Best 10 Plants for Spring

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Lawn & Garden

A colorful garden in full bloom is a beautiful indication that spring has arrived. See more photos of annual flowers.
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Spring is a season of rejuvenation and renewal. Every day brings more and more daylight, and the entire world awakens in various ways. Animals emerge from hibernation, and so do some of our favorite flowers. These ten plants are the best picks for the spring season because of their stunning flowers and noteworthy features. Some of them have intoxicating fragrances, while others are easy to grow because of their rapid multiplication. Explore these top plant choices for the inspiring season.

10: Primrose

The primrose is the ideal choice to start our list of top spring flowers. The name “primrose” means “first rose” because it is typically the first flower to bloom in spring. This tough perennial can be recognized by its crimped leaves and petals surrounding a bright yellow center. It blooms in a variety of colors such as yellow, pink, purple, blue, and white. It prefers full sun exposure during spring, but during the warmer weather, it needs partial shade and cooler temperatures. Slightly acidic soil (pH 6.5) that is rich in compost and leaf mold is ideal for the plant. Plant newly purchased primrose in early spring, and divide and transplant older plants after they’re done blooming.

9: African Violet


Whether it’s in your garden or in a pot by your kitchen sink, you can’t go wrong with a sturdy, pretty African violet.
©iStockphoto.com/zennie

One of the more popular flowering houseplants, the African violet, is easy to grow and adaptable to indoor conditions. Florets come in various sizes and colors, including deep blue, white, lavender, pink, red, and more. Whether you plant them in the ground outdoors or in a pot next to your kitchen sink, make sure they receive indirect sunlight. The ideal temperature during the day ranges from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (23.8 to 29.4 degrees Celsius), while at night, temperatures should be 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Keep the soil loose and well-drained by mixing in sphagnum peat moss. Repot African violets as they grow in size.

8: Daffodil

Despite the daffodil’s ruffled petals and delicate appearance, it is as tough as nails, according to the National Gardening Association. These hardy companions easily resist common garden pests like gophers, rabbits, and meadow mice. Smaller types of daffodils closer to the species’ wild form bloom without much maintenance. Daffodils can tolerate many kinds of soil but prefer cooler, moister areas in the garden. Plant bulbs in the fall and watch them bloom into bursts of yellow, pink, peach, or white with an orange trumpet in the center during springtime. When planting daffodil bulbs, cluster them together by the dozen for maximum visual impact.

7: Tulip


Tulips come in various colors and make for a great addition to any garden. They can be mixed with annuals or perennials, and shorter plants should be placed in the foreground. Tulip varieties vary in height and are suitable for cutting. Plant bulbs in a sunny spot with good drainage in October or November, with a depth of 4 inches for shorter varieties and 8 inches for taller types, always facing the flat side of the bulb down.

6: Crocus

Crocuses are early bloomers, and most of them come up at the end of winter or the beginning of spring, sometimes even pushing through snow. They are popular in gardens or on lawn borders, and come in purple, blue, yellow, white, and striped varieties. They multiply over time, so select strains that mature at different times to prolong the bloom season. Plant crocus corms in October in a well-drained and sunny spot with minimal shade. Loosen the soil with a garden fork, mix in approximately 3 inches of compost, then plant the corms 4 inches deep with the pointy side up.

5: Dahlia


Dahlias offer an explosion of color for your garden. They can have disk- or ray-shaped flowers in purple, red, white, or yellow. Most have segmented and toothed leaves. These flowers can be grown from seeds or tubers. Sprinkle seeds over potting soil in a low, flat container, then lightly cover with more soil, making sure to water it carefully. Tubers need to be planted when the ground temperature is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is anytime from mid-April through May for most parts of the country. Plant dahlias in a well-drained and slightly acidic soil where they receive at least eight hours of sunlight per day.

4: Geranium

Geraniums are a great multipurpose spring plant. They come in a variety of colors and are hard to miss. They make great garden borders, can be used to fill in as ground cover, and can decorate rock gardens. Geraniums are characterized by their ease of care, ability to multiply readily, and resistance to deer. When planting geraniums, make sure the hole you dig is twice the size of the pot. Once the plant has flowered, cut it back to stimulate new growth.

3: Petunia


Petunias are beautiful flowers that bloom in a range of colors and emit a lovely fragrance. They are perfect for enhancing the beauty of your garden from spring till the first frost. Wait for the soil to warm up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees Celsius) before transplanting petunias into your garden. Petunias come in several varieties that differ based on their size and growth habits. It is crucial to maintain good drainage to ensure the plant’s health. Sunlight is the most critical factor that affects the plant’s growth, and it requires a minimum of five hours of sunlight daily. Deadheading, or removing the faded flowers, encourages more blooms and keeps the plant healthy and fresh.

2: Clematis

Veronica’s Choice is a type of blooming clematis that belongs to the ranunculaceae family. The vine of this deciduous climber can grow up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall, while the flowers can reach a diameter of 9 inches (22.9 centimeters). Veronica’s Choice is famous for its enormous mauve flowers with lavender streaks that bloom in early spring and summer. It is considered hardy in zones 3 to 9, as determined by the USDA. Moist, well-drained soil and partial sun exposure are ideal conditions for the plant. Prune the vine to give it the desired shape right before it blooms in spring.

1: Wisteria


Wisteria is a twining vine with cascading flowers that emit a lovely fragrance. Its vigorous growth and fragrant flowers make it an attractive option for any yard. Provide ideal conditions, such as deep, moist soil and full sun to light shade. Don’t be surprised if your plant grows over 10 feet (3 meters) in one year. Heavy pruning is necessary to prevent it from taking over surrounding vegetation. Plant wisteria 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.6 meters) apart in the spring or fall, and the hole should be as deep as the root ball and twice as wide.

Additional Information

Related Articles from HowStuffWorks

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  • Preparing Soil for Planting: Tips and Tricks
  • 10 Plants That Are Nearly Impossible to Kill

Sources

  • American Violet Society (AVSA). (Feb. 4, 2010).http://www.avsa.org/Home.html
  • Brown, Deborah. “Growing Petunias.” University of Minnesota Extension. (Feb. 4, 2010).http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/dg1120.html
  • “Clematis.” Backyard Gardener. (Feb. 4, 2010).http://www.backyardgardener.com/plantname/pda_b49c.html
  • Lerner, B. Rosie and Michael N. Dana. “African Violet Care.” Department of Horticulture, Purdue University. March 2001. (Feb. 4, 2010).http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/HO-10.PDF
  • “Lily.” National Gardening Association. 2010. (Feb. 4, 2010).http://www.garden.org/plantguide/?q=show&id=2066
  • Perry, Leonard P., Ph.D. “Spring Perennial Geraniums.” University of Vermont. 2001. (Feb. 4, 2010).http://www.uvm.edu/~pass/perry/sprgeran.htm
  • “Primrose.” Conservation Volunteers Northern Ireland. BTCV. 2008. (Feb. 4, 2010).http://www.cvni.org/wildflowernursery/wildflowers/primrose
  • Swan Island Dahlias. (Feb. 4, 2010).http://www.dahlias.com/howtogrowdahlias.aspx
  • “Tulip.” Garden Guides. 2010. (Feb. 4, 2010).http://www.gardenguides.com/282-tulip-garden-basics-flower-bulb-liliaceae.html

FAQ

1. What are some popular spring plants?

Some popular spring plants include tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses, and irises. These flowers add vibrant colors and sweet fragrances to gardens and flower beds during the spring season. Other popular spring plants include cherry blossoms, lilacs, and magnolias.

2. How do you plant spring bulbs?

To plant spring bulbs, dig a hole that is three times deeper than the bulb’s height. Place the bulb in the hole with the pointed end facing up. Cover the bulb with soil and water it lightly. You can also add fertilizer to the soil to help the bulb grow. Spring bulbs should be planted in the fall for optimal growth.

3. What are some low-maintenance spring plants?

Some low-maintenance spring plants include pansies, petunias, and snapdragons. These flowers are easy to grow and require minimal care. Other low-maintenance options include daffodils and tulips, which only need to be planted once and will come back year after year.

4. How do you care for spring plants?

Spring plants need to be watered regularly and fertilized as needed. Deadheading, or removing spent flowers, can also encourage new growth and prolong the blooming season. It’s important to protect plants from frost and pests, and to prune them as needed to maintain their shape and health.

5. What are some shade-loving spring plants?

Some shade-loving spring plants include bleeding hearts, hostas, and ferns. These plants thrive in shady areas and add texture and color to gardens. Other shade-loving options include primroses, columbines, and wild geraniums.

6. What are some spring plants that attract butterflies?

Butterfly bushes, milkweed, and coneflowers are popular spring plants that attract butterflies. These plants provide nectar and shelter for butterflies and other pollinators. Other butterfly-attracting options include asters, black-eyed Susans, and phlox.

7. What are some spring plants that bloom early?

Crocuses, snowdrops, and winter aconites are some spring plants that bloom early, sometimes even before the snow has melted. These hardy plants can withstand cold temperatures and add bright colors to gardens and landscapes. Other early-blooming options include hellebores and forsythia.

8. What are some spring plants that can be grown indoors?

Bulbs like hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils can be grown indoors in pots. These plants add color and fragrance to indoor spaces and are easy to care for. Other indoor options include primroses, cyclamens, and African violets.

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