Top Flower Picks to Plant in Spring
As spring unfolds (some areas quicker than others), it’s the perfect time to add all kinds of plants to your yard. Here are some of the best choices for flowers.
An old-fashioned favorite, sweet peas are a perfect candidate for spring planting. An annual, they grow the best in cooler temps and fade quickly once summer heat sets in. Sweet pea vines feature fragrant blossoms and come in many colors, including red, white, pink, lavender and near-black. If you’re located in the South, plant sweet pea seeds in the fall for a spring crop. Northern regions, where summer is cooler, can see sweet peas survive well into summer.
If you’re looking to brighten up spring containers and planting beds, grab a pack of pansies. Available in many shades, such as purple, white, burgundy, coral, yellow and all different color combinations, this cheery annual also comes in trailing types which is perfect for pots.
A go-to annual for spring planting, flowering stock offers a rich fragrance with spicy clove tones. Although it is a much loved old-fashioned flower, modern varieties have better heat tolerance and offer a range of vivid, jewel-tone blooms, like fuchsia, white, rose-pink, and deep violet. In order to make the most of the scent, consider planting flowering stock in containers or planting beds near an entrance.
If you want flowers that bloom in summer, spring is the right time to plant the bulbs — including gladiolus. Hardy in Zones 7-10, these radiant spikes are available in just about every color imaginable, including deep burgundy, purple, pale green, orange and red. For continuous flowers all season long, try practicing staggered planting. Simply tuck individual gladiolus corms into your planting bed soil every 5 to 10 days. Leave room in your beds for future plantings.
Summer lily bulbs (including Oriental and Asiatic lilies) can also go into the ground in spring to produce a gorgeous summer showing. While Oriental lilies feature large and often perfumed blooms, Asiatic lilies have smaller flowers in a wide range of colors. Since Oriental lilies can be top-heavy from their large blooms, add stakes when planting to avoid harming the bulbs later. Asiatic lilies don’t typically need staking due to their sturdy stems. Summer lilies are hardy in Zones 3-9.
Readily available at garden centers in the spring, hydrangeas are popular gifts for Easter and Mother’s Day. Gifted hydrangeas can easily be transferred into the garden after their stint indoors. Since hydrangeas are so widely available during spring, it’s a perfect time to go out and find a favorite and add it to your yard. Be sure to purchase hydrangeas when they are in bloom so that you know for sure you’re getting the flower type and color you want.
Planting reblooming varieties like ‘Stella de Oro’ is a great way to fill your summer landscape with color. Whether planting barefoot or potted daylilies, or dividing existing clumps into your gardens, spring is the ideal time to make it happen. For the most flowers, position daylilies in full sun. For reblooming types, it’s important to remove any spent flowers and seed pods that start to form so that the blossoms keep coming. Daylilies are hardy in Zones 3-9.
Late summer bloomers always make good choices for planting in spring, and upright summer sedums are no exception. Included in this group of plants are classics like “Autumn Joy,” the toothy-leaved T-Rex, and “Mr. Goodbud.” Known for the long show put on by their flower clusters, summer sedums bring color to the garden for months as they transition through several hues from bud, to full bloom, to faded flower. If dried, they can continue adding interest even during the winter months.
New England Aster
A beloved native plant that is an all-time fall favorite is the New England aster. Hardy in Zones 3-8, plant it in the spring for flowers in the fall. Available in a range of colors, including deep purple, lavender, violet, white, and neon or pastel pink, the flowers attract late-season pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.