(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on July 5, 2010. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)

In the world of edible salad herbs alone, there are at least 20 species that contain the name "Rocket," from Corn Rocket to Prairie Rocket, to Sea Rocket, to Wild Rocket.* The flower world is no different.

If you're looking for something unusual to do with one of your flower beds, why not plant a rocket garden! There is a wide range of plants to choose from, including annuals, perennials, shrubs (Orange Rocket Barberry), and trees (Green Rocket Cedar) all of which bear the word "rocket" in their names. Below are 10 easy-care flowering plants to consider growing in your new garden.

Full size picture of Hyacinth Candytuft, Rocket Candytuft (<i>Iberis amara</i>)

Name: Rocket Candytuft (Iberis amara)
Category: Annuals
Height: 6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
Spacing: 3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
Hardiness: N/A
Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: White/Near White
Bloom Time: Mid Summer to frost
Photo: rebecca101

Full size picture of Stoke's Aster, Stokes Aster, Cornflower Aster 'Omega Skyrocket' (<i>Stokesia laevis</i>)

Name: Skyrocket Stokesia (Stokesia laevis)
Category: Perennials
Height: 6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
Spacing: 12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
Hardiness: Zone 5a (-28.8 °C/-20 °F) through Zone 10b (1.7 °C/35 °F)
Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Blue-Violet
Bloom Time: Mid Summer to frost
Photo: mygardens

Full size picture of Daylily 'Rocket City' (<i>Hemerocallis</i>)

Name: Rocket City Daylily (Hemerocallis)
Category: Perennials
Height: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
Spacing: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
Hardiness: Zone 3a (-39.9 °C/-40 °F) through Zone 9b (-3.8 °C/25 °F)
Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Orange/Red-Orange
Bloom Time: Early midseason
Photo: carolann

Image

Name: Bottle Rocket Daylily (Hemerocallis)
Category: Perennials
Height: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
Spacing: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
Hardiness: Zone 3a (-39.9 °C/-40 °F) through Zone 9b (-3.8 °C/25 °F)
Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Yellow, Red, Red-Orange, Maroon
Bloom Time: Early midseason
Photo: Pat Stamile

Full size picture of Leopard Plant 'The Rocket' (<i>Ligularia stenocephala</i>)Name: The Rocket Leopard Plant(Ligularia stenocephala)
Category: Perennials
Height: 4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
Spacing: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
Hardiness: Zone 4a (-34.4 °C/-30 °F) through Zone 8b (-9.4 °C/15 °F)
Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Bright Yellow
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall
Photo: sanannie Full size picture of Dame's Rocket, Sweet Rocket (<i>Hesperis matronalis</i>)

Name: Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Category: Biennials/Perennials
Height: 36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
Spacing: 15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
Hardiness: Zone 4a (-34.4 °C/-30 °F) through Zone 9b (-3.8 °C/25 °F)
Exposure: Full Sun/Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Violet/Lavender/White
Bloom Time: Spring/Early Summer
Photo: poppysue

ImageName: Rocket Larkspur(Consolida ambigua)
Category: Annuals
Height: 18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
Spacing: 9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
Hardiness: N/A
Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Pink/Rose/Mauve/Light Blue/Medium Blue/Dark Blue/Blue-Violet/Violet/Lavender/Purple/White/Near White
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Photo: rebecca101
Full size picture of Foamflower 'Pink Skyrocket' (<i>Tiarella</i>)Name: Pink Skyrocket (Tiarella)
Category: Perennials
Height: 12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
Spacing: 12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
Hardiness: Zone 3a (-39.9 °C/-40 °F) through Zone 7b(-14.9 °C/5 °F)
Exposure: Partial to Full Shade
Bloom Color: Pale Pink
Bloom Time: Mid Spring to Early Summer
Photo: victorgardener Full size picture of Snapdragon 'Rocket Bronze' (<i>Antirrhinum majus</i>)

Name: Snapdragon Rocket series (Antirrhinum majus)
Category: Annuals/Perennials
Height: 12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
Spacing: 12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
Hardiness: Zone 4a (-34.4 °C/-30 °F) through Zone 11 (4.5 °C/40 °F)
Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Bronze/Yellow/Orange/Pink/White/Red
Bloom Time: Mid Summer to frost
Photo: amorecuore

Image

Name: Bearded Iris Rocket Blast
Category: Perennials
Height: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
Spacing: 12-15 in. (30-38 cm)/15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
Hardiness: Zone 3a (39.9 °C/-40 °F) through Zone 8b (-9.4 °C/15 °F)
Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Bright Yellow
Bloom Time: Midseason
Photo: Mrs_Ed


To round out your new garden bed, you might want to consider a piece of garden art. The obvious choice is, of course, a rocket. Here's a link to get you started: Scrap metal rocket


*For a more complete list of herbs, click here.

Thumbnail photo courtesy of NASA

© Larry Rettig 2010