Pink is a very popular color in the floral world. Many people love the soft, romantic look of pink flowers. While some pink flowers are dyed to achieve their color, many flowers come in shades of pink naturally. Let’s explore some of the most popular pink flowers that occur in nature and examine why they have pink petals.
Why Are Some Flowers Naturally Pink?
The pink color in most naturally pink flowers comes from plant pigments called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins belong to a class of pigments called flavonoids that occur naturally in many fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Over 600 anthocyanins have been identified across nature.
Anthocyanins act as a type of sunblock for plants. They protect plant tissues from damage by absorbing ultraviolet rays. The amount of anthocyanins present determines the resulting color. High anthocyanin content yields bright pinks and reds. Lower amounts create softer pinks and purples.
The pH level of plant cells also affects the pigment color. More acidic conditions make anthocyanins turn redder, while less acidic or neutral pHs lead to bluish-pinks. Combinations of different anthocyanins, co-pigments, and pH levels allow plants to produce the full spectrum of pink shades.
Popular Naturally Pink Flowers
Many of our favorite pink blooms get their rosy hues completely naturally. Here are some of the top picks:
Pink roses are one of the most iconic pink flowers. They symbolize gratitude, grace, and joy. Over 80% of pink roses achieve their color naturally through anthocyanins. Wild roses and old garden roses exhibit the widest range of soft pink tones.
Hybrid tea roses have been bred to yield more vivid, brighter pinks. Popular pink rose varieties include ‘Double Delight,’ ‘Ebb Tide,’ ‘Julia Child,’ and ‘Sexy Rexy.’
Carnations are traditional cottage garden flowers that come in bubblegum pink shades. Their ruffled, full-petaled blooms emit a spicy, clove-like scent. Pink carnations indicate maternal love and express gratitude.
Carnations require well-drained soil and full sun to thrive. Some top naturally pink varieties are ‘Candy Floss,’ ‘Gina Porto,’ and ‘Dianthus Green Trick.’
Certain tulip varieties display soft pastel pink petals in spring. They work beautifully as specimens or mass planted in drifts. Pink tulips signify caring, attachment, and trust.
Try planting pink types like ‘Angélique,’ ‘China Pink,’ ‘Dreamland,’ and ‘Pink Impression’ for a gorgeous spring display.
Also called mums, chrysanthemums bloom in a huge range of pinks, from pale blush to fuchsia. Their long vase life makes them popular as cut flowers. In the language of flowers, pink chrysanthemums represent truth and loyal love.
Pink mum cultivars to grow include ‘Bi Time,’ ‘Cherie,’ ‘Ice Punch,’ and ‘Rhinos Orange Pink.’
Astilbe produces feathery, fluffy blooms that add texture to shade gardens. The perennial flowers beautifully in soft pink or white for weeks in summer. Pink astilbe indicates positive thoughts and emotions.
Some top naturally pink varieties are ‘Delft Lace,’ ‘Fanal,’ and ‘Peach Blossom.’ Plant astilbe in moist, fertile soil enriched with organic matter.
Also called Peruvian lily, alstroemeria bears orchid-like blooms in pink, orange, red, purple, white, and yellow. The pink types have an exotic look but actually grow well in ordinary garden beds.
Pink alstroemeria symbolizes friendship and devotion. Good pink varieties include ‘Pink Paradise,’ ‘Princess Fabia,’ and ‘Sweet Laura.’
Dianthus comprises hundreds of species, including carnations, Sweet William, and pinks. The dianthus blooms arise in different shades of pink depending on the cultivar. All are edible and have a spicy, clove-like scent.
Some top picks for pink dianthus flowers are ‘Argenteus,’ ‘Frosty Fire,’ and ‘Scent First Pink.’
The sumptuous, romantic blooms of peonies naturally come in white, pink, red, and yellow. Pink peonies range from pale blush to deep rose. They signify bashfulness, compassion, and prosperity.
A few recommended naturally pink peony cultivars are ‘Coral Charm,’ ‘Duchess de Nemours,’ and ‘Raspberry Sundae.’
Petunias are popular flowering annuals grown for their abundant pink, purple, and white trumpet blooms. Pink petunias represent gentleness, young love, and womanhood.
Try growing pink varieties like ‘Pink Wave,’ ‘Plum Crazy,’ and ‘Supertunia Vista Pink Dawn’ in containers or garden beds.
The large, showy flower heads of hydrangea come in pretty pinks and purples. Coloration depends on the soil pH. More alkaline soils result in pink while acidic conditions make blue or purple flowers.
Top picks for pink hydrangea shrubs are ‘Forever Pink,’ ‘Preziosa,’ and ‘Sweet Summer.’ Site them in part shade with moist, well-draining soil.
Begonia is appreciated for its colorful rose-like blooms and attractive foliage. The shade-loving annual does best in indirect light and humid conditions. Pink begonia cultivars like ‘Dragon Wings Pink’ and ‘Solenia Pink’ brighten shady beds and patio containers.
Other Naturally Pink Flowers
Dozens of other popular garden plants also produce pink blooms au naturel. A few examples include:
- Pink azalea
- Pink bleeding heart
- Pink calla lily
- Pink cosmos
- Pink dahlia
- Pink garden phlox
- Pink gladiolus
- Pink hibiscus
- Pink hollyhock
- Pink impatiens
- Pink iris
- Pink morning glory
- Pink pansy
- Pink poppy
- Pink snapdragon
- Pink zinnia
Caring for Pink Flowers
Follow these tips to keep your pink blooms looking their best:
- Plant in a spot that receives 6+ hours of direct sun daily (shade for begonias).
- Choose a site with fertile, well-draining soil.
- Water 1-2 inches per week, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings.
- Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly during the growing season.
- Deadhead spent flowers to encourage reblooming.
- Trim back leggy or damaged growth as needed.
- Protect from cold weather and frost.
- Propagate by dividing clumps or taking stem cuttings.
Combining Pink Flowers
Pink flowers pair beautifully together and blend effortlessly into flower beds and borders. Here are some top color combinations:
- Pink + White: Classic, romantic, and feminine
- Pink + Purple: Mystical, regal, and intriguing
- Pink + Yellow: Cheerful, fresh, and spring-like
- Pink + Blue: Whimsical, delicate, and soothing
- Pink + Orange: Vibrant, tropical, and fiery
- Pink + Red: Passionate, exciting, and intense
Stick to one or two main pink flower varieties, then complement them with secondary plants in your chosen accent colors. Factor in bloom time so something is always in peak flower.
Pink is nature’s color for charm, joy, and beauty. Many popular garden flowers showcase soft pink blooms thanks to natural plant pigments called anthocyanins. Classic pink flowers include roses, carnations, peonies, hydrangea, and dianthus. Caring for pink flowers properly will keep them looking their brightest.
|Flower||Color Meaning||Suggested Varieties|
|Rose||Gratitude, grace, joy||Double Delight, Ebb Tide, Julia Child|
|Carnation||Maternal love, gratitude||Candy Floss, Gina Porto, Green Trick|
|Tulip||Caring, attachment, trust||Angélique, China Pink, Dreamland|
|Chrysanthemum||Truth, loyal love||Bi Time, Cherie, Ice Punch|
|Astilbe||Positive thoughts, emotions||Delft Lace, Fanal, Peach Blossom|
|Alstroemeria||Friendship, devotion||Pink Paradise, Princess Fabia, Sweet Laura|
|Dianthus||N/A||Argenteus, Frosty Fire, Scent First Pink|
|Peony||Bashfulness, compassion, prosperity||Coral Charm, Duchess de Nemours, Raspberry Sundae|
|Petunia||Gentleness, young love, womanhood||Pink Wave, Plum Crazy, Supertunia Vista Pink Dawn|
|Hydrangea||N/A||Forever Pink, Preziosa, Sweet Summer|