Buying Guide

Types of Spring Flowers

Flower Types
Pots of spring flowers on a patio with a love seat and chairs with blue cushions.

Annuals are plants that bloom for one growing season and then die. Perennials come back year after year but typically bloom for just a few weeks. Biennials live for two years and also bloom for a short time. Choose a variety of plants with different bloom times, and you can have an ongoing flower show. 


Spring flowers brighten up garden beds and borders. Use them along a walkway, in containers, hanging baskets or the landscape. Try a flowering shrub as a specimen plant. Grow a group of flowers in two or three colors for a big impact.  


Click to learn more about many types of flowers on our Garden Center page.


Tip: Most of these flowers will thrive when fertilized in early spring with all-purpose plant food. Some plants, such as roses, azaleas and camelllias, do best with fertilizer labeled especially for them. 

Gardenias
A container of gardenias beside a brick wall.

Gardenias, known for their sweet perfume and glossy foliage, are ideal for large containers or shrub gardens. Their white blooms are lovely for cut flower arrangements. These shrubs bloom in late spring through fall and like partial sun and acidic soil. 


Gardenias grow four to six feet tall and should be given some room on all sides. They’re deer resistant.

Azaleas
A bright pink azalea bush.

Azaleas are flowering shrubs with clusters of white, pink, coral, red, purple, yellow, lilac, orange or bicolored flowers. They won't bloom in full shade, so give them dappled sun or morning sun with afternoon shade. They like acidic soil with lots of organic matter.  


Once established, azaleas need only occasional waterings to keep their soil moderately moist. Plant them in beds for a splash of color. Reblooming varieties will flower in spring and again in summer or even into fall.

Rhododendrons
A purple rhododendron in a green lawn in front of a white house.

Rhododendrons open eye-catching blooms in late spring. They like partial shade and staying cool during the heat of summer. Like azaleas, they have shallow root systems, so mulch them with two or three inches of pine needles or chipped bark to help keep the soil moist and prevent weeds. 

Camellias
Red and pink camellias.

Camellias have colorful flowers and glossy green foliage. These shrubs bloom mid-fall through spring and need morning sun with filtered afternoon shade. They also need slightly acidic soil that drains easily. They can't tolerate wet roots. Feed them in the spring with an azalea or camellia fertilizer and again in mid-summer. 


Look for camellias in white, pink, red and multicolors and grow them as accent plants or in beds. 

Butterfly Bushes
A large butterfly bush with white blooms.

Butterfly bushes sport long, arching stems of flowers that butterflies can't resist. Prune them in early spring and keep them well watered as the weather warms. Butterfly bushes need sun and fertile, well-draining soil and may grow six to 12 feet tall. 

Roses
A rose bush with red blooms.

Roses, are garden classics. While they're best planted in early spring, they can also be planted during the growing season. Put a two or three-inch layer of mulch or pine straw over their roots.


The more the sun they get, the more blooms roses can produce. Grow them where they’ll get at least six hours of sunlight a day.

Marigolds
A bed or orange and yellow marigolds.

Marigolds are cheeful plants with bright yellow, orange or multi-colored blooms. Grow them in or near your vegetable garden, where their fragrance helps deter insect pests from snacking. 


These fast-growing annuals are sold as dwarf or full-sized varieties. Give marigolds full to partial sun and remove their faded flowers to encourage new blooms from spring through fall.

Impatiens
Buckets of white, pink and salmon-colored impatiens.

Popular impatiens are easy-care annuals that come in a variety of colors. Ideal for beds, borders or containers, impatiens bloom in partial shade, although some types can take full sun. Check the plant's tag or label to find out. Try planting impatiens in hanging baskets on your porch, where hungry deer can't snack on their pretty 

blooms.

Zinnias
A bed of purple, orange, yellow and red zinnias.

Zinnias, with their red, yellow, orange and other brightly-colored blooms, will draw butterflies to your garden. 

 

Plant tall zinnias at the back of beds and shorter varieties in borders, in the front of beds or in containers. The cut flowers will last a long time in vases when their leaves are removed. Snip the faded flowers to encourage new growth and keep the plants looking neat. Give them full to partial sun.

Geraniums
A hanging basket of pink geraniums on a porch.

Geraniums are known for their long-lasting blooms in shades of pink, red, white, orange and purple. Attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, they're great for mixed gardens and containers. Plant them in full sun and keep withered blooms picked off for more flowers.

Morning Glory
A morning glory vine with blue flowers with pink throats and white eyes.

For vertical color, add morning glory vines to your yard or garden. With their vibrant flowers and lush, green leaves, morning glories add spring color to arbors, fences, trellises or mailboxes. 


Morning glories are easy to grow from seed, but wait until the soil is reliably warm, or about 64 degrees Fahrenheit, before sowing them outside. Give them a spot with at least six hours of sun a day. 

Dogwood Trees
A pink dogwood tree in bloom.

Dogwood trees have beautiful pink or white blossoms in the spring and green summertime foliage that changes colors in the fall. They also produce berries late in the season that attract hungry songbirds. 


Plant dogwood trees in rich soil in a location that gets plenty of morning sun and afternoon shade. Most are hardy in USDA Zones 5 to 9.

Spring flowers add beauty to your home. Plant them in containers for your balcony, patio or deck or use them in your garden. Mix annuals, perennials and biennials with different bloom times for a long-lasting display. Grow trees, shrubs and bedding plants like impatiens and marigolds, and you'll have color until frost.


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