21 Best Flowers for Growing in Raised Beds

Thinking of adding some beautiful flowers to your raised beds? Flowers can attract pollinators to beds with vegetables or stand alone as a beautiful flower bed. Here, gardening expert Melissa Strauss lists 21 gorgeous flowering plants that work well in raised beds.

A raised bed bursting with lush green foliage and a variety of bright, blooming flowers in shades of blue, purple, and white.

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There are many advantages to growing flowering plants in raised beds. For one thing, a taller raised bed can bring your flowers closer to eye level, making them easier to enjoy. You can also control the soil composition, nutrient level, and drainage better in beds than you can in the ground. If you have poor or heavy soil, a raised bed enables you to grow things that need loose, fertile soil to thrive. 

In reality, there are very few things that you can’t grow in a raised bed. The soil in your beds will warm earlier in the year than the ground. For many plants, this means your seeds germinate earlier. Raised bed soil tends to be looser, which promotes root development, as well. Here are some wonderful flowering plants that will thrive in your raised beds.

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Snapdragon

White snapdragon flowers with delicate petals and green leaves illuminated by the sun's warm rays.
Plant these in fall for early spring flowers with afternoon shade.
botanical-name botanical name Antirrhinum majus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height up to 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

Snapdragons are such a joyful plant. Their brightly colored, large flower heads really dress up the garden. They also grow wonderfully in raised beds. I love snapdragons in the cutting garden most of all. These cool-weather flowers bridge the gap between tulips and daffodils and dahlias and zinnias. Some varieties grow quite tall and may require staking to keep their stems straight. If you want to let them grow as they will, they still look lovely spilling over the sides of your beds. 

Snapdragons are cold tolerant and can handle temperatures as low as 25°F (-4°C) once established. In Zones 8 and warmer, plant them in the fall for flowers in late winter and early spring. Make sure they have some afternoon shade in warm climates. In cool climates, plant a few weeks before your last frost date. When the weather begins to warm, keep them well watered to keep the flowers blooming into the summer months. 

Marigold

Marigold flowers boasting orange and red petals contrast beautifully against lush, deep green foliage.
These thrive in containers with good drainage and full sun.
botanical-name botanical name Tagetes spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height Up to 3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Most types of marigolds are annuals, but many will reseed themselves, so they may come back the following year. Marigolds are great neighbors to their raised bed companions. These cheery flowers repel many common garden pests. They are sturdy plants that take well to deadheading. They will reward your attention with tons of flowers throughout the spring, summer, and fall. 

Marigolds like growing in containers. They appreciate moisture, but they need good drainage, so raised beds are an ideal situation. Plant these in a sunny spot and watch them blossom. Marigolds are not heavy feeders, so they don’t need fertilizer after the initial planting. They play well with others, filling in space without invasive roots. 

Pansy

True Blue pansy bloom in close up, with lavender and periwinkle hues.
This flower requires extra care for survival in the heat.
botanical-name botanical name Viola tricolor
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3”-10”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-9

Pretty pansies make great raised bed plants. Because they are small, and low to the ground, planting them in a raised bed makes them easier to enjoy. Pansies have such lovely, happy flowers. With their multi-colored petals, there are so many wonderful combinations. Pansies are cool-weather plants and will thrive best in full sun in winter, and partial shade in the warmer months. 

Give your pansies fertile, well-draining soil, and make sure to keep them well-watered as the temperature rises. Under the right conditions, these sweet flowers can survive the heat of summer, but they need extra care. For beautiful, fast-growing colors in the cooler months, you just can’t beat pansies. 

Calendula

A close-up of an orange calendula flower glistening with water droplets, illuminated by warm sunlight.
Regularly removing spent flowers ensures that it does not produce seeds.
botanical-name botanical name Calendula officinalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height up to 2’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Calendula is a fun and brightly colored flowering plant that is native to the Mediterranean region. It’s easy to grow, and the flowers are edible and nice for making teas. These plants grow great in containers. They are fast to mature, and the more you pick them, the more they branch and bloom. Make sure to pinch your calendula plants when they reach about four inches tall. 

This plant prefers cool, sunny days, so if you live in a hot climate, plant them in partial shade. Protection from the hot afternoon rays will prolong their life significantly. Make sure to deadhead your calendula to keep it from going to seed. As long as you plant this flower in fertile soil, it won’t need fertilizer. 

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Zinnia

 Vibrant red and orange zinnia flowers in full bloom, standing tall amidst dense green foliage.
These produce abundant flowers ideal for cutting.
botanical-name botanical name Zinnia elegans
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height up to 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Zinnias are my favorite annuals for raised beds. They grow very quickly, blooming only two months after planting from seeds. They are incredibly low maintenance, and if you pinch them a bit while they are small, you will have gorgeous, shrubby zinnia plants by early summer. Plant these seeds as soon as the soil warms to 70°F (21°C). Zinnias are native to Central America, and are very heat tolerant.

Plant your zinnias in any space that is too sunny for other flowering plants. This one will soak up the heat and reward you with a bounty of flowers. They make excellent cut flowers with a decently long vase life. They also produce more flowers the more you cut them, so trim away! Give them a bit of balanced fertilizer at the time they start flowering.

Ranunculus

A close-up of a vibrant pink ranunculus flower illuminated by sunlight, showcasing delicate petals.
Raised beds with good drainage are ideal for ranunculus.
botanical-name botanical name Ranunculus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2”-24”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-10

Ranunculus are so beautiful, and raised beds are a great place to grow them. Because they are somewhat fragile, they need a bit of protection from the elements. These cool-weather flowers do most of their growing in the spring. In Zones 7-9 the corms can stay in the ground all year. They will die back in the heat of summer, and pop back up when it gets cool again. 

Give your ranunculus fertile soil and keep them watered. Don’t overdo it though, their roots, or corms, are susceptible to root rot. In the ground, rotting is more of an issue. Raised beds have better drainage which is great for these plants, especially while they are dormant. 

Cosmos

White cosmos flowers rest delicately on top of green, feathery leaves.
Regularly trimming cosmos flowers helps maintain their shape.
botanical-name botanical name Cosmos spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height up to 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

These sturdy annuals are great for growing just about anywhere. They are fast-growing, and they produce a ton of flowers from late spring throughout the summer. Cosmos aren’t picky about soil; in fact, they are perfectly fine with average to poor soil conditions. They like good drainage and are quite drought-tolerant once established. 

Hold off on high-nitrogen fertilizers and compost. Too much nitrogen will have your cosmos growing very tall and flopping over. Cutting the flowers regularly will keep them manageable. Flowers are short-lived but plentiful and the buds will continue to open after cutting. This is a great plant for filling beds that you’ve used for growing more demanding plants, as they don’t mind the depleted soil

Bachelor’s Button

 A close-up of a blue Bachelor's button flower, with a soft, blurred background of lush green foliage.
Plant its seeds in well-drained soil with compost.
botanical-name botanical name Centaurea cyanus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1’-3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Bachelor’s buttons, also known as cornflower, are easy, short-season plants that do well in raised beds. They take only 65 days from seed to bloom and prefer cool weather. Plant these as soon as your soil is workable. In warm climates, put these seeds in your beds in the fall. They can tolerate a light freeze, so grow them through the winter in Zones 8-11 for late-winter flowers. This hardiness also means they are invasive in some areas. Opt for something else if they are classified as invasive in your region.

These plants grow very easily from seeds, making them an economical choice for filling your beds. They like well-drained soil and moderate moisture. Don’t worry about fertilizer; a bit of compost worked into the soil at planting time is sufficient. In warm climates, make sure they have some shade in the afternoon to keep them blooming longer. 

Poppy

Vibrant red poppies and verdant leaves bask in sunlight, surrounded by a backdrop of dense trees.
These flowers bloom throughout mild summers when deadheaded.
botanical-name botanical name Papaver spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2’-3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-7

Poppies are wonderful spring flowers that will bloom right up until the summer. They require some cold weather to germinate, so sow these seeds in your raised bed in the fall for early summer blooms. They will germinate as soon as the soil is warm enough. Plant the seeds in fertile soil, pressing them lightly into the surface, as these plants need light to germinate. 

Poppy plants do their best growing between 60-80°F (16-27°C) and will back off in the heat of summer. In places with mild summers, your poppies may bloom all season, though. Fertilize these plants lightly every two weeks. Deadhead them if you don’t want them to reseed. Poppies are annual, but they reseed themselves well. 

Dahlia

Soft pink dahlias with delicate petals bloom elegantly among deep green leaves.
Growing dahlias in raised beds facilitates easy fall digging due to loose soil.
botanical-name botanical name Dahlia spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height up to 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

If you haven’t caught onto the dahlia craze yet, they are a flower you will love growing. They come in a wide array of colors, shapes, and sizes and make wonderful cut flowers. In warm climates, these are perennial plants. In cooler climates, you’ll need to dig up their tubers and store them for the winter. This is part of what makes them excellent raised bed plants. 

It’s easy to grow dahlias in raised beds because the loose soil makes it much easier to dig them up in the fall. Many taller varieties require support to hold up their rather substantial flowers. These plants like slightly acidic, fertile soil and plenty of water. Give them a low-nitrogen fertilizer every three to four weeks during the growing season. 

Coneflower

A close-up of a coneflower showcasing slender petals transitioning from red to orange, set against a softly blurred background of green leaves.
Plant this in full sun to partial shade for optimal growth.
botanical-name botanical name Echinacea spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2’-5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Echinacea, or coneflower, is a perennial that blooms in summer and fall. Pollinators love this easy-care plant, and it looks great all season with attractive foliage and large, colorful flowers. This plant is somewhat drought-tolerant and likes fertile soil with good drainage. It’s easier to control these aspects in a raised bed, making this a great plant for raised beds.

Coneflowers come in several colors, including white, yellow, orange, and purple. Purple tends to be the most popular and widely available. In my opinion, they tend to be the hardiest as well. Plant these flowering perennials in full sun to partial shade. In hot climates, they will appreciate some shade in the afternoon. They are drought-tolerant, but will bloom more if you water them regularly. 

Lavender

Lavender plants, vibrant in sunlight, thrive in a raised bed nestled against a wooden wall.
Choose the appropriate lavender variety based on your climate.
botanical-name botanical name Lavandula spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height up to 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

Lavender is a wonderful raised bed plant. There are a few things that will truly make or break your success with this plant, though. For one thing, lavender likes poor soil. Soil that is sandy, and low in nutrients, is the natural environment for this plant. It needs excellent drainage and likes a lot of heat. it is native to the Mediterranean region so that climate is what this plant is best suited for. 

It’s also important to choose the right variety of lavender for your climate. Spanish lavender is best for humid climates. Lavandin, which is a hybrid, performs very well in hot climates. Phenomenal lavender has excellent cold and heat tolerance. Don’t fertilize your lavender, and let the soil dry between waterings. A bit of neglect is what keeps Lavender happy. 

Sunflower

Wooden raised beds filled with sunflower plants, showcasing one tall, proud bloom.
These thrive in containers due to their need for nutrient-rich soil.
botanical-name botanical name Helianthus annuus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height up to 25’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

For a raised bed in a sunny location, sunflowers are an excellent annual flower to grow. Sunflowers grow fastest in loose, rich soil with good drainage. This environment is easy to create in a raised bed. Because the soil in these beds warms faster earlier in the year, sunflowers will germinate sooner and grow faster here. Under the right circumstances, your sunflowers will grow better there than anywhere!

I find that my sunflowers grow best in containers. Unless you have very rich soil, It can be difficult to give them sufficient nutrients to reach their full potential. That’s not to say that you can’t grow sunflowers in the ground. You certainly can. However, they do like rich, loose soil, and that is easy to provide in a raised bed. 

Stock

Violet stock flowers surrounded by lush green leaves, creating a harmonious botanical arrangement.
Regularly remove spent flowers to encourage more blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Matthiola incana
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12”-30”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

Stock is a wonderful perennial, flowering plant. The tall stalks of blooms have a wonderful fragrance, and they make excellent cut flowers. These plants prefer rich, well-drained soil and plenty of sun in the morning. They will thrive best with some protection from the hot afternoon sunlight. Water your stock regularly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. 

Plant stock seeds in the spring. In Zones 7-10, they are biennial or short-lived perennials and will flower even more in their second year. In cooler climates, these plants are often grown as annuals. Deadhead your stock flowers for even more blooms. These plants are nicely resistant to many garden pests. 

Strawflower

A close-up of a purple strawflower; its delicate petals vivid against a softly blurred dark green backdrop.
Pinching strawflowers at around a foot tall encourages optimal branching.
botanical-name botanical name Xerochrysum bracteatum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1-10
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-10

Strawflowers are beautiful and fascinating. They dry wonderfully and make a great, long-lasting addition to cut flower arrangements. These plants are drought-tolerant and prefer excellent drainage. They like about one inch of water weekly, and a bit of dry weather won’t bother them. As with many plants, the improved drainage in a raised bed is beneficial for this plant. 

While they can grow in partial shade, full sun is the preferred exposure for these plants. Don’t overdo it with fertilizer, or your strawflower plants can become too tall and floppy. Pinch your plants when they are about a foot tall, and they will branch nicely. You will get tons of blooms from these plants in late summer and fall.

Yarrow

A cluster of delicate white yarrow flowers with feathery leaves in the background, showcasing their natural beauty.
Divide this every two to three years for better growth.
botanical-name botanical name Achillea millefolium
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Yarrow is a versatile and low maintenance plant that will grow in many environments. Its unfussy nature makes it perfect for raised beds where it will get plenty of good drainage. Any type of soil will do for yarrow, it truly is a versatile plant. It is drought-tolerant and nicely pest-resistant. 

Make sure to deadhead your yarrow for increased blooming. This plant is perennial, so it will return every year. Every two to three years, dig up your yarrow and divide it to keep good air circulation and avoid crowding. Yarrow prefers full sun but performs well in partial shade as well. Be careful growing with other sensitive plants. It can take over.

Black-Eyed-Susan

Vibrant yellow Black-eyed Susan flowers soak up the sunlight; their petals radiating warmth and cheer.
Planting pentas in raised beds avoids heavy or compacted soil issues. Cold stratify its seeds before planting in fall for abundant spring seedlings.
botanical-name botanical name Rudbeckia hirta
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height up to 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

Black-eyed Susan plants love warm soil and warm weather. If you want cheerful flowers in your yard during the heat of summer, this is a great flower to plant. This plant germinates best in warm soil, so it will get started earlier in the year if you sow seeds in your raised beds. The flowers of this plant are exceptionally popular among native bees, and they will attract pollinators to your vegetable garden. 

These seeds will have a better germination rate with some cold stratification. Planting them in the fall will give you plenty of seedlings in the spring and early blooms. If you want them to reseed, allow them to go to seed in the fall, and you’ll have lots more plants in springtime. 

Anise Hyssop

Tall purple anise hyssop flowers stand gracefully above foliage, creating a striking contrast in color.
Newer varieties of anise hyssop feature red and orange flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Agastache foeniculum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2’-5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

If you love pollinators, grow some anise hyssop in your raised vegetable beds. This plant is a pollinator favorite and will increase your harvest by drawing bees to the garden. It has a tendency to re-seed aggressively, so planting this one in a raised bed will help to contain it. New plants are distinctive and easy to pull up in the spring if they turn up in unwanted places. 

Anise hyssop is not a true anise. It is easygoing when it comes to soil but prefers well-drained, loamy soil. The most common and popular colors for this plant’s flowers are blue and purple. However, some newer varieties have red and orange flowers for a bolder appearance. 

Pentas

Purple pentas flowers clustered together; their vivid hue contrasting with blurred green leaves in the background.
Planting pentas in raised beds avoids heavy or compacted soil issues.
botanical-name botanical name Pentas lanceolata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1’-2’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

Full sun and well-drained, acidic soil is the preferred growing condition for pentas. These happy little flowering plants are very appealing to butterflies and hummingbirds. They work well in a raised bed pollinator garden. This plant is very heat tolerant, so it will look good all summer when other plants may languish in the summer heat. 

Pentas don’t like heavy or compacted soil, which is another benefit of planting them in raised beds. They tend to be heavy feeders, so provide them with a balanced, liquid fertilizer once per month during their growing season. They are perennial only in frost free climates, but they grow well as annuals.

Petunia

Purple petunia flowers in full bloom; their petals vibrant under the sun's golden rays.
These thrive in slightly acidic, fertile soil with frequent watering.
botanical-name botanical name Petunia x hybrida
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 6”-18”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

Petunias are great for filling beds with major spring and summer colors. Mainly grown as annuals, petunias are fast-growing and produce a lot of flowers. They like moist, well-drained soil and lots of light. Choose a taller variety for raised beds to get the full effect of these pretty plants. Trailing types look nicer in baskets. 

Petunias like slightly acidic, fertile soil. They have fine, shallow root systems, so they need frequent watering to keep them looking lush and happy. Plant your petunias in the spring for a long blooming season. They may bloom less in the hottest months of summer but should spring back to blooming in the fall. 

Final Thoughts

Raised beds are a great way to grow flowering plants that need good drainage. If you don’t have the right soil for a certain plant, you can create it in your beds much more easily than in the ground. The soil warms faster, leading to earlier germination. That means that many of these plants will flower sooner and have a longer flowering season.

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