Ornamental Plants: An Overview

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Most ornamental plants are grown for decoration, rather than food or other by-products. They are most often intentionally grown for aesthetic appeal. However, a plant that occurs naturally and enhances the landscape may also be considered ornamental.

Are you aware that ornamental plants can be grown both inside and outside your home? They are very adaptive to the area wherever they are sown. However, if you are looking to grow your shrubs, trees, or flowers for the first time, you must consider the climate. Ornamental plants are so common nowadays.

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It is very likely you either have one inside your house or someone close to you has one! They are grown for display. Consequently, they have gained popularity within the last couple of years, especially since the words’ sustainability’ and ‘permaculture’ have come into public display.

Ornamental Plants and Flowers

However, some plants can be functional and ornamental. Ornamental plants generally do not have any utility to humans. They give joy to our senses. They only serve a purpose for decoration. Consequently, ornamental plants come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors, and they usually adapt well to different climates. You can also choose from ornamental grasses your your garden.

These plants may be grown in a flowerbed, gardens, or even placed in a sunny apartment window. The most apparent use of these ornamental plants is for visual effect.

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In addition, few of the ornamental plants are known for showing off their foliage. This foliage will change colors throughout the seasons. It can simply be evergreen; the foliage remains green throughout the year.

Why Should You Grow Ornamental Plants In Your Garden?

You get an ornamental plant whenever you maintain, grow, or simply buy a plant because of its fragrance, color, foliage, shape, or design.

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These plants tend to catch everybody’s attention because they tend to be truly beautiful. At the same time, they can bring a fresh whiff of air into your home. They can even act as a repellent for mosquitoes or other insects in some cases. 

To Add Beauty
Most of these ornamental plants are used in landscapes, gardens, and homes to beautify the surroundings. A large, tropical plant in a living space provides a pop of color and helps soften harsh lines from architectural design.

For Their Fragrance

Ornamental plants are often chosen because they appeal to your sense of smell. Additionally, they appeal to your visual appeal too. Lavender is one such example as it has a pleasing fragrance.

Is it challenging to cultivate ornamental plants?

Most of the ornamental plants require specific work, such as pruning. However, most of them need very low maintenance and are easy to propagate if you wish. 

Orchids are one such on the list, primarily because they are one of the most popular houseplants. But these plants are seriously fragile. Orchids need a room temperature of 15 and 30 degrees C. They require full morning sun but prefer shade for the rest of the day. Without this condition, the plant will not have a light green color. If orchids are too dark, they are not getting enough sun.

Differences between an ornamental plant and a crop?

There are some differences between an ornamental plant and a usual crop. A utilitarian crop, be it vegetable or cereal, will allow you to feed yourself, others, and livestock. On the contrary, even though ornamental plants can be edible, they will serve primarily for decoration. Ornamental plants or garden plants are a way to attract pollinators to beautify your outdoor space, and you would not require them to do much except to exist. 

How to choose the best ornamental plant for my garden?

You will need to observe and study your climate. You need to answer questions like, “what’s the weather like where I am?” or “do we have enough rainfall to water our plants?” Some ornamental plants will prefer one type of soil over the others, so you must do some research before planting anything.

How to maintain an ornamental plant to keep it healthy?

Most of the ornamental plants will require you to water them, fertilize them, and prune them. You should be aware that pests will try to attack your plants, so one solution for this may be to mulch them properly. 

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You can have a low-maintenance landscape in your garden that will still be very beautiful for years to come. 

Types of Ornamental Plants You Can Choose

There are many types of ornamental plants. These are the most common ones you could quickly grow in your garden, either in a pot, flower beds, or sidewalk and border plants.


Roses are of the most common and loved ornamental plants in the world. They are called the “Queen of Flowers.” There are so many rose species and cultivars that you can pick and choose. If you want your garden to have a more vibrant space, you must consider growing some roses. Choose your favorite type from rose bushes, shrubs, and even climbing roses.

Desert rose

Desert rose is a low-maintenance flowering succulent that grows quickly. It has pink and white trumpet-shaped flowers. There are different hybrids of this plant in many nurseries. Desert rose can be planted inside a pot or in the ground. It is often trained as a bonsai plant due to its easy-to-shape characteristic. Desert rose bonsai is an ideal choice for bonsai beginners.


Lavender is another ornamental plant you need to have in your garden. Although you can make oils or decorate food with lavender, they are often considered a decorative plant precisely because of the way they can grow in any garden. Lavender also gives your outdoor space a lovely scent that could potentially attract hummingbirds or pollinators.

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If you are looking forward to diversifying your garden with different types of ornamental plants, then you can consider growing sage. It’s easy to grow, and you can also even use it in the kitchen for its unique flavor. Sages can be white, purple, and even blue.


An all-time favorite plant for those who love to design their landscapes. Marigolds bring lots of color into any garden. They have a mixture of colors, including red, yellow, gold, and copper. If you decide to plant Marigolds, remember that they bloom in late summer. 


Mint is easy to grow, and in many regions, it is considered a weed as it quickly spreads everywhere. So, if you could either ensure your mint has a growing area where they can expand themselves, or you will have a garden filled with mint, which is not bad, especially when it’s one of the best mosquito repellent plants you can grow.


Rosemary is a perennial evergreen shrub that bears blue flowers. It is used in the kitchen, as it has a very distinctive aromatic presence and provinces a sweet flavor to any dish. It is one of the easiest ornamental plants to maintain. 


Thyme is another herb often used as an aromatic plant in many parts. It has a distinctive and solid flavor. There are different types of thyme, so make sure you eat either the English one, which is the most common one. 


If you love pesto, then you will basil! Basil is an ornamental plant that can add an exquisite flavor to any dish you cook. It’s so easy to plant and maintain. It requires minimum effort to keep it healthy. You can grow it before or during the summer as they don’t do well in a cold environment. There are available as purple basil, sweet basil, and even lemony basil! 


Lilies are one of the most loved ornamental plants in the world. They are known throughout different cultures and can grow all over the place. 

You can plant some ornamental lilies in your garden, and you will receive lots of birds and pollinators each day. Lilies come in a wide variety of colors, so pick your favorite between red, pink, or purple.


They are usually grown as an annual plant. They are trendy amongst gardeners who like to bring a wow factor into their landscapes.

You could go for Grandiflora petunias if you have large colorful flowers. On the other hand, if you like abundant and colorful flowers, you should go for Multiflora petunias. They tend to resist harsh climates. Thus, they are an excellent option for any weather. 


Tulips can brighten your day as they have intense and vibrant colors! They bloom once the weather is warmer and any sign of frost has vanished. Although they are very tolerant of harsh climate conditions, they still prefer to grow in warm weather. 

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Golden pothos

Golden pothos is also known as the Money plant. You do not need to have green fingers for growing it. They tend to grow reasonably fast and are super easy to take care. They need to be under a shade as they neither like to have direct sunlight on top of them nor do you need to water them.


Bottom Line 

Growing ornamental plants is like going for therapy. Sometimes you will feel discouraged by all the information and things you need to do. However, once you start seeing how your plants are growing and flourishing, you will grow with a sense of pride. The beauty of having a garden filled with ornamental plants is a heavenly feeling.

Of course, you need to find the right kind of flowers and plants that can help you with your purpose and are suitable for the area where you live. Your hard work will pay off once you start seeing all the different colors, smell the wide variety of scents, and welcome all the pollinators and birds right into your garden. 

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