Guide to Growing Flowers in Alabama

Sure, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for bouquets, roses and floral arrangements. But why restrict the enjoyment of flowers around the house to just one day of the year? Here’s what you need to know before growing flowers of your own both indoors and outdoors.


Indoors or Outdoors

Unlike some plants, flowers can easily be grown in the home as well as outdoors. You just have to make sure you get the right soil, fertilize properly and provide the plant with an adequate pot. Annuals are a good choice for indoors as they can possibly live a little longer inside than they otherwise would outdoors. Other plants, like orchids, are just more delicate and difficult to grow, so keeping them in your home where they can be monitored is a good idea.

One thing that will influence where you lay down your flowery roots is the season. If you want to get started right away it’s best to start indoors since the threat of freeze needs to be completely gone before outdoor planting. Once things warm up you can continue to create colorful displays outside.

What Kind of Flowers Do You Want to Grow?

Did you know there are approximately 400,000 species of flowering plants? That’s a lot to choose from. Here are a few considerations that can help you narrow down the selection.

Their location, whether indoors or outdoors, is an important factor. Some species are better suited for controlled environments while others flourish when they have more room to grow. The need for sunlight is also a consideration when deciding on location and the type of flowers that will work best for your given space.

Annuals, perennials, biennials – which type do your prefer?

  • Annuals – This type of flower will completely die off, leaving only the seed to grow another flower the next season.
  • Perennials – Unlike annuals, only the tops of perennials die off while the leaves and root structure stay intact. They will flower season after season.
  • Biennials  – It takes biennials two years to fully mature before dying off completely.

Are they easy to grow? See below for more details.

Fast growing flowers like marigolds and poppies are great for those that want to harvest the buds for floral arrangements.

Types of Flowers That Grow Well in Alabama

You can set yourself up for success by focusing on flowers that flourish in Alabama. Concentrate on flowers that are labeled for Zone 8 (Zone 9 if you’re in the southernmost portion of the state). The vast majority of Alabama falls within this zone, which is based on temperatures.

Native vs. Non-Native Flowers

When you’re growing outdoors in the fresh Alabama soil, opting for native flower species will give you a little less to worry about. Native flowers are those that grow naturally in Alabama, are naturally reoccurring and have been in the area for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Needless to say, native plants tend to grow well without much effort.

Some examples of native flowering plants include:

  • Deciduous Azaleas – Azaleas are great for spring planting
  • Alabama Azaleas
  • Col. Mosby
  • American Wisteria
  • Carolina Yellow Jessamine
  • Crested Iris
  • Hyacinths
  • Geraniums
  • Violets – another great flower for spring planting

If you’re going to go non-native, you may want to consider growing the flowers indoors where you can control the conditions a little better.

Keeping Your Flowers Pest Free

The introduction of flowers in your home or yard means there are more places for pesky little pests to hide. But if you take the proper precautions, pests are fairly easy to control. Regular pest control treatments from a professional is the first step to keeping your yard and flowers bug-free. You can also try the following:

  • Check all flowers carefully before bringing them in your house.
  • Regularly inspect indoor and outdoor plants for signs of disease or bug infestation.
  • Weed out weak plants that are easy for bugs to prey on.
  • Add in beneficial bugs, like ladybugs, which will help to keep bad bugs in check.

There are flower species that actually deter pests instead of attracting them. Flowers like marigolds and nasturtiums put off an odor that isn’t appealing to bugs looking to munch on leaves and petals. These companion plants, as they are called, can be planted around your vegetable garden to provide natural protection against insects.


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