15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden – And Why

15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

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Flowers in the garden are highly desirable because in addition to giving it beauty they can also be beneficial in distracting pests and attracting beneficial insects like pollinators. A vegetable garden is a nice place for planting, even the varieties that are intended for cutting.

So, what are the 15 best flowers to grow in your vegetable garden?

  1. Marigold
  2. California poppy
  3. Borage
  4. Chamomile
  5. Zinnia
  6. Coriander
  7. Sunflower
  8. Cosmos
  9. Garden nasturtium
  10. Lavender
  11. Sweet alyssum
  12. Begonias
  13. Sweet Peas
  14. Dianthus
  15. Snapdragons

Why use flowers in a vegetable garden?

In the permaculture garden, this practice integrates different aspects to make the whole ecosystem more biodiversity and more efficient. This integration increases the likelihood that there will be more beneficial insects in the garden and fewer pests and thus maintain its balance.

Flowers also help prevent soil erosion and, once their roots die off, provide food to other plants.

What flowers to use?

One-year-old flowers are usually used in the garden, although most of them impregnate on there own, they can be replanted every year. Rows of flowers can be alternated with rows of vegetables or sown every couple of rows. Flower seeds are sown in the spring as is the rest of the garden. Flowers used in this way are considered living mulch.

Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden

Although there are many types of flowers that can be planted in the garden, we are bringing you the most preferred species, what they are, and why are they useful.

1. Marigold

Marigold 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

Marigold is an ornamental plant, and the dried flower is increasingly used as an ingredient in fats for the treatment of mucosal inflammation and epithelial cell renewal and as an antiseptic. It is an annual plant. In the fall, plants that have emerged without damage can hibernate and begin to grow early in the spring. The root grows deep into the soil and is spindly, and from it grows herbaceous easily fragile stems.

The marigold grows very quickly so that the first flowers bloom 40 days after sprouting and bloom until the frost in the fall. If there are high temperatures in July it suddenly blooms and gives the seed, but with the first rain, the plant is restored. The plants are rejuvenated and their vegetation life is prolonged by regular harvesting.

Marigold is not sensitive to drought, it likes a warm climate. On loose humus-rich soils, chernozem, and brown soil it yields true yields. This annual plant has cheerful yellow to orange flowers with a bloom like a daisy and can grow up to 12 inches. It contains sticky juice that traps pests such as aphids and whiteflies and protects nearby crops from their attack, and in addition attracts many pollinator species and beneficial insects such as ladybugs, butterflies, and green lacewings that can be parasitic to some pest species.

This flower can also be grown as a cover crop in winter to prevent soil erosion. Marigold is definitely one of the best flowers to grow in your vegetable garden.

2. California poppy

California poppy 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

The California poppy loves the sunbed and tolerates drought. It is bush shaped and can grow to over 25 inches in height. It blooms in a variety of shades, from completely white to red, but is most common in yellow and orange. The California poppy is very successful in self-sowing, and if self-sown, it grows very early in the spring.

At first, 2 leaf-like leaves appear, but soon the characteristic leaf appearance makes it easy to identify. Its root is yellowish and its main root is long and starts developing early, so it does not like transplanting too much because it has a long battle afterward, and it is best to sow it directly to the desired location. It has a deep root so it can be sown in clay soil as it softens it and its light yellow flowers close at night and when it rains. Its leaves look like lace and are favored by useful insects.

3. Borage

Borage 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

Borago (Borago officinalis L.) is a one-year-old herbaceous plant from the Boraginales family. The stem is erect, branched, hollow, covered with bristly hairs, up to 30 inches high. The root is well developed. The leaves are alternate, ovate, thick, and succulent, with an entire edge and covered with numerous hairs. The flowers are made up of five petals of blue (although those with pink and white can be found) and a white center ring, star-shaped and very decorative in appearance.

They bloom for about 40 days between June and early fall. The seeds are large. Its flowers perfectly attract bees, and it is wonderful to see for anyone who walks into the garden. It loves the sun, so you can place it in most sunny places, and it needs rich and moist soil. It loves water as well, so you can drain it good.

4. Chamomile

Chamomile 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

Chamomile is a year-old, wild plant spread throughout the world. It can be grown as a monoculture, but it does not intensively need to be grown for more than two years. It is rich in active substances and the main ingredients are easily extractable essential oil, 0.3 to 1.3%. The essential oil accumulates in nodules that are annularly arranged on the lower third of the tubular flowers. The oil is dark blue, green, or brown. The important components of chamomile oil are alpha-bisabolol, farnesene, and bisabolol oxides.

Chamomile needs a moderate climate and medium temperatures. If there is not enough light, it does not germinate. In the absence of light in the period from bud to full bloom, the quality of the essential oil decreases. Chamomile can tolerate drought, but the soil surface must be constantly moist to germinate. It thrives successfully on all soils except on very loose limestone soil, so it is very easy to grow it in your vegetable garden.

It attracts pollinators and beneficial insects. It has deep roots rich in nutrients that rot the soil when rotting. It also smells nice so you can smell it in the garden while you can pick a flower for tea.

5. Zinnia

zinnia 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

Zinnia (zinnia elegans, zinnia violacea) is a flowering plant from the Asteraceae family and is native to Mexico. The genus Zinnia contains about 20 species, annuals, and perennials, Zinnia elegans is the most famous species of all zinnias. Zinnia is a flowering shrub that grows from seed and grows to a height of 6 – 40 inches, depending on the species. Today, there are over one hundred cultivars of this species, varying in height, color, the appearance of flowers and petals.

It progresses very quickly and begins to bloom in the early summer, and continuously blooms until the first frosts that completely destroy the plants. It likes direct sunlight and grows well in poor soils, tolerates drought, and does not like over-watering, it can be a cause of weakening of the plant and infestation with powdery mildew. Also, it can be weakened by a fairly long drought, and then it is recommended to water it a little. Zinnia are unfortunately often infected with powdery mildew, and the best prevention is to ensure good growth

Zinnias are very attractive to butterflies in the garden, and ladybugs, which are natural enemies of aphids, so I recommend planting them everywhere in the garden. In addition to the beautiful flowering garden, you will also benefit greatly from the biosystem.

6. Coriander

Coriander 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

The coriander leaf and seed are distinguished by a number of medicinal properties. It is used to improve digestion, for problems with gastritis and ulcer of the stomach and duodenum, for cough in bronchitis and pneumonia, for inflammation of the bladder and urinary tract, rheumatism, and arthritis, relieves depression, lowers blood pressure, improves sleep.

It likes light, fertile land with a slightly acidic reaction.

Whether you eat it or not, it can still be a useful plant in the garden because its strong odor will repel pests. Its roots are similar to the carrot, so they reach deep into the soil, and the lacy leaves attract a large color of useful insects. Coriander grows up to 80 inches in high, so at first, it seems like a bad idea because of the shading of other plants in the garden, but its upright growth allows sunlight to reach other crops.

7. Sunflower

Sunflower 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

Sunflower originates from America (Mexico, Peru). It was first grown as an ornamental plant, the seeds were used to feed the birds, and humans ate the kernel from the seeds. In 1840, sunflower oil was first obtained. The seeds contain about 50% oil, 20% protein, and carbohydrates. From sunflower oil, margarine, mayonnaise, stearin (used in candles, plastics, soaps, cosmetics, and rubber softening), pharmaceuticals, paints, varnishes, etc. are produced. Sunflower heads have many nutrients, so they can be used to feed homemade animals.

Sunflower creates a large vegetative mass, so it needs a lot of water. It is most vulnerable to water scarcity at the time of head formation and seed filling. The root system is highly developed and penetrates deep into the soil and draws water from deeper layers, making the sunflower quite resistant to drought. Successful growth and development require a lot of light, which can be ensured by proper plant arrangement.

Sunflower produces the best results in deep, fertile and structural soils, with poorly acidic and neutral reactions. Sunflower is a great choice to plant in the garden. They serve as a guide for climbing plants and have enough nectar to attract pollinators.

8. Cosmos

Cosmos 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

The cosmos is a one-year-old flowering plant from the Asteraceae family native to southern America and Mexico. It is a plant that you can easily fall in love with at first glance. It grows sharply and grows even over 60 inches in good conditions, has delicate long needle-like leaves, blooms with large flowers until frost, and it is self-grown. It thrives best on sunny beds and withstands drought. It blooms in various shades of white to dark red, and the flowers are as good as cut flowers.

It tolerates transplanting very well because it has shallow roots. Since it is a fairly tall plant, choose well where to plant it – so you can walk past. I recommend planting it along fences and in the back of flower beds. Their flowering is fantastic for gardens, as it attracts many beneficial insects.

9. Garden nasturtium

Garden nasturtium 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

Garden nasturtium is a plant from the family Tropaeolaceae, native to the warm parts of South America. In its original habitat, garden nasturtium is a perennial. It is also called watercress – but to avoid confusion, it is not watercress salad (lat Nasturtium officinale). It is very sensitive to cold, loves the warmest, sunny places, which are a little shaded from the light during the strongest sun. There are tall species that grow up to 80 inches high, mostly crawling on the ground because they do not have climbing tendrils and shrubby species.

It blooms in shades of pale yellow, through various combinations of orange all the way to red. The flowers of garden nasturtium are very attractive to insects, especially bumblebees. Garden nasturtium loves growing up on sandy, poor soil. If planted in soil rich in nitrogen, it develops leaves extensively and often does not bloom, so it is by no means recommended to feed it with various fertilizers, or to plant near plants that bind nitrogen to the soil (legumes, clover, lupine).

It emits a strong odor to repel pests, and its dense and low growth makes it excellent because it covers the soil of higher crops. The striking flowers and leaves of the garden nasturtium are edible. It goes well with tomatoes. Garden nasturtium is one of the best flowers to grow in your vegetable garden.

10. Lavender

Lavender 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

Lavender is a favorite ornamental plant and is increasingly grown and planted. There are no major demands on soil quality, its cultivation is very economical and can serve as a good grazing ground for bees. The name lavender is derived from the Latin word lavara, which means bathing, and explains the basic purpose of dried flower and lavender, an essential oil. Real lavender essential oil is used to produce perfume and cologne. Cheaper lavender essential oil is used to produce soap.

The healing property of lavender is to reduce nervous tension in migraine and neuralgia. It relieves cramps and helps heal wounds. Lavender is a perennial plant that grows in the form of a semi-shrub. The life span of wild and grown lavender is up to 30 years. The root is woody, very branched, and penetrates deep into the soil. The stem is short, thick, woody, and very branched from the root neck. All types of lavender are characterized by a strong, distinctive scent that comes from the accumulated essential oil.

Lavender is a thermophilic plant that requires high temperatures and plenty of sun and light throughout the growing season to accumulate essential oil. Warm, sheltered terrain favors the rapid growth of plants. Cold soils with frost do great damage to the crop, although the plant can withstand temperatures up to -4 °F. In addition, lavender has beautiful flowers and pollinators love it a lot, especially bees, bumblebees, and butterflies. So why not plant it in your vegetable garden.

11. Sweet alyssum

Sweet alyssum 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritim (L.) Desv.) is an annual flowering plant of the Brassicaceae family. When it grows it forms an interesting thick carpet. It has small, gray-green spear-shaped leaves. They bloom all summer with four-petals flowers gathered in flower heads. It has a pleasant honey scent. We will most often encounter white flowers, however, there are varieties of red, pink and purple.

It is a low-growing, pleasant-smelling plant, often planted on the edges of flower beds. Although there are many colors of this plant, white flowers attract the most beneficial insects. It is effective as a living mulch, and its roots prevent soil erosion.

12. Begonias

Begonias 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

Begonia (lat. Begonia semperflorens) is a perennial herbaceous plant. Due to the beauty of its leaves and flowers, it is one of the most popular houseplants. It belongs to the Begoniaceae family and originates from India and South America. It got its botanical name from the French botanist Plumiere, who discovered it and named it after the then French governor Michael Begon.

Begonia is native to South America and can also be found in Hawaii and La Reunion Island. Its natural habitat is humid tropical forests, but it is also grown as an ornamental plant. The stem of this plant is fleshy and branched, and can grow up to 20 inches in height. The leaves are alternately arranged and are located on short stems. And they are meaty and simple. They are broadly egg-shaped and with a pointed apex and the edges are serrated and red in color.

The flowers can be white, red, or pink and are found in the leaf armpits. Several of them are gathered in blooms. They bloom in spring and fall, with bees collecting pollen and nectar from them. The fruit of begonias is a capsule containing tiny seeds. There are about 1000 different types of begonias, the most famous being Elatior, Rex, and Semperflorens. Begonia rex does not have a flower. It has large heart-shaped leaves which are usually red, green, brown, and gray in color, with various patterns on them.

Begonia is propagated by seeds and seedlings. It is resistant to dry and hot summers and does not tolerate temperatures below 53 °F. Planting begonias is done in the spring. Seeks full sun or semi-arid and well-drained soil as it does not tolerate when water is retained around the roots. Planting begonias in the garden is only done when we are sure that there is no longer any danger of frost. In the garden, they will best succeed in the shade where filtered light comes through the tree canopy.

Planting in places that are exposed to high winds should be avoided as begonias have fragile shoots that can break easily. They are planted in soil that is a mixture of peat behind soil or compost. The leaves and flowers of the tuber begonias are edible. They can be consumed raw, cooked or fried, and have a slightly bitter lemon-like taste and a fine texture.

Shredded flowers can be added to sandwiches and salads, but their consumption is not recommended for people with kidney stones or gout due to their high oxalate content. Begonia is claimed to eliminate toxins and cleanse the liver.

13. Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

Sweet Peas is a one-year-old climbing plant from the Fabaceae family, originally from Italy, Crete, and Sicily – the Mediterranean. It can grow up to 40 to 80 inches tall, shrubby growth. Depending on the cultivar, the flowers of the sweet pea have a wonderful, intoxicating sweet smell, hence the name of the plant. With cultivation, we can grow a species of larger flowers, but unfortunately, they don’t have such a nice smell as species of smaller flowers but are excellent as cut flowers.

The flowers are on average 0.8 – 1.5 inches in size. They bloom in shades of white, pink, purple and red, and there are cultivars of mottled colors. Sweet peas prefer the direct sun or light semi-arid, well-drained, and permeable soil, but also plenty of moisture – it is advisable to water it regularly in case of drought and mulch the soil around to maintain soil moisture for longer. If it grows in dry conditions, it ends with vegetation very quickly and is more susceptible to disease.

They are highly fragrant flowers, its seeds resemble edible sweet peas but are toxic if eaten, they need supportive fence or trellis, and they are great for attracting pollinators.

14. Dianthus

Dianthus  15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

Dianthus (Lat. Dianthus caryophyllus) is a genus of about 300 species from the Caryophyllaceae family. The name Dianthus is derived from the Greek words Dios – god and Anthos – flower, meaning flower of the gods. Dianthus is a plant that has been cultivated for about 2000 years and during this time various experts have researched very precise conditions of cultivation and care. Dianthus is a herbaceous perennial plant of shallow, fibrous, and branched roots consisting of a large number of small roots.

Upright herbaceous stems can be up to 30 inches in height and branch at the very top. Dianthus leaves are narrow, linear, or lanceolate, usually with an apex and a smooth edge. They are opposite to each other on the stem, can be up to 5 inches long, and are bluish or green-gray with a wax coating. The flowers are bisexual, often fragrant, and located on the flower stalk. Each flower is made of a short tubular base and usually five lobes. The petals are wide and have serrated edges.

Dianthus is a beautiful perennial floral species and is very popular in the decorative industry market. It is grown for its decorative value and is used for decorative purposes as an ornamental plant in gardens, flower beds, stonecutters, and pots, or as cut flowers. As with any other plant, care should be taken when planting cloves. If space is densely filled, the quality of the flowers will be worse, and if there is too much empty space, the yield will be smaller.

In addition to the outdoors, planting dianthus is also possible in sheltered spaces and in growth bags. Dianthus is available in almost all climates and is available in all markets. It is only necessary to adapt the farming model to the climate. When it comes to light, requirements vary from cultivar to cultivar, but dianthus generally requires a lot of light and sun. However, they do not need to be in direct sunlight as it can cause burns to the leaf. Long days and sunny periods encourage flowering that slows down on shorter days.

Irrigation is one of the most important things when growing dianthus. Irrigation must be precise and in equal quantities. It is also important to keep in mind the pH of the water that the plant is irritating. It is a great addition to any vegetable garden because it repels deer, it is very attractive, and it attracts some pollinators.

15. Snapdragons

Snapdragons 15 Best Flowers to Grow in Your Vegetable Garden - And Why

Snapdragon is native to the southern parts of Europe. It is often classified and grown as an annual plant, but it depends on the climate, it often winters and acts as a perennial. It blooms in different colors, white, yellow, orange, pink, red, purple … It loves the sunbed but also tolerates semi-shade, grows on almost all types of soil. There are numerous cultivars of this species, and so there are dwarf species, up to 30 inches in height.

The specialty of this garden flower is its flower, which with its unusual appearance and shape beautifies the garden and entertains children because of their peculiarity, which opens at the pressure of the flower as a mouth. Snapdragon loves a sunny or semi-shady spot in your garden. This information should be taken into account when arranging the garden.

It is drought-resistant, but young plants, especially those planted in the pot, should be watered regularly. Fertilization is possible at the time of flowering, but not necessary. Regular removal of ocular flowers results in longer blooms. Snapdragon is very popular in cottage-style gardens and it attracts butterflies.

What to do at the end of the garden season with flowers?

When the season is over, you can improve the ecology of your garden by not removing the roots of flowering plants. After you clean everything, instead of removing the whole plant, cut them off at the base. The roots left untouched will rot and nourish the soil.

Although you might encounter an old root next spring, simply sow new plants on the side to avoid existing roots in the soil. The sowed line may not seem the most straightforward, but plants sown directly next to the old root will receive food from it. You can also cut and toss the flowers to work as a mulch.

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