Spring is officially upon us in Charleston! And with that comes a plethora of cheerful flowers, from cherry blossoms + roses, to wisteria + privet trees. And of course, no one can miss the lovely hue of yellow floating in the air. That little noise tickle + citron coated porches the pollen provides. It’s a love hate relationship haha. But a small price to pay for the cheer all these blooms bring to the Holy City. These blooms always officially mark the start of ‘season’ for our southern city; bringing me to the goal of this post: The Charleston flower guide!

It’s hard to pinpoint a time that we don’t have beautiful blooms. Varietals come and go with each passing season, and we’re fortunate to have something in bloom pretty much year round to grace our streets + gardens. So whether you’re a local strolling the city, or a visitor searching for the perfect Instagrammable spot, you’re bound to stumble across some hidden gems. But, if combing the streets searching for these tucked away treasures isn’t your style {or you’re simply looking for an easily approach}, then look no further – here’s my complete Charleston flower guide! Including a complete list of the seasonal flowers in Charleston, when they’re typically in bloom + where you’re most apt to find them in the Holy City.

CAMILLIAS

First up on the Charleston flower guide – camellias. These gorgeous evergreen hued shrubs + trees actually thrive in cold weather {even on the off chance it snows in Charleston}. You’ll typically see them peak December – early spring in a variety of colors from white to pale pink to red. Surprisingly non-fragrant, some varietals will have tightly wound petals that almost look fake, and others with bellowing, yellow centers. Due to the natural of their super dark leaves, I don’t recommend camellias as a large scale photo backdrop, but they’re absolutely stunning to look at and capture portraits of. Sterling and I adore the evergreen look their leaves provide, and potted several white plants along the side our our home! We got a few blooms this season, but I’m hoping as we continue to fertilize + prune they’re produce even more in the coming years.

  • Hampton Park is my favorite spot to witness these beautiful blooms, as it supplies ample opportunity for a peek at their beauty. You’ll find them in rows lining some of the trails.
Pink Twirl Rhodes Resort Dress
Charleston Flower Guide

AZALEAS

Azalea buds practically ooze southern charm. There’s rarely a day in the springtime months {mid-March to late April} that azaleas aren’t in bloom in Charleston. Although you can actually find snippets of these fluffy blooms around town year round. You’ll find a variety of colors in parks all around town – from white to light pink, rose, vibrant fuchsia and the more rarely spotted lavender. These bushes can grow 10-15ft tall, and make for beautiful photos/backdrops!

The most incredible of locations for azaleas spotting include:

  • Magnolia Plantation | surrounded by history + beauty, you’ll feel like you’re walking into a scene straight out of The Notebook.
  • White Point Garden | where you’ll find yourself make a pit-stop on a park bench, surrounded by azaleas just beside The Battery and walkable from Rainbow Row.
  • Hampton Park | walk the outer paved track, or interior trails through the park with 4-5 feet wide flowering bushes on either side of the winding paths.
Chalmers Street | Charleston, SC

CREPE MYRTLES

Next up on the Charleston flower guide  – the crepe myrtles! These fluffy  trees line the streets during the summer months. The more sun, the more myrtle. These fluted stems range from white to pink to deep plum + lavender. If you happen to be visiting anytime between June-August, it’d be near impossible to go without seeing this gorgeous bud. They’re probably my favorite flowering tree around town. Not only are they beautiful up top, but as their tiny petals fall, our streets become a sea! We actually planted a lavender crepe myrtle in our front yard last fall, and I can’t wait to see it grow and take shape over our staircase + street.

While you’ll be sure to spot crepe myrtles all around town, my favorite go-to spots are:

  • Chalmers Street | The cobble stone streets, paired with blooming trees on BOTH sides of the street, make this spot truly picture perfect.
  • Hampton Park | There’s a specific row of trees, that local photographer Kim Graham captured so magically after a rainfall one afternoon. Also seen here as I twirled my way through the park a couple summers ago. Hands down, my all time favorite summertime photoshoot spot.

WISTERIA

This twisting vine, once in bloom, all but takes over. Wisteria’s blooming period is pretty limited in Charleston – typically around 2-3 weeks tops in mid-late March. If you’re lucky enough to be in town while it peaks, you’re in for a treat. Due to the natural of the vine and how it grows, look for these lavender blooms to be on top of fence lines, hanging over railways, arched above doorways or even growing within tall trees. I’ve often thought about adding this lavender beauty to our courtyard landscape, but have heard the thick vines can be tricky to tame. Not to mention, can also take up to 7 years to bloom once planted. Alas, I’ll continue to enjoy this fragrant bloom thanks to others!

Favorite spots to experience wisteria hysteria:

  • Meeting Street near Tradd | As seen below, this is the most iconic wisteria lane in town! The lavender blooms really pop off this historic white hues home.
  • Along The Battery | You’ll find wisteria grown atop fences and gates of homes near The Battery.
  • South of Broad | The streets below Broad Street are known as ‘south of broad’. A historic neighborhood beaming with mature gardens + lawns for onlookers to enjoy.
  • Lower King Street
Charleston Flower Guide | Wisteria
Wisteria Lane in Charleston

CHERRY BLOSSOMS

The small delicate petals of the cherry blossom symbolize a time for renewal. You may be able to spot a few around town {nothing like DC/Washington} for a very short time. Their remarkably brief bloom season usually lands between January and March. With timing all over the place, these dainty pink blooms are somewhat of a delicacy in Charleston. Hampton Park recently planted 5 new cherry blossom trees, so hopefully we’ll see more and more of these beauties for years to come!

A few spots to spot cherry blossoms:

SOUTHERN + CHINESE MAGNOLIAS

Magnolias {all varietals} are notorious for their January through May popularity. Their rich green leaves + oversized cream blooms are thought to symbolize feminine beauty, making them the perfect symbol for vintage china and kitchenware. My Nana had a ton of magnolia themed goods growing up, which maybe played a roll in why I love this bloom so much. They’re quite fragrant, and are typically seen in large trees format.

Chinese Magnolias are a bit more rare in this region, but grow wonderfully and make fun a colorful splash to gardens, parks + yards. Their leaves a much lighter in color then Southern Magnolias. Furthermore, they bloom beautifully pink + purple hues flowers that are oh-so picture worthy!

  • Hampton Park is the only place I’ve witnessed a large and truly breathtaking Chinese magnolia moment. Usually seen in January/February. Although I’ve seen smaller trees here and there around town that simply need more time to mature. The park is also home to gorgeous oversized Southern Magnolias.
Chinese Magnolia

CONFEDERATE JASMINE

The last {but certainly not to be missed} bloom on our Charleston flower guide is particularly special. Also known as star jasmine, this elegant vine pops up April through June. Personally, she’s one of my favorites, and reminds me of my 2016 April wedding. I got married in Charleston before we officially lived here, and the small of jasmine just oozed from the streets everywhere we went. My hair dresser even put some in my hair for our rehearsal dinner. To this day, it’s such a favorite for that reason alone! The fresh white pedals and shiny green leaves can be found sprinkled literally EVERYWHERE around the city. It’s often used in gardens and along home fence lines and walls to create a lush landscape. We have some vines being trained along our courtyard fence!

Similarly to wisteria, confederate jasmine comes in marvelous clusters, dominating entire walls and doorways. And while you can certainly find this beautiful blooms LOTS of places, a few of my personal favorites I always like to pass by during peek season include:

  • This home {seen below} on Church Street | Please note, be respectful of capturing imagery in front or our around people’s homes. If you see the owner, strike up a conversation and thank them for maintaining such a beautiful exterior for others to enjoy!
  • This covered brick wall near Exchange Street
Confederate Jasmine Blooming in Charleston, SC

The Katrina Rose / Peggy Martin Rose

Recently, my local friend + tour guide Tyler of Walk + Talk Charleston {highly recommend by the way} shared the story behind these creeping beauties that can be seen taking over the palm trees that line Colonial Lake in spring. What a beautiful story of resilience that can honestly be seen all around the city of Charleston. The Holy City has endured a plethora of flooding over the years. Whether it be through our seasonal storms or hurricanes. Alas, she’s still standing and more beautiful then ever! Upon doing some more research {learn more via Garden & Gun}, I felt it was only fitting to add the ‘Katrina Rose’ to my official Charleston flower guide! Not only are they beautiful in person, their story of resilience is inspiring.

As mentioned, best place to spot these pink blooms is around Colonial Lake from May-May.

Charleston Flower Guide


photos by: Julie Livingston Photography, Rachel Red Photography + your’s truly 

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The jasmine in Charleston will always remind me of your wedding. IT was in full bloom that week and the streets just smelled of it. Now I always think of that trip anytime I smell it around Atlanta. I’ve never witnessed that gorgeous wisteria and have to see it in person!

xo Jessica
My Style Vita

It’s so BEAUTIFUL there. Really want to visit Charleston.

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