Names of Ornamental Plants

Ornamental plants, or plants grown for decorative use instead of functional use, provide a wide range of foliage colors, shapes and sizes. Some ornamental plants have flowers or fruits, some have both and others have neither. The vast number of ornamental plants available for purchase ensure you can find a plant that suits your specific needs and adds beauty to your home, patio, garden or landscape.

  1. Glossy Abelia

    • Glossy abelia (Abelia X grandiflora), an ornamental semi-evergreen shrub hardy in USDA zones 6 through 9, can grow to a height of 10 feet and spread up to 12 feet. This ornamental plant blooms continuously from summer until late fall, when frost kills the blooms. The white, pink-tinged flowers have a rose pink sepal. Blooms are fragrant and measure up to 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Glossy abelia thrive in full sun to partial shade. They adapt to a range of soil conditions but do not tolerate dry or soggy soil. This ornamental shrub dies back to the ground during winters in USDA zones 5 through 7, but new growth appears in the spring.

    Peegee Hydrangea

    • Peegee hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata), hardy in USDA zones 3 through 8, can grow up to a height of 25 feet with a similar spread, if not pruned to keep growth controlled. The quick-growing, deciduous ornamental shrub produces heavy panicles (branches of flower clusters) of white to pinkish flowers in mid-summer. The flower panicles can reach a length of 18 inches and measure 10 inches wide at the base of the panicle. The flowers gradually turn pink and darken to a rusty shade during the fall. The highly adaptable ornamental plant thrives in most soils, as long as they are moist and well-drained. Peegee hydrangea prefer locations that receive full sun to partial shade. In regions with long, hot summers, they appreciate some afternoon shade.

    Showy Stonecrop

    • Showy stonecrop (Sedum spectabile), hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9, is an herbaceous perennial that can grow to a height of 2 feet with a similar spread. This ornamental perennial produces 6-inch wide clusters of flowers that can range in color from red, pink and white. It blooms late in the summer. The ornamental plant dies back to the ground during the winter but comes back in the spring. Showy stonecrop prefers full sun but tolerates some light shade, is drought-tolerant and tolerates short periods of soggy soil. It thrives in well-drained, sandy soil but adapts to poor soil conditions.

    Zebra Plant

    • Zebra plant (Aphelandra squarrosa), an ornamental houseplant, prefers bright but indirect sunlight. White stripes grace the dark green leaves of this plant. It thrives in temperatures ranging from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and above. It performs best in high humidity but tolerates average home humidity levels. Mist the plant with water to raise the humidity level around the plant. Water the plant when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. A zebra plant produces 8-inch, bright yellow flower bracts during mid-summer but will not flower if it does not receive sufficient light. This plant rests over the winter months, with new growth occurring in the spring.

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  • Photo Credit Hydrangea image by Stephanie Mueller from

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