Ornamental plants: what are they, types, names and images

Any fan of gardening or decoration will have heard of ornamental plants many times. These are a very valuable resource when it comes to beautifying any space, but it may be difficult for you to get a concrete idea of ​​what exactly an ornamental plant is.

If you want to learn more about them, join us in this article where you will see a guide on what ornamental plants are, their types, names, images and videos . Here we show you more than 25 species, both indoor and outdoor, as well as sun and shade. Discover everything about ornamental plants !

What are ornamental plants

The ornamental plants or ornamentals, are not a type or a specific family within the genus of plants. It is any plant that we grow and take care of with the purpose of beautifying or making a certain place or space more aesthetic. That is, when they are used as a decoration element . Historically, the first to use plants in this way were the Persians, who embellished their palaces and buildings with plants, both indoors and in elaborate gardens.

The ornamental plants , as well as be pleasant sight, can provide other benefits to your garden or home. Many of them have the ability to improve the quality of the air we breathe, filtering unwanted substances in it. Others provide a pleasant aroma with their flowers and leaves, and in gardens and terraces, many flowers attract beneficial pollinating insects .

Ornamental plants: what are they, types, names and images - What are ornamental plants

Types of ornamental plants

Since it is not a family of plants or scientific classification, there are many ways to group ornamental plants according to the characteristics we look at. We have developed a simple classification based on its most differentiated types. Thus, we find the following groups of ornamental plants :

Trees and shrubs

They are one of the most common and popular, especially due to their large size and impact on the aesthetic impression of gardens and natural spaces. Some shrubs are as large as small trees.

Lawn and upholstery

Grass is considered to be plants of the Poaceae family that, when growing, form a dense cover that completely covers the ground. They are often used to homogenize the landscape and give a more natural feel. Instead, upholstery plants can also be used , which are creepers that fulfill the same function but offer different aspects and characteristics.


Annual plants complete their entire life cycle in a single year. They tend to be ornamental plants with very showy and colorful flowers , although, as we have said, they wither in a single season.


This type of plant has an underground organ that serves as a reserve of nutrients, and from it they can grow back every year when the conditions are right. Flowering bulb plants of this type are very common , drying their aerial part in winter to regrow in the warm months.


Palm trees are available in all kinds of sizes and shapes, but they stand out for being tropical plants that are very easy to care for that give an exotic touch to both indoor and outdoor spaces. 


Ferns are very primitive flowerless plants , but therefore also exotic. They stand out for their dense and abundant foliage, which makes them very suitable as hanging plants in some of their species. 

Climbing plants

Climbers are plants with the ability to grow supported or attached to surfaces of all kinds such as walls, facades, trees or structures such as pergolas. There are many types, and they are very popular to cover green surfaces that would not normally be green.


In aquariums, ponds or ornaments with water of any kind, aquatic plants are very valuable to give a natural touch, as well as algae.

Types of ornamental indoor plants – names

Next, we leave a list with some names of ornamental indoor plants (in the links you can learn about the characteristics and care of each plant):

  • Trunk of Brazil – Dracaena fragrans
  • Dracena – Dracaena marginata
  • Umbrella plant – Cyperus alternifolius
  • Bromeliad – Bromeliad aechmea, Bromeliad guzmania
  • Diefembaquia – Dieffenbachia ssp.
  • Prayer plant – Maranta leuconeura
  • Cyclamen – Cyclamen
Ornamental plants: what are they, types, names and images - Types of ornamental indoor plants - names

Types of ornamental outdoor plants – names

These are some examples of outdoor ornamental plants (in the links you can learn more about the characteristics and care of each plant):

  • Fern – Filicopsida, Pterophyta
  • Carnation – Dianthus cayophyllus
  • Rose – Rosa spp.
  • Begonia – Begoniaceae
  • Japanese Maple – Acer palmatum
  • Water lily – Zantedeschia aethiopica
  • Petunia – Petunia hybrida
  • Coleus – Coleus blumei

Types of ornamental sun plants

Although most plants appreciate receiving as much sun as possible, not all plants feel good to receive a large amount of direct light, especially in hot climates or with very intense sun. Some of the names of ornamental plants that will resist a lot of sun very well are:

  • Bamboo
  • Echeveria
  • Gerbera
  • Aster
  • Dahlia
  • Hibiscus
  • Viola or thought

Types of ornamental shade plants

If, on the other hand, you have little natural light or some shade in your garden, you will do well to opt for one of these other ornamental species of shade or semi-shade :

In addition, here below you can see images of outdoor ornamental plants, in the same order that they have mentioned in these lists.

Importance of ornamental plants

After knowing all these kinds of ornamental plants, we continue talking about their great importance. The decorative or ornamental plants that we use both for inside houses or buildings and for their outdoor areas, such as gardens or terraces, as well as for public areas, such as walks and parks, have many benefits for us, others animals and the environment. These are the main benefits of ornamental plants :

  • They offer a landscape that makes the area more attractive and enrich the spaces.
  • They improve concentration and help reduce stress.
  • They increase happiness and the feeling of well-being by facilitating contact with nature.
  • They are part of the culture of different parts of the world.
  • Some are food and natural remedies.
  • They help purify the air.
  • Planted directly in the ground, they prevent its erosion.

Where to buy ornamental plants

To have any of these beautiful ornamental plants , you will have to decide which ones you want at home, whether indoors or outdoors, and find a place where you can buy them. Apart from the fact that a family member or friend who has several at home and has been able to reproduce them or can give you seeds can give it to you, you can buy ornamental plants in these places:

  • Plant nursery in your city or town.
  • Garden or florist store.
  • Department stores that have an entire plant and garden department.
  • Gardening fairs.
  • Online stores specialized in plants, flowers and gardening products.

In these places, especially in nurseries and physical stores, in addition to acquiring plants of different sizes or their seeds, you can ask for advice not only to choose, but also to learn the care and attention that each specific species needs.

Ornamental Plants Videos

Finally, now that you know everything about ornamental plants, we show you a list of videos of ornamental plants from our YouTube channel.

Ornamental plants: what are they, types, names and images

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