Top 10 Old Fashioned Flowers

Looking for old fashioned flowers like your grandmother used to grow? Try these lovely old standards!

These blooming beauties have stood the test of time. It’s no wonder they made our list of must-have favorite old-fashioned flowers!

RDA-GID
Foxglove (Digitalis)

Foxglove

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
Bachelor’s Button

Bachelor’s Button

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
Bellflower

Bellflower

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.

RDA-GID
Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart

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
Columbine

Columbine

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

Dianthus

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.

RDA-GID
English Primrose

English Primrose

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.

RDA-GID
Hollyhock

Hollyhock

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.

RDA-GID
Peony

Peony

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.

RDA-GID
Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea

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.

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.