Flowers bloom in many shapes, colors and sizes, and not all of them face upward toward the sun. Some flowers, known as pendent flowers, hang upside-down and face the ground instead. Even among nature's floral diversity, these pendent flowers are uncommon. Many depend on hummingbirds for pollination, as their long beaks can reach into the hanging flowers from below.
Fuchsia (Fuchsia spp.), also known as ladies eardrops, has colorful upside-down blossoms that hang from its stems and pour over container rims. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, fuchsia bears bright pendent blooms in solid and bicolor shades of white, pink, red, fuchsia and purple. The red-colored fuchsia flowers tolerate heat better than other colors and are popular with hummingbirds. Fuchsias bloom throughout the spring and into fall and stay evergreen in frost-free zones. In cold climates, bring the plants indoors before fall frost arrives.
The long, arching stems of bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) hold dozens of dangling, heart-shaped flowers. The airy, green foliage provides a striking backdrop to the pink-and-white, pendent flowers. Bleeding heart grows up to 3 feet tall and prefers partial to full shade with well-drained, moist soils high in organic matter. Bleeding heart flowers bloom in early spring in USDA zones 3 through 9, then slip into dormancy during summer heat. Their pendent blossoms add old-fashioned charm to shade gardens.
Lily of the Valley
One of the first flowers to bloom in spring, lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) bears stalks of creamy-white flowers that hang upside-down from delicate green stems. The plant spreads rapidly by thick rhizomes to carpet your garden with its sword-like leaves in well-drained, moist soil. Growing just 12 inches high, the plant produces slightly fragrant flowers that make excellent nosegays and bouquets. Lily of the valley grows in USDA zones 3 through 8 and is deer-resistant.
Turk's Cap Lily
The turk's cap lily (Lilium superbum) has 4-inch, trumpet-shaped flowers that face the ground, but its sharply recurved petals curl back toward the sky. The plant grows up to 7 feet tall in moist soil and partial or full sun. A single stalk bears multiple large, orange flowers. Hardy in USDA zones 4 through 7, this lily grows from a bulb, and the leaves turn yellow and die after the flowers bloom. Don't cut the foliage until it's brown, as the leaves feed the bulb for next year's bloom.