Although many gardeners search for long-blooming perennial flowers when planning out their gardens, there is something to be said for a flower that lives for one day. Some types of flowers only bloom for a single day, but the beauty of the flower and the sheer abundance of flowers on the plant more than make up for the shorter life span and give you a season worth of color.
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Daylily Perennial Flowers
As the name implies, daylily flowers bloom for a single day before fading. These perennials aren't true lilies but part of the family Hemerocallis. While each large flower lasts only until the sun sets, the plant produces a profusion of buds that last for several months. So you'll have plenty of daylily blooms to enjoy throughout the season. The flowers of the daylily can be any shade of the rainbow in solid and bi-color varieties, which makes it easy to find one that fits well in your garden. This plant grows in well-drained soil and tolerates a myriad of conditions but prefers loamy, moist soil in full sun.
Mexican Shell Flowers
The Mexican shell flower reaches only 24 inches tall with green foliage similar to a gladiola. Hardy in zones 4 to 11, this plant grows from a bulb. The tri-petal flower blooms in vivid shades of red, white, pink, yellow and scarlet, with a speckled pattern in the base of each petal. If you watched a flower time lapse of this plant, you would notice that each flower opens during the day and then closes in the early evening, never to open again. Since each bulb produces several flowers, you can enjoy the bright colors mid-summer for longer than just one day. The Mexican shell flower, also known as the tiger flower, prefers rich, well-drained but consistently moist soil in full sun.
Spiderwort Perennial Flowers
This wildflower, also known as widow's tears, blooms in the late spring and early summer. The stems, leaves and flowers of this plant are edible. The flowers of the spiderwort have three petals and bloom in shades of pink, white, blue or rose. These perennials grow to three feet tall. Spiderworts prefer moist, but not wet, soil and full to partial sun. They are hardy from zones 4 to 9.
Hibiscus Flowers Only Last One Day
Blooming from mid-summer until the first frost, hibiscus flowers are large, papery blooms reaching up to 12 inches in diameter. Although hibiscus flowers only last one day, they will provide your late summer garden with a continual show of color in shades of white, pink, red and yellow. The hardy hibiscus bush can produce up to a hundred blooms in a season. This shrub requires at least six hours of sun a day and prefers well-drained, organic-rich soil. After the hibiscus is established, it can tolerate periods of dry soil, but in the first years while the root system is forming, it needs consistently moist soil. Hardy hibiscus thrives from zones 4 to 8, but in the colder zones, it needs winter protection.
With several single-day flowers available, it's easy to find one that works with your garden. Enjoy the short-lived beauty of each bloom, knowing there's more to come from the plant to extend the colorful show.
Shawna Kennedy has been writing and editing professionally since 2004. She's published numerous articles online and two of her edited manuscripts have been contracted and published by Random House.