Answer: There are several options in green flowers, and they can be combined to great effect with dark-leaved or variegated plants. Here are a few green-flowered plants to experiment with this spring and summer:
Zinnias: Try ‘Green Envy’ or ‘Benary’s Giant Lime’ for lush green flowers. Zinnias are annuals typically grown in full sun, but some gardeners report better color from the green selections if they are kept in part shade.
Flowering tobacco: Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’ is a three-foot, bushy perennial in USDA Zones 8–10, grown as an annual elsewhere (and often self-sows). Blooms for a long time, with trumpet-shaped chartreuse flowers. Nicotiana langsdorffii (shown) has a similar size but its pale green flowers are slightly more drooping.
Bells of Ireland: The true flowers of Molucella laevis, a cottage-garden classic, are actually white; they are tiny and surrounded by the large green calyces that inspire its common name. This annual grows best in cool weather. Its seeds can be sown outdoors in early spring.
‘Limelight’ hydrangea: For something larger, plant this six- to eight-foot panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’) that has soft lime green flowers in late summer. It can also be trained to grow as a small tree. Hardy in Zones 3–8.
Coneflowers: ‘Green Envy’ has mostly light green petals; toward the center of the flower they turn pinkish red. The central cone is dark green. Perennial for Zones 4–9.
Hellebores: Among the hundreds of hybrid hellebores on the market, you’ll be able to find some green-flowered options, such as ‘Green Gambler’. Helleborus argutifolius ‘Sliver Lace’ has beautiful silver-flocked leaves and large creamy green flowers (Zones 4–9). Or look for the “stinking hellebore,” the species Helleborus foetidus, which has light green blossoms (Zones 5–9).
Image attribution: Keith Edkins. Image rights.
Get advice on arranging plant by color and more from our Garden Design articles.
Experiment with color the non-permanent way: grow annuals. Check out Annuals for Every Garden or Smart Guide: Annuals, which includes step-by-step instructions on seed sowing, transplanting and plant care.
Get the Fabulous & Unusual Annuals Collection, a bundle of five different seed packets, including bells of Ireland.
Take the easy path to garden success with Trowel & Error: Over 700 Tips, Remedies & Shortcuts for the Gardener by Sharon Lovejoy.