Best Spring Plants - Our Top Picks

Best Spring Plants - Our Top Picks

Last Updated On: March 20, 2022

Nothing brings out the beauty of spring like the flowers.As the snow melts and the sun’s rays get warmer, sprouting flowers signal an end to the doldrums of winter. Though those blooms look delicate, many of the flowers that grow during this time can be planted as soon as the ground thaws and are even able to withstand the chill of frost. The following options are just a few of the best spring plants to consider for your garden this year.

Primrose

There are hundreds of varieties of primrose plants to choose from, including cowslips, candelabras, or English primroses. They also come in several colors, like yellow, pink, purple, or white, so you can pick your favorite or add a few varieties to create a rainbow in your garden. Though they have a delicate appearance, many primrose plants are strong enough to survive the winter and could even bloom before the snow is gone.

One of the best reasons to plant primrose is that they require very little care. They prefer rich, well-draining, slightly acidic soil that is kept moist throughout the year. Primrose plants also like partial shade. As they grow, they develop clumps that you can divide and spread for a fuller garden or give to friends and family to spruce up their yards. They are also very easy to start from seeds.

Weigela

Weigela is another gorgeous flowering plant that is best planted in spring after the ground has thawed. They have pretty trumpet-shaped flowers colored with a mix of pink and white, adding a touch of color to any garden. These beauties will also attract those pollinators, like bees and butterflies, which will help keep your garden blooming throughout the year.

Like other spring plants, the Weigela prefers moist, well-draining soil. Though this plant can handle partial shade, they prefer the sunnier areas of your garden. More sun also means more blooms, so keep this in mind when choosing the location for your Weigela. They also bloom throughout the year for a constant splash of color.

Snowdrops

Snowdrops are a perennial, so they need to be planted every year to get those pretty blooms in the spring. They are some of the first flowers to bloom during this time of year, so they can handle cooler temperatures. It’s best to plant them in March or April, right after they have flowered. You won’t need to plant too many of them, either, since these pretty plants will spread throughout your garden if you let them.

Snowdrops are gorgeous flowers, with hanging white blooms and thin stems. They don’t attract wildlife, so deer, rabbits, or chipmunks won’t nibble them, ensuring they will last all year long. These flowers prefer moist, well-draining soil, and do prefer a bit of shade. Planting them on the northern side of your home is a good option or you can place them beneath a tree or shrub for some protection from the sun’s strong rays.

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley has wide, tall leaves that surround long stems covered with tiny, white flowers that bloom in the spring. They add a lovely scent to your garden in the spring when these flowers bloom. They are somewhat aggressive, though, so if they aren’t contained, they can spread throughout your garden and take nutrients from other nearby plants. These are best placed along the borders or in planters to keep them in place.

Lily of the valley prefers partial shade, so place them where they won’t get too much sun for the best results. They can also adapt to more sun if there is no other option, but avoid this if possible. They like moist soil, though they can handle dry conditions when needed. The best time to plant them is in the fall for spring blooms, though you can add them to your garden in the early spring as well.

Pansy

Pansies come in so many different colors, you almost don’t need to plant any other species in your yard to get a rainbow of flowers. You can choose white, yellow, blue, purple, burgundy, coral, or even crimson, giving you more options to choose from than most spring flowers.

Another reason pansies are a great choice for spring is that they have a high tolerance to frost, so even if they are subjected to a light freeze, they’ll still bloom throughout the season. They don’t really like too much heat, though, so those blooms will fade during the summer and come back in the cooler fall temperatures for a late-season blast of color. Despite their aversion to heat, pansies still need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day to thrive. They also like moist, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH level.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus plants are quite tall, with large colorful flowers that bloom down the stem, making them a lovely addition to any garden, plus they are a great choice for a summer bouquet. The bulbs can be planted in the spring, though be sure to do so after the last frost. These beauties can’t handle too cold of temperatures, so the best time to plant the bulbs is when the soil is 55°F or warmer.

Glads come in a wide array of colors, including pale green, orange, red, purple, or dark burgundy. They need to be planted about 6 inches apart and 4 inches deep in well-draining, moist soil that gets full sun. You can also plant new bulbs every 10 days or so to ensure continuous flowering throughout the summer and into the fall.

Sweet Pea

Sweet peas are an annual flower, so you only need to plant them once for them to sprout every spring. There is a range of colors to choose from, all of which have delicate, winged blossoms that emit an enchanting fragrance. Most varieties of sweet pea are climbers, so you will need a trellis or fence to give them the support they need to thrive.

You can start these pretty flowers from seeds as soon as the ground has thawed, though you may want to give them a head start indoors. Doing so will ensure that they have a chance to bloom before the summer heat prevents the flowers from forming. Sweet peas prefer full sun and moist, well-draining alkaline soil. As an added benefit, you can harvest these delicious plants and enjoy tasty sweet peas as a reward for your hard work.

Keys To A Successful Spring Garden

While the above plants are all great choices for your spring garden, there are so many other options out there. While many plants are great to plant in spring, it’s important to keep a few things in mind when doing so. The following few tips are key to keep in mind when starting your spring garden.

Not All Of Spring Is Equal

Spring is a long time period, and a lot can change over those few months. Planting at the beginning of spring is a lot different than doing so at the end.

Make sure you understand your local climate, and think about how the temperature and light intensity change over spring. A plant that might thrive when planted towards the end of spring might not do so well if planted at the beginning.

Choose The Right Plants

Building off that last point, make sure you choose correct plants that line up with your local spring climate. If starting at the beginning of spring, make sure to choose plants that are resilient to the cooler temperatures that are likely still present.

Frost is also a large concern for early spring gardens. It’s very possible that a snap frost might occur late into the spring, and this can be damaging to plants that aren’t tolerant towards it. Your best bet is to plant frost tolerant plants like leafy greens, or wait until your last frost date has passed. If a freak frost does occur, you can also take easy steps to help protect plants that might be otherwise damaged by it.

Start Indoors

Even if you’re looking to grow outdoors, starting plants indoors is a great way to get a jumpstart on your garden. Many gardeners will start their seeds or seedlings indoors and then move them outside as the weather warms up.

This lets you start planting significantly earlier, and means you’ll have beautiful blooms or be able to harvest much sooner. It also gives you a lot more control over the environment which is important for seeds or young plants.

Prepare For Storms

Lastly, it’s important to prepare your plants for the spring showers that many of us experience. While mature plants can usually handle it without issue, young plants and seedlings can often be damaged by the wind or intense rain.

Depending on the plant, you may be able to utilize trellis or stakes to help support them. You can also add physical obstructions to help block out some of the wind.

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