25 plants for a pop culture-inspired garden

Cultivate these flowers to channel your favorite pop culture icons, from wild and eclectic Lady Gaga to the seemingly innocent characters on Glee

5 botanical Lady Gagas

Written by Sharon Cohoon

5 botanical Lady Gagas

Just like the unpredictable Lady Gaga, the following five flowers are over-the-top, theatrical, and ironic. Subtle? Not exactly.

'Incrediball' hydrangea

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Incrediball' hydrangea

White flower clusters so enormous (a foot wide!), they're almost comical. And like Gaga, held up by very sturdy stems. Sunset climate zones A3; 1-21

'Gum Drop' Echinacea

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Gum Drop' Echinacea

Nothing modest about this cone-flower. Except for a miniskirt of tiny pink petals, it's all look-at-me core. Zones A2, A3; 1-24, needs full sun.

Gator aloe

Written by Sharon Cohoon

Gator aloe

An unusually bold pattern for such a small plant. Like the pint-size diva herself, it's proof that drama doesn't depend on size. Zones 8, 9, 12-24, part shade.

Techno Blue Iobelia

Written by Sharon Cohoon

Techno Blue Iobelia

A blue so intense, it feels hot rather than cool. A prolific bloomer and a real show-off. All zones.

Little Shark agave

Written by Sharon Cohoon

Little Shark agave

Perfect symmetry and high drama with black-outlined leaves. And check out those spines. Zones 4-24.

5 plants that evoke Marie Antoinette

Written by Sharon Cohoon

5 plants that evoke Marie Antoinette

Frilly, floaty, fanciful, and feminine, these next flowers are a total embrace of the soft side, just like the queen herself.

Sun Spun Yellow petunia

Written by Sharon Cohoon

Sun Spun Yellow petunia

Shaped like a twirly skirt in the sunny color of optimism. Innocent and idealistic. All zones as an annual.

'Wendy's Wish' Salvia

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Wendy's Wish' Salvia

Jewel-like buds, seemingly always in bloom, with petals like pink petticoats and dainty stems. Zones 14-24. Needs full sun.

'Fireworks' fountain grass

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Fireworks' fountain grass

The girliest of grasses: Predominantly pink, billowy, and, in summer, it dresses up with tassels. Zones 8-24; H1, H2. Needs part shade.

Superbells Blackberry Punch Calibrachoa

Written by Sharon Cohoon

Superbells Blackberry Punch Calibrachoa

A flower with the flared shape and rich colors of the finest haute couture gown. Zones 8, 9, 14-24. As an annual: zones 2-7, 10-13. 

'Dark Towers' Penstemon

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Dark Towers' Penstemon

Blackish red foliage topped with baby pink flowers--a romantic pairing of radical and sweet. Zones 6-9, 14-24. As an annual: all zones.

5 picks that bring on the Bollywood

Written by Sharon Cohoon

5 picks that bring on the Bollywood

Spicy, jewel-toned, gilded, and otherwise adorned, these flowers have an Indian flair. Jai Ho!

Million Bells Cherry Pink Calibrachoa

Written by Sharon Cohoon

Million Bells Cherry Pink Calibrachoa

The saturation level in these petals rivals that of the best saris. A color you'd like draped around you. Zones 8, 9, 14-24. As an annual: zones 2-7, 10-13. 

'Flame Thrower' Echinacea

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Flame Thrower' Echinacea

A coneflower that looks like it swirled its way out of a train-station dance number. The red centers resemble bindi beauty marks. Zones  A2, A3; 1-24. Needs full sun. 

'Lemon Fizz' santolina

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Lemon Fizz' santolina

A sizzling chartreuse that we'd love to see in a bolt of silk. The every-which-way foliage is fun too. Zones  2-24; H1, H2. Needs part shade.

Lunacy Orange marigold

Written by Sharon Cohoon

Lunacy Orange marigold

As intricate as a henna tatoo. The searing orange color and strong aromatic scent make is especially exotic. All zones as annual. 

'Belinda's Find' red hook sedge

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Belinda's Find' red hook sedge

Red sedge is already extravagant. But add some twists and turns and you've got a real melodrama. Zones 4-6, 15-17.

5 plants that channel Black Swan

Written by Sharon Cohoon

5 plants that channel Black Swan

These next flowers are gothic, brooding, mysterious, and definitely dark. Maybe even dangerous.

'Pinstripe' petunia

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Pinstripe' petunia

White streaks dissolving into velvety black petals like shooting stars disappearing in dark skies. All zones as annual. Needs full sun.

Tropicanna Black canna

Written by Sharon Cohoon

Tropicanna Black canna

This exotic canna has leaves so dark, you'll wonder how it photosynthesizes. Sinister, to say the least. Zones 6-9, 12-24; H1, H2; or dig and store.

Fire and Ice Echeveria

Written by Sharon Cohoon

Fire and Ice Echeveria

Pale, pale foliage that looks even more so thanks to its blood-red edges. Ethereal or ominous, you decide. Otherworldly either way. Zones 8, 9, 12-24. Needs part shade.

'Burgundy Ice' Dyckia

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Burgundy Ice' Dyckia

Dark red blades and sharp white teeth--just the right amount of menace. Zones 4-24. 

'Mojito' elephant's ear

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Mojito' elephant's ear

A heart-of-darkness tropical plant. Inky splotches across its mammoth leaves give this new elephant's ear a gothic sort of glamour. Zones 12, 16-24; H1, H2. 

5 flowers fresh off last week's Glee

Written by Sharon Cohoon

5 flowers fresh off last week's Glee

A batch of buds that have exuberant exhibitionism paired with wholesome innocence--just like our favorite show.

'Hot Lava' Echinacea

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Hot Lava' Echinacea

Knockout color, simple bold shape, and stems as strong as a cheerleader's legs. Center stage only, please. Zones A2, A3; 1-24. Needs full sun.

Big Bang 'Redshift' Coreopsis

Written by Sharon Cohoon

Big Bang 'Redshift' Coreopsis

More modest than some of its fellow cast members, but showy in its own quiet way. A sweet little explosion of color. Zones 1-24.

'Ascot Rainbow' Euphorbia

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Ascot Rainbow' Euphorbia

Looks as if it might burst into song. And when it blooms, you'll swear it has--the flower shares the same three colors of the leaves. Zones 3-24. Needs part shade. 

'Campfire' Crassula

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Campfire' Crassula

Full of juice and raring to go. That's the impression these propeller-shaped leaves create--especially in sizzling red and lime. Zones 8, 9, 12-24. 

'Electra' coral bells

Written by Sharon Cohoon

'Electra' coral bells

Cayenne red veins streaking across saffron yellow leaves. Imagine this spicing up a bland patch of shade. Zones 1-9, 14-24. 

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http://www.sunset.com/garden/flowers-plants/25-hot-plants-to-grow-now-00418000071350/