Make Your Garden Stand Out With These Zany Unusual Plants
We’ve got a quick challenge for you. What three words would you use to describe nature?
“Beautiful” might be the first word that pops into most people’s minds. You might also use words like “serene”, “delightful”, and even “elegant”!
But there’s a whole other side to nature that people often miss. As exquisite as it can be, nature is also bizarre, freaky, and enchanting!
This wild– but nonetheless beautiful– aspect of nature is never more so evident than in unique plants! While all plants have exceptional features, these oddballs have a bit more of an edgy and shocking appeal.
The great news is, you can grow a ton of unique flowers and plants in your own garden! Not only do they arouse curiosity and create visual interest to your yard, but they can also echo your one-of-a-kind identity.
This is why we’ve rounded up a list of 8 unique plants to grow in your garden! These sensational flora and foliage are superb for rousing your interest and keeping you on your toes. The promise of their captivating, awe-striking end results will make all your hard work worth it.
Who knows? Cultivating a few of these might even inspire you to start a wacky garden with plenty of unusual plants! Read on to find your favorite unusual garden plants and start growing them now!
Interested in a formal course on gardening? Want to get accredited as a gardening expert? Check into organizations offering classes in floristry and horticulture, like:
National Gardening Organization
American Floral Endowment
American Horticultural Society
Glass Gem Corn
Hardiness Zones: 3-11
Light: Full sun
Soil: Rich, well-drained
Soil pH: 6.0-7.0.
Water: 1 inch of water each week.
Temperature: Warm weather.
Maintenance: Add slow-release fertilizer and mulch through the growing season.
Harvest Time: 1-2 weeks.
It’s no exaggeration to say that this mesmerizing rainbow-colored crop belongs to the most beautiful plants in the world. Back in 2012, Glass Gem Corn became known to everyone when a photo of it went viral on Facebook. Until today, it holds a status as a spectacular garden crop that anybody can grow! Plus, it makes for tasty popcorn and cornmeal. Stunning and sumptuous to boot!
Hardiness Zones: 2-11
Light: Full sun.
Soil: Rich, loamy, well-drained
Soil pH: 5.5-6.9
Water: 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week
Temperature: Cool weather
Maintenance: Add manure or composted organic matter before planting. Side-dress with compost after 3 weeks and again before harvest.
Harvest Time: 45-60 days
Want your garden to look out of this planet? Well, we have the perfect vegetable for you. Also called space cabbage, kohlrabi might be as close to an alien life form as we’re ever going to get. Plus, it’s quite versatile in the kitchen! Crunchy with an intriguing hint of spice, you can eat kohlrabi raw or use it in a variety of mouth-watering recipes.
Hardiness Zones: 4-8
Light: Full sun or partial shade
Soil: Well-draining, moist
Soil pH: 6 to 6.5
Water: Water only when soil is dry. Avoid overwatering as it leads to rotting and disease.
Temperature: Can tolerate various weather conditions, but avoid humidity
Maintenance: Add mulch during the growing season; add compost during spring.
Growing Time: Around 21 days
Known for its soft fuzzy texture, Lamb’s Ears proves that plants can be pets too! You can’t keep from caressing its adorable velvety foliage. Its distinct texture and stunning silvery-green give it a soft, almost divine look. That’s why it’s best for edging borders and paving. Even better, it’s quick and easy to maintain! It grows lush and dense leaves even with little water.
Shame Plant (Mimosa pudica)
Hardiness Zones: 2-8
Light: Full sun
Soil: Well-draining, loamy, enhanced with peat moss
Soil pH: 6.6-7.5
Water: Water enough to keep soil moist but not soggy
Temperature: Warm, humid. Cannot tolerate extreme heat or cold.
Maintenance: Feed with a high-potassium fertilizer once every 2 weeks. Prune frequently.
Growing Time: 7-21 days depending on weather
While humble in appearance, the Mimosa pudica sticks out for its peculiar response to physical stimuli. Its fern-like leaves droop and fold in when you touch them. After a few minutes, they open once again. They also react this way to darkness and wind breezes. Their fragile nature is even more accentuated when they produce tiny, fluffy blooms. So delicate and amazing, these are a marvel to grow in your garden!
Hardiness Zones: 5-9
Light: 4-5 hours of full sun
Soil: Damp, loamy, well-draining
Soil pH: 6.0-6.5
Water: 1-inch water each week. Drip irrigation is particularly recommended.
Temperature: Cool weather. Keep soil cool during warm seasons.
Maintenance: Top-dress with compost or add organic fertilizer every spring. Weed regularly.
Harvest Time: Around 3 weeks. Bears fruit all through its growing season (June-October).
Tinier than their more sought-after counterparts, alpine strawberries often tend to be rather overlooked among strawberry varieties. And that’s a shame! Alpine strawberries flourish without fuss, yield plenty even in the summer, and taste quite delicious. Each bite-sized fruit packs a punch of flavors with a burst of sweetness and a hint of pineapple-like tartness.
Hardiness Zones: 3-9
Light: Full sun. Can thrive with light shade.
Soil: Rich, well-draining, sandy
Soil pH: 6.0-7.5
Water: Water all throughout its growing season. Once established, water only when soil is dry to keep soil moist.
Temperature: Warm to cool weather. Avoid harsh cold.
Maintenance: Bring in fertilizer once a month while they’re growing. Weed regularly during growing season. Provide mulch and compost.
Blooming Time: Early autumn to late summer
Also referred to as winter cherry, this sensational perennial boasts a lot of fantastic features! At the top of the list is its remarkable papery husk that resembles Chinese lanterns. Inside it is a sweet tasty berry that you can prep in multiple recipes. It also produces enchanting heart-shaped leaves and exquisite white blooms. Fair warning: this plant is notorious for being invasive! Be sure to weigh the risks before planting.
Hardiness Zones: 10-11
Light: Full to partial shade
Soil: Well-draining, moist, fertile
Soil pH: 6.1-7.5
Water: Consistent watering through its growing season. Allow soil to dry in winter before watering.
Temperature: Cool weather and shade. Avoid extreme heat or cold.
Maintenance: Fertilize once a month, if possible with acid fertilizer.
Blooming Season: Spring to early autumn.
Got a taste for the gothic? Well, the ever-dramatic bat flowers would be perfect for you! True to their name, these strange blooms resemble a bat in flight. Ruffled, rich purple petals mimic the bat’s wings, while a whitish spot in the middle of each bloom serves as its eyes. Surrounded by thin, delicate bracteoles that echo a bat’s whiskers, these exotic blooms bring flair to your garden like nothing else.
Night Sky Petunias
Hardiness Zone: 9-10
Light: At least 6 hours of full sun
Soil: Rich, well-draining, fertile
Soil pH: 5.5-6.0
Water: Regular moderate watering; avoid overwatering
Temperature: Thrives in most weather conditions; Patterns change according to temperature
Maintenance: Fertilize frequently with rich compost to stimulate flowering.
Blooming Season: Summer to fall
We can’t take our eyes off these enchanting petunias! These beauts seem to hold swirling galaxies in their spectacular petals, displaying the beauty of nature and the cosmos. Fun fact: their “night sky” patterns may transform according to the weather. Their whites surface more in cooler temperatures and their purples in warmer temperatures.
Photo by Haydn Golden