Nasturtiums come from the Tropaeolaceae plant family, which solely consists of plants from the Tropaeolum or nasturtium genus.
The name literally translates as ‘nose-twister’, referring to the peppery taste of the edible plant.
Nasturtiums come from parts of South and Central America. Both annual and perennial forms are available.
These striking plants are instantly recognizable with their showy flowers in shades of red, yellow, and orange, as well as their shield-shaped foliage.
Known as the walking iris, this curious plant forms new plants at the top of flower spikes once the flowers have finished.
The spikes then topple over, and where it falls, the new plant grows, ‘walking’ to its location.
These plants hail from warm parts of the West Indies, Florida, Central and South America, and Mexico, but they are grown all over the world for their ornamental beauty.
Neomarica plants look similar to normal irises, which they are related to. They feature the sword-shaped foliage and sepals and tepals that make up the flowers.
Nemesia plants add a lot of drama and interest into any garden. These plants love full sunlight, but will also tolerate partial shade.
They require damp, well-draining soil, and will bloom all the way through summer, into fall.
Nemesia flowers come in annual, perennial and sub shrub types, hailing from South Africa.
Most types are treated as half-hardy plants in colder climates, where they are planted as bedding flowers once all frost has passed.
This is one of the most popular flowering annuals, and can be found growing wild throughout North America and Mexico.
It’s easy to grow, and features the true blue color of those plants in the borage plant family, and the plant’s common name is baby blue eyes.
It’s a great choice if you want some cool hues in an annual bedding flower, in full sunlight or dappled shade.
Nemophila plants stay fairly compact, rarely reaching past 30cm high, and prefer nutrient-rich, well-draining soil.
Part of the mint plant family, you may be more familiar with the common name in this genus: catmint.
This plant is easily recognized by its square stems, deeply veined foliage, and light purple, pink, white, or blue flowers.
Catmints are often used as border edging around beds, and they’re good choices for adding fragrance to your garden.
Most types of nepeta are perennials, but you do get some annual varieties, too. Catmint plants are a great alternative to lavender, providing the same spread of color and as much fragrance.
These plants need somewhere sunny, and freely draining soil in order to thrive.
Forming part of the amaryllis plant family, Nerines are gorgeous flowering plants which hail from South Africa.
They are frequently confused with lilies, thanks to the flower’s appearance. The flowers come in shades of red, pink, and white.
They are typically called Guernsey lilies or spider lilies (see also Nerine Facts And Grow Guide), thanks to their spidery, delicate blooms.
Nerine bulbs love freely draining soil in full sunlight, in a sheltered position.
New Guinea Impatiens
A member of the impatiens family, New Guinea Impatiens are native to New Guinea, as you might guess.
These striking plants have a clumping growth habit, blooming early once the risk of frost is over.
They are related to the common Impatiens plant, and you can see the resemblance in the flowers, but New Guinea Impatiens produces bigger flowers.
These annual plants produce plenty of color as a bedding plant, in shades of purple, white, pink, red, and orange.
Outside of USDA zones 10, 11, and 12, these plants will not survive cold temperatures.
These plants need acidic, well-draining soil and full sunlight to be at their best.
Also known as the tobacco plant, nicotiana is grown all over the world for its ornamental beauty, valued both for its flowers and its scent.
You’ll find Nicotiana growing in many different colors, including white, yellow, and even pink.
As nicotiana contains nicotine (as you might guess), among other alkaloids and compounds, many herbivores won’t eat the plant.
This means that some species fall under the invasive species label, meaning that you should always check what type you can plant, before introducing nicotiana into your garden.
Most nicotiana species which are grown ornamentally are annual varieties, but some are perennial.
Some plants are night-flowering varieties, and attract beautiful moths to pollinate them.
Also known as the Chilean bell flower, the Nolana plant comes from the nightshade plant family, Solanaceae, and comes in both annual and perennial forms.
If you’re sick of petunias but would like a plant that throws out plenty of trumpet-shaped blooms, the Chilean bell flower is a good alternative.
Perennial varieties are treated as annual bedding plants in USDA zones 8 and below.
Also known as oleander, this gorgeous flowering shrub is part of the dogbane family, grown ornamentally for its beautiful flowers (see also Oleander Flower Meaning).
It’s worth knowing that the oleander tree is poisonous, so do keep it away from pets and children.