What are Virginia’s favorite flowers? Horticulture guide finds top five in state

What are Virginia’s favorite flowers? Horticulture guide finds top five in state

pink hydrangea in pot
A hydrangea was Virginia’s fourth favorite flower, according to a study of search habits by residents.

A horticulture guide using Google searches determined lavender is the most popular flower in Virginia. Gardening Chores did a study to analyze search results and terms including “how to grow flower name” and “buy flower name” to discover the favorites.

Lavender was the most popular flowers for most states – with the sunflower, iris, peony and rose showing up in search results for states throughout the U.S.

In Virginia, flowers ranked:

  1. Lavender – 2,440 searches per year
  2. Sunflower – 1,590 searches per year
  3. Peony – 1,280 searches per year
  4. Hydrangea – 1,110 searches per year
  5. Rose – 1,040 searches per year

“Lavender provides many benefits to the area in which it is grown and can thrive both outdoors and indoors with proper care,” said Amber Noyes, a horticulture expert at Gardening Chores. “From its widely acknowledged pleasant fragrance to its beautiful violet flowers, it provides a welcoming space for pollinators, and acts as an excellent repellant of nuisance garden insects, such as mosquitoes and ticks.

“With this in mind, it stands to reason that lavender would be the most popular flower in Virginia. It will be particularly interesting to see whether the most-searched-for flowers are also the most frequently grown by those cultivating their gardens this summer.”


Lavender is Virginia’s favorite flower, with an average of 2,440 collective yearly searches. Lavender, whose scientific name is Lavandula, is a genus of 47 species of flowering plants with more than 450 varieties.

It is renowned for its delicate purple flowers and wonderful fragrance, and dried lavender flowers can be steeped in coconut oil to produce an essential oil that promotes relaxation. It can provide a welcome shock of color to any space and is great for pollinators like bees too. Lavender grows best in bright, dry conditions in not very fertile soil with good drainage.


The sunflower comes in as Virginia’s second most popular flower, with an average of 1,590 yearly searches. The most well-known species, the common sunflower (Helianthus annuus), is recognized for its towering height, bright yellow outer petals and its large, sun-following flower head. The dark-colored inner disc of the plant is made up of many smaller flowers that help to attract pollinators.

The common sunflower is an annual flower, meaning that it dies after one growing season, which is the period from germination to seed production. It grows best in full sun or partial shade, in average fertile soil with good drainage.


The vibrant peony is Virginia’s third favorite flower, with an average of 1,280 yearly searches. Current scientific consensus considers there to be 33 distinguishable species of peony. Peony flowers are large and range in color from reds, purples, yellows, and whites.

Peonies are a type of perennial plant that bloom briefly in late spring and early summer. Perennial plants are categorized as those that continue to grow over more than two years. Peonies grow best in full sunlight or partially shaded areas that receive a lot of afternoon sun in the summer. They are also quite particular about the soil they grow in, preferring loose, well-draining, fertile, rich soil.


With an average of 1,110 yearly searches, hydrangeas rank fourth most popular. The hydrangea comprises more than 75 species of flowering plants and is commonly referred to by the moniker Hortensia.

Famous for their large blooms in striking colors, they are reliable bloomers that don’t require much maintenance to provide beautiful color to a space from spring through to fall. One fascinating characteristic of hydrangeas is that their blooms can change color depending on the pH of the soil they are growing in, with more acidic soil producing blue flowers and more alkaline soil producing pink flowers.

Hydrangeas grow best in full sun, although areas with afternoon shade will be preferred in hotter climates. They also prefer rich soil that is well-drained and moist. Remember that hydrangeas grow quickly, and can grow to be very large, with some having a spread of up to 10 feet, so make sure to plant them in a space that can accommodate this.


Synonymous with romance and passion, it appears Virginia’s love extends to roses as well. With 1,040 searches per year on average, the rose ranks as Virginia’s fifth most popular flower.

There are more than 300 naturally occurring rose species and tens of thousands of cultivated varieties. Generally, roses come in three types: climbing, groundcover, and shrub. The sheer variety of species can seem overwhelming, but it means there is likely to be a variety to suit whatever space one might have. In general, roses have large, vibrant flowers that range in color from whites to yellows and reds, and they produce a pleasant scent that enhances the space they are in.

Roses generally grow best in full sun, with soil of medium moisture and a pH ranging from neutral to slightly acidic. However, specific types of roses can tolerate conditions outside of this range.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.