Sometimes, pretty things you see in nature seem far too pretty to actually be real. From brilliantly hued flowers with waxy leaves to water droplets shimmering in the sun, looking around your garden can make it seem like you stepped into another world. If you’re trying to bring another dimension to your garden or yard, consider adding a few of these flowers that start with M to liven it up.
1. Maiden Pink (Dianthus deltoide)
This flower that starts with M has the scientific name of Dianthus deltoides. It’s a stunning perennial ground cover that originated from the Mediterranean. It’s a very hardy pick that will tolerate most soil conditions without a problem. You’ll get blooms that last for a long time, and they look a little like carnations. The flowers will bloom early in the season and the colors can be anything from pink to white. It will attract butterflies to the garden but deer tend to avoid it. You can use this plant as ground covers, in borders, rock gardens, or containers as long as you take care of it.
Maiden Pink is a smaller but popular plant that is a huge attractant for butterflies, and it’s great if you have a deer problem as they tend to avoid it. Maiden Pink by John Flannery / CC BY-ND 2.0
2. Mallow (Malva sp.)
Mallow is a flower that starts with M that is a distant cousin to the hollyhock. It produces very tall stems that get covered in smaller pink flowers, and it usually has veined petals that give it a very pretty two toned appearance. If you deadhead it, this plant will bloom over and over throughout the summer. It’s a short-lived perennial that can be an annual or biannual in certain conditions, and it’s common for it to reseed itself. It makes a wonderful addition to a cottage garden. You do want to make sure it doesn’t escape a set area or it’ll take over, and it needs full sun with moist, rich, well-draining soil.
3. Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
The Magnolia symbolizes longevity because it is supposed to have been around since the beginning of time. This flower that starts with M has classic shrubs and trees with different species, and Magnolias do the best in colder climates. One nice thing about this plant is that the flowers bloom very early in the spring, even before the leaves emerge. The white or pink flower color will depend on the species, and they attract a range of beneficial insects. If you’re planning on planting this tree in your yard, make sure that the soil drains very well. The plant can’t tolerate wet roots, and it’s prone to root rot.
4. Maltese Cross (Silene chalcedonica)
This flower that starts with M got the name due to the fact that the flowers themselves look like a Maltese cross. The Knights of Malta adopted this symbol, and the common names you may hear people call this plant include London pride, Maltese cross, and the Jerusalem cross. This plant gets two feet wide by four feet tall, and it develops clusters of stunning flowers in shades of white, pink, or red that appear in mid-summer. This plant prefers a place with full sun. The more sunlight it gets, the fuller flowers it’ll produce. When you grow it in a shaded area, this plant will get long and leggy.
5. Mammillaria Dixanthocentron (M. dixanthocentron)
As the name suggests, this flower that starts with M belongs to the Mammillarias family called Cactaceae under the Cacti class. This plant has a very unique shape, and the flowers are typically smaller purplish-pink. Placing this plant in a well-lit area encourages it to develop heavy spines and wool. It does best when you plant it in a container or outside in zones 8 to 11. It can get up to a foot tall under the correct conditions, and it prefers to have very dry soil. It thrives in gritty cactus soil, and the pH levels should fall between 6.1 to 7.8.
6. Mandevilla (Mandevilla sp.)
Growing this flower that starts with M in your garden or on your patio will give the space color and beauty. If you’ve seen it in full bloom, you’ll get very full pinkish flowers that tend to overshadow the foliage and leaves. It’s a shrub that requires very sandy but well-drained soil that you enrich with organic materials. This plant is more delicate than a lot on the list, and it can be very demanding when it comes to choosing a spot for it. It hates being in the full sun, and it can burn with too much light. Instead, you want it in a partially shaded area.
7. Manzanita (Arctostaphylos)
Manzanita is an evergreen shrub that will make a nice cornerstone in your landscape design. It’s a flower that starts with M that is very showy, and it attracts butterflies and birds. It requires moderate water to be happy, and it does best when you plant it outside in zones three to seven. You want the pH levels in the soil to stay between 6.1 and 6.5, and it can get between 6 and 18-inches tall at full maturity. It loves being in the sun, and you get bright green foliage that lasts all year-round.
8. Marguerite Daisy (Argyranthemum sp.)
This flower that starts with M is very similar but much more rounded and shrubby than Shasta daisies. It typically features bright white to hot pink petals that surround a bright yellow center. It flowers right away in the spring months and in the fall, but it can keep blooming high above the ferny foliage throughout the summer in more mild climates. You can grow them right in the ground or in containers, and it likes full to partial sunshine.
9. Marigold (Tagetes)
No matter if it’s the Mexican marigold, African marigold, or the American merigold, this flower that starts with M will add a touch of royalty to your yard. These are the most common Marigold species to grow, and the tallest will reach an impressive four feet high while producing full, large flowers. You’ve most likely seen them or have grown them yourself due to how hardy they are. In hot weather, this flower will bloom within a week, and they can keep blooming for up to eight weeks. Some species are edible, and they produce pretty orangish-red flowers.
Marigolds are one of the most popular flowers for your yard or garden because they’re extremely hardy, low maintenance, and they offer very bright colors. Marigold by december_snowdrift / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
10. Marsh Mallow (Althaea officinalis)
The pinkish, pale flowers on this flower that starts with M will bloom on very thick stalks that get up to six feet tall. They’re native to the marshy areas of northern Africa and eastern Europe, and they’ve naturalized to North America. Historically, marsh mallow root was a big ingredient in sugar marshmallows. It likes to have consistently moist soil, and it does well when you plant it in part to full sun.
11. Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)
Better known as cowslip, this flower that starts with M is a member of the buttercup family and it gives you yellowish-gold blooms in the spring months that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Marsh Marigold is native to North American marshes, swamps, stream margins, and wet meadows. This plant thrives in areas that have very moist or even boggy conditions with partial to full sunlight. During the hotter summer months, you’ll want it to be in an area that gets a small amount of afternoon shade to protect it from scorching.
12. Marvel of Peru (Mirabilis jalapa)
This tubular, fragrant flower that starts with M is also called four o’clock. They bloom in the late afternoon hours before closing up for the night. The blossoms come in a huge range of colors, and a single plant can have different hues. It’s very popular to have in cottage gardens, and it’ll readily reseed itself. Plant it in a location that gets full sun in well-draining but moist soil. It works to help control the Japanese beetle population too.
13. Matucana Aureiflora (Borzicactus aureiflorus)
Also called the Matucana Apple Cactus or the Matucana Orange Ball Cactus, this flower that starts with M is a type of cactus that you can find growing high up in the Andes Mountains anywhere from 3,200 to 4,000 meters above sea level. This is one of the most beautiful cactus types, and it’s renowned for the pretty yellow flowers that can get up to four inches long. The bright yellow flowers grow on the sides of straight, short branches and stay open 24 hours a day.
14. Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)
This flower that starts with M is native to North American woodlands, and it’s a fantastic addition to your shade garden. It has umbrella-like leaves that will reach up to 18 inches above the ground, and it’ll offer pale, small flowers in April or May that sit under the foliage and attract bees. When the summer heat hits, this plant does tend to go dormant unless you have it in the shade. Plant it in moist, rich soil in shade to make it last as long as possible.
15. Maximilian Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)
Maximilian sunflowers are also called Maximilian daisies, and this is a plant genus that is part of the Asteraceae family. This is the same family as the dandelion and daisy plants. This flower that starts with M can get up to an impressive 100 inches tall at full maturity, and you get large yellow blooms that face the sun during the day. Sunflowers are native to South and North America, and they tend to grow in prairies, forests, and meadows that have open areas for the flowers to face the sunshine. They contain a natural chemical called heliotropin, and this causes the flower heads to turn toward the sun.
16. Mayflower (Epigaea repens)
Mayflower is a rare flower that starts with M because of where and how it prefers to grow. It only grows on a specific fungus type that nourishes the plant’s roots. Unfortunately, because of the strict environmental conditions the plant prefers and the habitat destruction, they are virtually extinct. Some states prohibit the removal of this flower, so you should never remove it if you see it growing. You’ll see sweet smelling white and pink blooms, and they can flourish without much attention from you. Typically, if you want to grow this plant, all you’ll have to do is give them a partially shaded area with moist soil. You may need to mulch lightly to keep the roots cool and moist.
Mayflowers are rare, but it’s possible to find them growing in some parts of the United States. Mayflower by Peter Stenzel / CC BY-ND 2.0
17. Mazus (Mazus Reptans)
This flower that starts with M is a perennial, and it acts like a pretty ground cover for areas that are in partial shade to full sun. It is very easy to grow, and you get very showy flowers in a pretty soft lavender coloring. It needs medium to wet soil that drains very well between watering sessions, and the pH will range between 6.1 to 8.5. You can plant it outside in zones five to eight, and they only get three inches tall at full maturity.
18. Meadow Bistort (Persicaria bistorta)
Meadow Bistort is a flower that starts with M that is a perennial. It’s a nice deer-resistant plant that produces white to pale pink flowers. It is best planted in zones three to seven, and it’s a groundcover that loves shaded spots in your yard. It can get up to 30 inches tall at full maturity, and it needs medium water with a well-draining soil and a pH range of 5 to 5.7 to thrive.
19. Meadow Rue (Thalictrum sp.)
You’ll see airy clusters of white, pink, or yellow flowers on this flower that starts with M. Meadow rue is a very easy-to-grow plant that is great for beginners. You get very delicate blossoms that hover over pretty foliage that looks a lot like columbine leaves. There are many species of this plant available, and the size can be anything from low-growing groundcovers to five-foot tall plants. They do very well in partial shade, but they can also survive in full sun if you plant them in moist, rich soil.
20. Mealycup Sage (Salvia farinacea)
Mealycup Sage is a flower that starts with M that is a perennial. It’s a groundcover that has very showy blue-violet flowers that attract butterflies but wards away deer. It’s easy to grow, and it can get between 6 and 36-inches tall, depending on the species you pick. It does best when you plant it in partial to full shade and keep the soil moist. It’s hardy to zones 8 to 10, and the pH levels should stay between 6.1 and 6.5 to keep it happy and thriving.
21. Mediterranean Sea Holly (Eryngium bourgatii)
Mediterranean Sea Holly is a perennial groundcover that has flowers that are showy enough to stand out as cut flowers in a vase. This flower that starts with M is very easy to grow, and it prefers dry conditions with well-draining soil. The flowers are a pretty silvery-blue color, and the plant can get between 18 and 24 inches tall. It grows in zones five to eight, and it loves being in areas that get full, bright sunlight.
22. Meconopsis (Meconopsis betonicifolia)
This flower that starts with M is part of the Papaveraceae family and the meconopsis genus, and there are roughly 80 species to choose from. You’ll find the highest concentrations of them in South America and Asia. This plant has been a very critical source of isoquinoline alkaloids for several years, and they may be a great resource for discovering new drugs that can treat many diseases. This plant has a reputation for producing vivid blue flowers, and you may hear it called the Himalayan Blue Poppy. However, it doesn’t share common poppy traits, and it needs different care to grow.
23. Melocactus (Melocactus Bahiensis)
Melocactus is a succulent or cactus, and it grows best planted in a container with very dry and gritty soil. This flower that starts with M produces pink flowers and is generally easy to grow with minimal care. It tolerates drought very well, and it likes the pH to range from 6.1 to 7.8. This plant will get up to eight inches tall, and it grows best in zones 9 to 11. You want to plant it in a place that gets partial shade to full sun, and it’s critical that you don’t overwater it.
24. Mexican Shrubby Spurge (Euphorbia cotinifolia)
Unlike what you’d think from the name, this flower that starts with M is a perennial groundcover that can get between 4 and 70 inches tall at full maturity, depending on the species. It requires a medium amount of water and a soil pH that ranges from 6.1 to 7.8. It’s a deer-resistant plant that also tolerates rabbits well, and it forms very showy white flowers. You can plant it outside in zones 10 and 11 in an area that gets full sun without a problem.
This plant won’t tolerate the cold well, so you have to be very careful to keep it thriving and healthy. Euphorbia continifolia by Dinesh Valke / CC BY-SA 2.0
25. Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)
Although this flower that starts with M is surprisingly tall for an annual, it can get to an impressive six feet high in one season. You’ll get sunny blossoms with orange petals and a bright yellow center that blooms throughout the summer months. It’s not a true sunflower, but it fits nicely into your vegetable garden to help attract beneficial insects and pollinators. It thrives when you plant it in average to dry soil that drains well between watering sessions, and it tolerates poor soil well. You should plant it in full sun to encourage blooming and prevent flopping.
26. Michaelmas Daisy (Aster amellus)
This is a popular flower that starts with M because they produce attractive, large blooms. They have a very unique canvas-like texture with bold and vibrant colors that adds beauty to any outdoor setting or room. This is one of the many available Aster flowers, and they bloom later in the season from August through October. They come in a huge range of colors, including purple, blue, white, and pink.
27. Milfoil (Achillea millefolium)
Better known as the common yarrow, this European flower that starts with M is now naturalized to the United States. It makes a fantastic addition to meadows, wildflower plots, and cutting gardens. You’ll see tiny flower clusters that are typically white, but they can also come in a range of hues that attract butterflies. The flowers will bloom in mid to late summer, but the fern-like, soft foliage is also beautiful. You should plant it in well-draining, average soil, and it’ll tolerate dry soil. It’ll also tolerate a small amount of shade, but it prefers full sun. You have to keep it contained as it spreads aggressively.
28. Milkwort (Polygala vulgaris)
Traditionally, this flower that starts with M was grown as a herb. It’s a European grassland native that will give you tiny pink, blue, or white flowers that look like pea blossoms. It will only get between 4 and 10 inches high at full maturity, and it booms in mid-spring throughout the summer months. Since it’s a small plant, it does well in well-draining soil in full to partial shade.
29. Million Bells (Calibrachoa sp.)
This low-growing, vigorous flower that starts with M will produce a host of bell-shaped, upright blooms throughout the active growing season. Million Bells spreads very quickly to fill containers, soften harsh borders, cascade over the side of hanging baskets, and cover old blossoms. It’s a very low-maintenance annual that will grow rapidly in a sunny space. If it looks a little yellow, it’ll perk back up with fertilizer.
30. Mina Lobata (Ipomoea lobata)
Mina Lobata is a flowering perennial that you find in South Africa, Asia, and throughout Latin America. It is considered to be an invasive species due to how aggressively it spreads, but some native plants have medicinal uses. You can find it commonly used to treat diabetes, asthma, smallpox, and urinary tract infections.
31. Miss Willmott’s Ghost (Eryngium giganteum)
This flower that starts with M is a very rare member of the Amaryllis family. It only flowers for a single day, and this is where the name Miss Willmott’s Ghost comes from. It can get up to 120 centimeters high at full maturity, and you’ll see a very dense bract collection around an egg-shaped flower head. Outside of this main bud, you’ll see very closely packed flowers that start a very pale green before turning to a vibrant steel blue.
You have to be lucky to see this plant bloom as it only does once each season. Miss Willmott’s Ghost (Eryngium giganteum), Dingestow, Wales. By Matthew / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
32. Monkshood (Aconitum sp.)
Very tall spires of deep purple flowers rise up over this plant’s fern-like foliage. You may also find them rarely in pink, white, or yellow, and this flower that starts with M looks like the hood worn by monks. It’s essential that you take care and wear gloves when you handle this plant because everything, including the seeds and roots, are extremely toxic. It needs consistently moist, rich soil that drains well, and it’ll tolerate shade but does best in full sun.
33. Moonflower (Datura sp.)
As the name suggests, this flower that starts with M is a night-blooming plant. It produces a bright white bloom in a trumpet shape during the summer months, and the greenish-gray foliage adds interest during the daylight hours. It makes a great addition to your moon garden, and you want to plant it in a sunny location. Once it is established, it doesn’t need a lot of care to thrive. You should collect the thorny, hard seed pods before they burst to prevent an aggressive spread. You can save them and plant them next season.
34. Moonflower Vine (Ipomoea alba)
Although this flower that starts with M belongs to a different genus than the moonflower, it’ll produce trumpet-shaped, white flowers after sundown. The bigger blooms can get six-inches long, and they release a very sweet scent. This makes it a great option to add to your patio or porch. It prefers to be in a place with full sun, and it grows as a perennial in tropical climates.
35. Morning Glory (Convolvulus tricolor)
This popular flower that starts with M is the one many gardeners choose to brighten up the space. Morning Glory is the general name for a plant that has over 1,000 flowering plant species in the Convolvulaceae. One important thing to note about this flower is that they need full sun to bloom, and all species will produce a funnel-shaped flower in a range of colors, including yellow, blue, red, purple, and white. This plant will start to bloom in May and continue through September. They open up in the early morning hours and close in the afternoon. It blooms effortlessly once you give it the correct growing conditions.
36. Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora)
Moss roses are a very hardy ground cover that has interesting needle-like foliage with stunning ruffled flowers that will bloom nonstop from the early summer months to the fall. You’ll get vibrant orange, yellow, pink, red, white, or purple petals surrounding a yellow center with a streaked pattern. It’s a drought-tolerant plant that adapts nicely to dry conditions and full sun. So, this flower that starts with M requires very little care, but it does spread eagerly.
37. Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
This small flowering shrub has a variable flowering habit. It’s native to eastern North America, and you can see it in mountainous regions in the United States. In the northern hemisphere, this flower that starts with M starts blooming in May and continues until July. In the southern portion of the United States, it can flower into September. It’s one of the most beautiful native shrubs, and it needs well-draining soil with full sun to partial shade and medium water.
38. Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
The final flower that starts with M on the list is the mum, and this is short for Chrysanthemum. It’s a popular potted flower, and there are over 160 species. It’s a perennial plant that does well in flower beds in cooler climates, and it comes in several shapes from pom poms to daisies. They’re available in virtually any color except true blue, and they bloom late in the season.
We’ve outlined 38 popular flowers that start with M for you to consider in your garden this season. You can mix and match them to get stunning looks that flower from early in the spring to late in the fall.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.