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Giant Flowers in the Spotlight
How big can a single flower blossom be? The rare corpse flower of Indonesia can be up to three feet across, but there are far more fragrant and widely available giant flowers you can grow in your landscape. Assess your soil, light, and climate conditions, and then choose from 15 big blooms.Continue to 2 of 16 below.
02 of 16
Bush peonies with bomb-type flowers make a statement in the spring garden, but tree peonies can sport blooms up to ten inches across on woody stems that don't die back to the ground in winter. Tree peonies like the 'Mrs. Fry' variety pictured are slow to mature, but the spectacle of a five-foot tree peony with 50 blooms on it is worth the wait. Deeply divided foliage adds to the character of these plants.Continue to 3 of 16 below.
03 of 16
Fiery red poppies that go by the moniker 'Goliath?' Yes, please. Oriental poppies send long tap roots into the soil, helping them establish a long life in your spring garden. Blooms in excess of seven inches in diameter are not unheard of on happy plants. How to pamper your poppies? Full sun and excellent drainage are the most important requirements for Oriental poppies.Continue to 4 of 16 below.
04 of 16
In the world of hydrangea hybridizing, the big blooms just keep getting better. Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle,' with its 12-inch flower heads, is still a stunning staple in many shade gardens. However, 'Incrediball' has increased in popularity, as it also blooms on new wood but its stems won't flop under the weight of rain soaked blooms. A sheltered site with some shade will help your hydrangeas shine throughout the growing season.Continue to 5 of 16 below.
05 of 16
If you've successfully grown dahlias in the past, your quest to grow a dinnerplate variety like the 'Hamari Gold' cultivar pictured won't be difficult. Like many large flowers, dahlias like more of everything: more sun, more water, more feeding. Remove side buds to enable plants to direct all energy into producing one giant flower. Stake plants for support, and expect blooms to mature in late summer.Continue to 6 of 16 below.
06 of 16
Giant Water Lily
The night blooming flowers of Victoria amazonica strive to keep up with its incredible 10-foot leaves, which can support a small person's weight. Basketball-sized flowers only live for a few days to carry out their reproductive destiny.
Although you can't cultivate this plant in a typical water garden, you can admire healthy examples of the giant water lily in botanical gardens like Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.Continue to 7 of 16 below.
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A hybrid of trumpet and Oriental lilies, Orienpet lilies are increasing in popularity as new cultivars hit the market. Fragrant 10-inch blooms appear in late summer on sturdy five-foot stems. Try 'Big Brother,' a pale yellow variety that lives up to its name.Continue to 8 of 16 below.
08 of 16
Red amaryllis blooms are popular during the winter holidays, but this gift plant comes in a number of colors and forms. Larger bulbs produce larger plants and flowers, so splurge on premium bulbs from trusted sellers. 'Double Record' with red and white streaking will produce eight-inch flowers for indoor enjoyment.Continue to 9 of 16 below.
09 of 16
Sunflowers may set the standard for giant blooms in the flower garden, but not all sunflowers are created equal when it comes to size. 'Mammoth' is an heirloom variety that reliably produces 12-inch flower heads packed with oil-rich seeds. 'Sunzilla' is a newer hybrid bred to grow a sturdy 16-foot stalk that will support its giant blooms. Although sunflowers are drought tolerant, constant moisture and rich soil will yield the largest flowers.Continue to 10 of 16 below.
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Exotic flower lovers, rejoice. Although tropical hibiscus plants can sport 10-inch flowers, they won't tolerate a whiff of frost. The hardy mallow plant Hibiscus moscheutos will survive zone 4 winters, and also boasts flower diameters in excess of 10 inches. Some varieties feature bronze or purple foliage to boost the ornamental value, like the gorgeous pink-flowered 'Summer Storm.'Continue to 11 of 16 below.
11 of 16
Only night owls will be able to appreciate the nocturnal blooms of the moonflower, which swirl open at dusk to reveal six-inch white flowers. If you nick or soak the seeds, germination may occur in as little as a week. Combine the fast growing vines with morning glories, and you'll please hummingbirds and hummingbird moths alike.Continue to 12 of 16 below.
12 of 16
If roses haven't been your go-to for large blooms in the past, it's time to get acquainted with English roses. With petal counts of 140 or more per bloom, these large cupped flowers are vase-fillers with old world fragrance to spare. The lemon-hued 'Charles Darwin' and the 200 petal count 'Spirit of Freedom' are repeat bloomers, yielding six-inch flowers all season.Continue to 13 of 16 below.
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Protea plants lend an exotic flair to any tropical flower arrangement, and king protea (Protea cynaroides) plants produce the largest flower heads of them all. Also known as sugar bush, these South African natives may grow outdoors as evergreen shrubs in USDA zones 9 and warmer. The artichoke-like flowers may grow up to a foot across.Continue to 14 of 16 below.
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The otherworldly coral shapes of cockscomb Celosia argentea var. cristata make them garden focal points, but add to that the velvety texture and footlong size, and you have a staple for the cut flower garden. Cockscomb plants are easy to grow from seed, and they tolerate humidity as well as dry soil.Continue to 15 of 16 below.
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A single flower panicle of Buddleja davidii may be up to 18 inches in length, with each panicle comprised of hundreds of densely packed florets. The nectar-rich flowers will attract an endless parade of butterflies over its blooming cycle, which usually stretches into four months.Continue to 16 of 16 below.
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For Southern gardeners, there's nothing quite like the charm of a camellia bush in the late winter garden. Be sure to plant a Camellia japonica type for the biggest flowers. DIsbudding will help you achieve six inch flowers on varieties like the pale pink 'Debutante.'