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California’s favorite flowers and expert tips on growing them

  • Lavender is the most popular flower in California, with an average of 6,680 searches per year
  • Sunflowers are the second most popular flower with 5,770 searches on average
  • Hydrangeas are fifth with 3,270 searches

New research has uncovered California’s favorite flowers to grow, with lavender on top.

The study, by horticulture guide Gardening Chores, analyzed the number of Google searches for various flower names, combined with the search terms “how to grow flower name” and “buy flower name,” to discover California’s favorites.

1. Lavender – 6,680 searches per year

Lavender is California’s favorite flower, with an average of 6,680 collective yearly searches. Lavender, whose scientific name is Lavandula, is a genus of 47 species of flowering plants with over 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.

2. Sunflower – 5,770 searches per year

The sunflower comes in as California’s second most popular flower, with an average of 5,770 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.

3. Rose – 5,050 searches per year

Synonymous with romance and passion, it appears California’s love extends to roses as well. With 5,050 searches per year on average, the rose ranks as California’s third 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.

4. Peony – 4,170 searches per year

The vibrant peony is California’s fourth favorite flower, with an average of 4,170 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.

5. Hydrangea – 3,270 searches per year

With an average of 3,270 yearly searches, Hydrangeas rank fifth 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 ten feet, so make sure to plant them in a space that can accommodate this.

Amber Noyes, a horticultural expert at Gardening Chores, commented:

“Lavender provides many benefits to the area in which it is grown and can thrive both outdoors and indoors with proper care. 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 California. 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.”

California’s Five Most Popular Flowers
RankFlowerNumber of yearly searches
1.Lavender6,680
2.Sunflower5,770
3.Rose5,050
4.Peony4,170
5.Hydrangea3,270
The Five Most Popular Flowers in Each US State and Washington D.C
State or DistrictMost searched flowerSecond most searched flowerThird most searched flowerFourth most searched flowerFifth most searched flower
AlabamaLavenderSunflowerHydrangeaPeonyRose
AlaskaPeonySunflowerLavenderDahliaSweet Pea
ArizonaLavenderSunflowerRoseBougainvilleaTulip
ArkansasLavenderSunflowerHydrangeaPeonyRose
CaliforniaLavenderSunflowerRosePeonyHydrangea
ColoradoLavenderSunflowerPeonyRoseDahlia
ConnecticutSunflowerLavenderDahliaHydrangeaPeony
DelawareLavenderSunflowerRoseHydrangeaPeony
DCLavenderSunflowerPeonyTulipRose
FloridaSunflowerLavenderRoseBougainvilleaHydrangea
GeorgiaLavenderSunflowerHydrangeaRosePeony
HawaiiLavenderRoseSunflowerGardeniaHibiscus
IdahoLavenderSunflowerPeonyHydrangeaDahlia
IllinoisLavenderSunflowerRoseHydrangeaPeony
IndianaLavenderSunflowerPeonyHydrangeaRose
IowaSunflowerLavenderRoseSweet PeaHydrangea
KansasLavenderSunflowerPeonyHydrangeaRose
KentuckyLavenderSunflowerHydrangeaPeonyRose
LouisianaLavenderSunflowerHydrangeaRoseTulip
MaineLavenderSunflowerPeonyDahliaSweet Pea
MarylandLavenderSunflowerRosePeonyHydrangea
MassachusettsLavenderSunflowerDahliaPeonyHydrangea
MichiganLavenderSunflowerHydrangeaPeonyDahlia
MinnesotaLavenderSunflowerPeonyRoseHydrangea
MississippiLavenderHydrangeaSunflowerPeonyRose
MissouriLavenderSunflowerHydrangeaPeonyRose
MontanaLavenderSunflowerPeonySweet PeaRose
NebraskaLavenderSunflowerHydrangeaPeonyTulip
NevadaSunflowerLavenderRoseTulipPeony
New HampshireSunflowerLavenderPeonyDahliaRose
New JerseySunflowerLavenderRosePeonyHydrangea
New MexicoLavenderSunflowerRoseHollyhockPeony
New YorkLavenderSunflowerRosePeonyHydrangea
North CarolinaLavenderSunflowerPeonyRoseHydrangea
North DakotaLavenderSunflowerTulipRoseHydrangea
OhioLavenderSunflowerHydrangeaRosePeony
OklahomaLavenderSunflowerHydrangeaPeonyTulip
OregonLavenderSunflowerPeonySweet PeaDahlia
PennsylvaniaLavenderSunflowerRoseHydrangeaPeony
Rhode IslandLavenderSunflowerPeonyHydrangeaDahlia
South CarolinaLavenderSunflowerHydrangeaPeonyRose
South DakotaSunflowerPeonyLavenderHydrangeaAfrican Violet
TennesseeLavenderSunflowerPeonyHydrangeaRose
TexasLavenderRoseSunflowerHydrangeaTulip
UtahLavenderSunflowerPeonyDahliaRose
VermontLavenderPeonySunflowerDahliaRose
VirginiaLavenderSunflowerPeonyHydrangeaRose
WashingtonLavenderDahliaSweet PeaPeonySunflower
West VirginiaLavenderSunflowerHydrangeaRosePeony
WisconsinLavenderSunflowerHydrangeaDahliaRose
WyomingIrisPeonySunflowerLavenderHydrangea
      
Number of times each flower places in the top five for each US state and Washington DC.
Flower1st Places2nd Places3rd Places4th Places5th Places
Lavender426210
Sunflower738501
Peony1315159
Rose0212816
Hydrangea01131211
Dahlia01265
Tulip00125
Sweet Pea00132
Bougainvillea00020
Iris10000
Gardenia00010
Hollyhock00010
African Violet00001
Hibiscus00001

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