids, they’ll get a kick
out of helping you plant a fairy-tale garden with a few of these plant picks named after characters from their favorite stories.
Cinderella swamp milkweed
(Asclepias incarnata ‘Cinderella’, Zones 3-9)
If I had a fairy godmother, I’d ask her to bring me one of these instead of a pretty dress and a prince. This hassle-free perennial offers three months of vanilla-scented, rose-pink flowers in large, compact clusters. After the plant flowers, milkweed seedpods develop, rupturing to reveal seeds with long, silky, silvery-white hairs.
Why we love it: Laden with nectar and pollen, the flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects.
Red Riding Hood mandevilla
(Mandevilla sanderi ‘Red Riding Hood’, Zones 10-11,
You’ll love the striking colors—hot pink to red, with yellow throats—of this plant’s big, fragrant, bell-shaped blossoms. The flowers occur in clusters of three to five in profusion during warm weather. As a vining plant, it needs support; plant it near a pergola, trellis or fence so it can climb.
Why we love it: This stunning vine will twine its way around a container—and it’s unlikely to attract wolves.
Goldilocks Rocks bidens
(Bidens ferulifolia ‘Goldilocks Rocks’, Zones 9-11,
Like a certain curious little visitor to the home of the three bears, Goldilocks Rocks™ has been known to wander about in a container, filling it out nicely. It’s an ideal trailing plant for any container, window box or hanging basket, spilling over the side with glorious yellow flowers.
Why we love it: The cheery golden flowers will brighten up a container garden, just like fair Goldi’s locks.
All American Selections
Hansel & Gretel eggplants
(Solanum melongena ‘Hansel’ and ‘Gretel’, annuals)
winners for their multiple clusters of tender, tasty fruit and early harvest (only 55 days after transplant). Hansel produces numerous clusters of 3- to 10-inch shiny purple fruit, while Gretel is the earliest white eggplant, bearing clusters of 3-inch pure-white fruit.
Why we love it: Just like young Hansel and Gretel, these eggplants are tot-size, growing 3 feet tall and wide, perfect for container gardens or small veggie beds.
Snow Fairy caryopteris
(Caryopteris divaricata ‘Snow Fairy’, Zones 5-9)
You might think snow falling in summer happens just
in fairy tales, but this caryopteris will make you think it’s Christmas in July. The striking green and white variegated foliage will last all season long, even through the heat
Why we love it: With a compact growth of 2 to 3 feet high and wide, this drought-tolerant shrub will be a nice addition to the landscape.
Sleeping Beauty hosta
(Hosta ‘Sleeping Beauty’, Zones 3-9)
Add this to your long list of favorite hostas. The thick, pointed leaves—a frosty blue-green with cream margins—are slug-resistant. Pale, lavender-blue flowers appear on 20-inch stems in mid- to late summer, attracting hummingbirds and songbirds.
Why we love it: Even if a spell put you into a deep sleep, you could still take care of this low-maintenance hosta.
(Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snow Queen’, Zones 5-9)
The dense clusters of white flowers on this variety resemble little snowflakes. In fall, the flowers become rose-pink while the leaves turn red-bronze. A moderate grower, this hydrangea reaches 4 to 5 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide.
Why we love it: This year-round beauty could melt the coldest heart. In winter, the exfoliating bark is attractive;
in summer, the snowy blooms are irresistible.
Thumbelina Leigh English lavender
(Lavandula angustifolia ‘Thumbelina Leigh’, Zones 5-9)
If you were only an inch tall, like dainty Thumbelina, you’d probably like this compact lavender. Its extremely fragrant bright blue-violet flowers appear up to three times a year if pruned after flowering. Growing only 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide, it’s ideal for containers and rock gardens.
Why we love it: This dwarf lavender is so neat and tidy, it works just about anywhere. Another plus is its relaxing scent.
Fairy Tale Pink daylily
(Hemerocallis x ‘Fairy Tale Pink’, Zones 4-11)
The creamy apricot-pink blooms of this charmer could rival the gown of a fairy princess. This daylily grows to about 3 feet tall and adapts very well to wet areas.
Why we love it: This is a reblooming variety, providing gorgeous blossoms all summer long.
Dragon Wing begonia
(Begonia ‘Dragon Wing Red’, annual)
This is one dragon you’d welcome in your yard. Grow it in
a container and watch it fill out fast with big, bold red -flowers and glossy, dark-green, wing-shaped leaves.
Why we love it: Unlike the fire-breathing kind, this
dragon plays well with other flying creatures, such as bees, butterflies and birds.