Originally Published on May 1, 2021. Last Updated on November 3, 2022.
Spring is a beautiful time to put on your gloves, head to your garden, and spend time reconnecting with nature. Once you’re out in the yard, take a moment to celebrate the season’s arrival with gorgeous spring-blooming flowers. It’s important to plant your early spring flowers between late summer and late fall, so they bloom on time.
If you weren’t prepared, that’s okay! There’s always next season. Regardless, we’re here to show a mix of the best early spring flowers, as well as what to plant in the spring for summer blooms.
1. Tuberous Begonia
Add color and variety to your yard with begonias. There are many varieties of this annual, but if you want to wow your neighbors, tuberous begonias offer large blooms with neon shades of red, yellow, orange, and white. These begonias thrive in the shade, but they also require morning and late afternoon sunlight, so you have to be strategic with their placement. Whether you plant them in containers or hanging baskets, be sure to grow tuberous begonias in rich, well-drained soil.
2. Great Blue Lobelia
From late summer to early fall, the great blue lobelia forms a flower spike covered in brilliant violet flowers that grow up to three feet tall. Its beauty attracts pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds, so make sure you and your kids are always on the lookout for them! The great blue lobelia flourishes in medium to wet clay soils in light shade, but loam and sand soils also work well. While these plants are gorgeous, they are unforgiving if you don’t care for them properly. You may want to choose another flower if your busy work schedule prevents you from tending to them.
At first glance, lantana plants may not look like exciting early spring flowers. But once that powerful summer sunshine hits, they provide a vibrant color palette of red, orange, yellow, purple, white, and pink. These fragrant, full-sun flowers thrive in well-drained soil that’s slightly acidic and needs to be watered thoroughly. Lantana plants are commonly grown in hanging baskets, but they also work well in container gardens. No matter where you choose to plant them, ensure they get plenty of sunlight.
Scaevola — also known as fan flower — is a fantastic annual for spring because once the dog days of summer arrive, they thrive and look beautiful. After all, scaevola plants are native to Australia, so they can handle dry, hot climates. These dainty fan-shaped flowers come in purple, blue, pink, and white. You have several growing options since scaevola plants look gorgeous in window boxes, hanging baskets, containers, or garden beds. Make sure to put them in a location with well-drained soil that receives six to eight hours of sunlight.
Crocuses are one of the earliest spring bloomers. These hardy bulbs pop up when snow is still on the ground. For this to happen, you need to plant crocuses in the early fall. But once they bloom, they bring a delicate violet color to your garden. For best results, place them in well-draining soil where they receive full sun. Be aware that rodents love these early spring flowers, so try to keep them out of their reach.
6. Lily of the Valley
A popular wedding flower, the lily of the valley is a lovely perennial boasting white, bell-shaped blooms and a unique fragrance that signals spring’s start. It’s a low-maintenance plant that thrives in the shade. Lily of the valley grows fast and can quickly take over an area, so don’t have them too close to another shade perennial. Schedule to plant these flowers in late fall for an early to mid-spring arrival.
Daffodils are a springtime staple. Their bright yellow flowers bring a cheeriness to your yard while also warding off deer. They’re long-lasting, too. When you plant daffodils in early fall, you can enjoy them for years. There are over 13,000 varieties of daffodils, so you’re bound to find one that suits your home. They flourish in rich, well-drained soil with full sun exposure.
Tulips offer a classic springtime beauty with their long, broad leaves and cup-shaped bulbs. They come in various colors, including red, violet, white, yellow, and more. For a spring arrival, plant them during fall in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Also, tulips are a tasty treat for rodents, so be sure to put them in elevated containers or layered underneath less appealing bulbs like daffodils.
Moonflowers are an easy-to-grow annual that brings a light, airy fragrance to your yard. When you plant moonflowers in early spring, they bring a soft white glow on warm summer evenings thanks to their large, trumpet-like flowers. They’re drought-tolerant and deer-resistant. Moonflowers are also good for containers, just as long as you plant them in a spot with full sun in loose, well-drained soil.
If you want to grow a plant from seeds, marigolds are one of the easiest flowers to do so. When you plant marigolds in spring, they’ll bring a gorgeous mix of copper, brass, and gold hues to your yard in the summertime. Marigolds flourish in full sunshine. You can also grow them in virtually any soil, but fertile, well-drained dirt tends to be the best.
When it comes to planting, lilacs are a versatile flower. It’s best to plant them in late fall before the ground freezes, but you can also plant lilacs in early spring after the ground thaws. Once established, lilacs can live for years on end. Their sweet aroma, heart-shaped leaves, and purple and pink colors provide a pleasant atmosphere in your yard. Ensure they receive full sun in moist, well-drained soil.
Lupines are towering flowers that can grow anywhere between 20 to 40 inches tall, depending on the species. They make a beautiful vertical accent thanks to their vibrant purple, pink, and white spikes. Pollinators also love lupines, so expect to see critters like bees and butterflies. The planting time is flexible, too. You can plant them in late fall or early winter for a spring bloom, or you can plant them in spring four to six weeks before the last frost date for a summer arrival.
13. Celandine Poppy
The celandine poppy is one of the earliest blooming spring flowers and gives your home a colorful yellow and orange glow all season long. These plants grow well in moist, well-drained soil with shade or part shade. Celandine poppies are also low-maintenance plants when planted in this type of soil, which may come in handy with your busy work schedule.
Fritillaria is a perfect flower to plant if you’re looking for an exotic accent in your yard. These fall-planted flowers have attractive bell-shaped blooms that arrive around the same time as tulips and daffodils. They also come in a wide variety of colors, so you can easily find ones for your yard. Be sure they receive full sun or light shade in rich, well-drained soil.
Known for their intense fragrance and star-shaped flowers, hyacinths bring bold shades of purple, white, peach, orange, and many other colors to your home. These gorgeous spring-blooming flowers also attract butterflies, giving your yard an idyllic springtime setting. Make sure your hyacinths receive plenty of sun in rich, well-drained soil.
Whatever flowers you decide to plant in your yard, they’ll bring instant curb appeal to your home. If you’re unsure about anything, you can always go to your local nursery. The staff will know what’s best to grow in your area and provide helpful advice along the way.
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