24 Shallow Root Flowers To Grow In Your Garden

The shallow root flowers are the right option for your crowded garden with small root systems that are easy to survive.

Besides drawbacks, including susceptibility to severe weather conditions or drought, such plants also have amazing benefits.

They can absorb nutrients or water fast and flexibly.

Thus, these flowers are common and suitable to become one of the choices to diversify and beautify your garden if there are many “residents” to compete for nutrients.

Look at the 24 species with their unique features and great beauty below.

What Are Shallow Root Flowers? 

shallow root flowers

They are specific small rooted plants relying on a shallow-root system that includes small root balls near the soil surface for survival.

With such a root system, the flowers may control the water amount and nutrients the flower receives. To avoid overwatering and keep the root system healthy, you should water them with proper amounts.

24 Shallow Root Flowers You Should Grow

Gorgeous flowering plants with shallow roots include primroses, pansies, rose, African violets, star tickseed, bleeding heart, verbena, creeping phlox, geranium, poppies, and many more.

Check the list below to decide which ones are better.


Primroses are one of the shallow rooted flowers growing well in gardens and backyards. They need moist, well-drained soil to thrive.

For heavy soils that don’t drain naturally, this may cause problems with their growth.

Thus, you should grow them in raised beds or pots where they receive about 8 – 10 hours of sunlight daily.


Pansies are fast-growing, with vibrant and colorful blooms suitable for containers and garden beds throughout the season.

These flowers are roughly heart-shaped, with brightly colored or bicolored overlapping petals with a face-like pattern in the center.

In your garden, pansies complement spring-flowering blooms with fading bulb foliage. Most colorful pansies don’t grow very tall, as they will cascade or flop when they do.


Roses are one of the common flowers with a shallow-rooted system. This is a popular and fantastic flower, so I chose to plant it in my garden.

These flowers are available in various sizes and colors, with multiple types to cultivate outdoors or indoors. It needs water, plenty of light, and fertilizer to thrive.

Just remember to remove dead rose bushes to keep your landscape always fresh and stunning.

African Violets

African violets are shallow-rooted plants with clusters of white or purple flowers. They may grow in temperatures ranging from 65 to 85 °F.

So keep them in a warm location with about 6 hours of sunlight daily in your backyard or garden. In cold weather, you should place African violets indoors to protect them from the harsh weather.

Star Tickseed

This is a native orange or yellow flower thriving in rocky but flat-bottomed habitats, including rocky meadows and stream bottoms.

It is a herbaceous shallow-rooted flower growing in the soil about six inches.

If you’re seeking flowering plants with shallow root systems with low-maintenance features to plant in rocky, shallow areas, Star Tickseed is a great choice.

Bleeding Heart

A bleeding heart is one of the shallow-rooted plants blooming in Spring, with the heart-shaped and colorful blooms.

These flowers are suitable to plant in containers or pots. It is often grown indoors in containers for ornamental purposes.

Bleeding heart is a beautiful plant with various benefits, including attracting pollinators and bees to your garden to add a charming touch to the surrounding landscape.


Verbena is easy to introduce to your garden with colorful flowers, from purple, white, and pink, to attract bees and butterflies.

As with most plants with short roots, it’s essential to ensure the location where you grow this flowering type has good drainage.

It means that you must avoid planting it in places having water build-ups after rain or during irrigation, as its roots can rot if it stays in moist soil for a long time.

Creeping Phlox

Creeping phlox is also purple or blue flowers with a shallow-rooted system in Spring.

These flowering plants don’t need much root space, so they’re also great for planting in pots. It also acts as an efficient barrier against weeds due to its dense root network.

Finally, creeping phlox are easy to drive hummingbirds and butterflies to your space. Therefore, they may benefit your garden’s diversity and beautify it at the same time.


The plants of geraniums are gorgeous flowering plants that grow in shallow soil. These are hardy plants tolerating the cold weather.

They include pink flowers blooming and drawing in butterflies and bees. It’s best to prepare the seeds with the soil, fertilizer, and pot to grow these flowers.


Poppies are available in various colors, and planting them in borders or big groups will add more charm to your garden fences.

These plants with shallow roots usually thrive in cool weather conditions, and warmer climates require frequent watering over the season.

These flowers don’t like transplants, so it’s best to plant them in a certain position.


Chrysanthemums are large-flowered perennials with bright yellow blooms. They are the perfect option for decorating your house with the elegant color.

Also, its pleasant fragrance has a relaxing and soothing effect to reduce stress. Growing chrysanthemums requires good soil, a sunny window, and fertilizer.

Baby’s Breath

Baby’s breath tolerates various soil and place conditions but prefers well-drained soil and sun. It is drought-tolerant but can not withstand long periods of moist soil.

You can use seeds to grow these perennials with shallow roots. Sometimes, they can be planted as biennials, blooming in their 2nd year before dying.


perennials with shallow roots

Zinnias are one of the plants for shallow soil, with fantastic blooms flowering from Spring to Autumn. They are attractive due to their bright colors and drought-tolerant ability.

Growing these flowers calls for purchasing pots, proper fertilizer, lighting, and good soil.

Then, place the seeds into your garden, cover them with the soil, and remove the unnecessary dirt after germination.

Sweet Woodruff

Woodruff is a perennial plant of the Rubiaceae family, the same as gardenia and coffee. It is native to Asia and Europe with white, four-petaled, and small flowers.

You can plant this shallow-rooted flower for medicinal, decoration, or culinary purposes. Besides, it is useful to produce tea for curing indigestion, headaches, and anxiety.


Tulips are one of the most familiar shallow root plants with flower bulbs. They are easy to plant and diversify in color.

It’s best to have soil, a stable light source, a pot, a bulb, and fertilizer to grow the tulips.

Grow a bulb in the center of the pot and cover the remaining space with fertile soil. Then, put the bulb pot under the grow light with the proper level.

Remember to give them frequent fertilization and water amounts.

Rock Cress

Rockcress is a fast-growing, beautiful flower with a short root system. It is hardy plants thriving and withstanding various growing conditions.

This flower type is especially drought tolerant and may withstand many days without watering.

Despite being shallow, its taproot system is fairly firm to hold the plant in place and prevent it from being uprooted due to strong winds.

Feel free to grow them in pots or containers. Rock cress grows with shorter roots in pots but can still give your garden beautiful flowers. 


Daffodils are a popular flower with shallow roots you can plant in your garden. Give them proper care when growing at your home. First, pick the right location that receives about 6 hours of sunlight daily.

Then, fill the container or pot with rich-nutrient soil and water it to keep it wet enough. Lastly, put the pot close to a place with good air circulation, such as an open window.


Lilac is an old-fashioned flowering shrub or tree with a fairly shallow-rooted system.

It is famous for its beautiful and fragrant blooms. These flowers tend to overeat, so ideally, you should apply a triple dose of fertilizer at the end of winter.

Adding a mulching layer and compost gives your lilacs plenty of nutrients and retains moisture in the soil.


Azaleas grow in bushes producing attractive flowers in vibrant shades. Delicate mottled pure white flowers, intense bright fire oranges, vividly pink fading towards the tips, and many more.

But they mostly come in a large funnel shape or star shape.

Many of these true shrubs can grow in shallow soil, even with wide root systems. So Azaleas are a low-maintenance type you can introduce to  your backyard.


Blueweed is a wildflower common in the United States and growing in shallow soil with a short root system.

Growing this flower type is not difficult. You only need to provide it with sufficient sunlight with good drainage.

I carried these plants home from a mountain trip and planted it to spice up my little garden even more.


This is one of the popular perennial flowers with shallow roots of no longer than 12 cm. The vibrant tiny flowers create a contrasting effect in the lush green foliage, giving off an eye-catching  visual.

In particular, magenta-purple and deep-red blooms look striking on the marbled heart-shaped leaves.  This plant surely brings a pop of color to brighten up a corner of your backyard.


The wallflower grows in shallow, rocky soil but requires careful care to avoid pest infestation.

This easy-to-care flowering plant can yield typical purple flowers throughout Spring and Summer in full sun. It prefers dry, flat soil but still survives in poor soil.

Aurinia Saxatilis

Aurinia Saxatilis are fantastic plants that will not dig deep into the soil and are reminiscent of gold baskets with their lively yellow blooms.

It can thrive in rockeries and various terrains with clouds or mats of suny, cheerful yellow flowers in the beginning months in late Spring.

These flowers don’t require meticulous care, but you also need to give them enough water, fertile soil, and sufficient sunlight.

Morning Glory

plants with short roots

Morning Glory is a shallow-rooted flowering plant spreading fast in soil. Because it grows aggressively, you can cultivate it with minimal maintenance.

It is available in various colors, including white, green, purple, pink, red, and yellow.

Although short-lived, Morning Glory can easily have spectacular trumpet-shaped buds of various colors, given favorable conditions.


The above is the list of 24 shallow root flowers that you can consider and choose for your garden. Thanks to the short root balls, they can easily survive in raised beds or small pots.

Each type has its uniqueness and beauty. They are easy to grow and flourish with the proper care and favorable weather conditions.

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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