Spring brings warm weather and beautiful flowers. Celebrate the season by growing fresh color in your yard with vibrant annuals, perennials, roses, bulbs, shrubs and trees.
Spring flowers brighten up garden beds and borders. Use them along a walkway, in containers, hanging baskets or the landscape. You can try a flowering shrub as a specimen plant, or group flowers by color for maximum impact.
Choose a variety of plants with different bloom times, and you can have an ongoing flower show.
This guide will walk you through different types of spring flowers and their care.
Learn About Annuals
Flowering annuals live for a single growing season and are too tender to survive cold weather. Grow annuals for season-long color and replace them when the seasons change. Planting annuals gives the gardener opportunities to experiment with color and texture in the amazing variety of blooming annuals.
Look for popular annuals like impatiens, begonias, petunias and calibrachoa for good looks from early spring to first frost. Some hardy annuals like pansies and snapdragons will even tolerate a bit of frost.
Favorite annual selections include:
- Geraniums are known for their long-lasting blooms in shades of pink, red, white, orange and purple. The flowers we often call geraniums are actually pelargonium, still beautiful, still easy care. 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.
- Popular impatiens are easy-care annuals that come in a variety of bright 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 and planters on your porch, where hungry deer can't snack on their pretty blooms.
- Marigolds are cheerful plants with bright yellow, orange or multi-colored blooms. Grow them in or near your vegetable garden, where their fragrance is said to deter 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.
- For vertical pops of color on a porch or trellis, 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.
- Zinnias, with their red, yellow, orange and other brightly-colored blooms, will draw butterflies to your garden. These fast-growing flowers grow easily from seed directly sown into soil after the last frost in spring. Plant tall zinnias at the back of beds and shorter varieties in borders, in the front of beds or in containers. Cut zinnias, make bouquets and enjoy their blooms in your home. Snip the faded flowers to encourage new growth and keep the plants looking neat. Zinnias thrive in full to partial sun.
Learn more about growing annuals in your garden.
Perennials come back year after year and typically bloom for a few weeks. Similarly, biennials live for two years and also bloom for a short time. Choose a variety of perennial plants with different bloom times, and you have an ongoing flower show, year after year.
Choose perennials that work for your climate and your site, whether sun or shade.
Shade perennials include:
- Hosta is a shade garden favorite with attractive leaves. It spreads easily and can be divided every few years.
- Astilbe features stunning flower plumes that bring color to shady spots in your garden.
- Heuchera, also known as coral bells, is a shady favorite that sprouts dainty blooms that attract hummingbirds.
- Hellebore (Lenten rose) are deer-resistant, long-blooming flowers that boast leathery, evergreen leaves.
- Ferns are a mainstay of the shade garden. They are very hardy and adapt to most garden situations.
If your site gets six or more hours of sunlight each day, select sun-loving perennials. Popular perennials in this category include:
- Phlox is a native perennial found in gardens and woodland meadows. Its vibrant colors and long-lasting blooms make it a popular favorite with gardeners and with pollinators. Garden phlox flowers come in white, pink, rose, red, magenta, purple and blue.
- Monarda, commonly called bee balm, is traditionally grown in the herb garden, but new cultivars are equally at home in the ornamental flower bed.
- Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are perennials that emerge in spring and send out profuse blooms in shades of yellow, red and orange. The blooms last for a day before fading away and another emerges. Many, like Stella d’Oro, are easy to grow in well-draining flower beds and bring pollinators to your garden.
Learn more about caring for perennials.
Roses, are garden classics for a reason, as they are consistently beautiful year after year. There’s a lot to know about roses. Here are the main types of roses:
- Hybrid tea roses are upright shrubs that usually have one rose per stem.
- Landscape roses include shrubs and low-growing groundcovers. Easy to grow ‘Knock Out’ roses are in this category.
- Tree roses are grafted plants. The roses grow on top of a long stem.
- Floribundas bear clusters of roses.
- Grandifloras are a cross between floribundas and hybrid teas.
Most roses are best planted in early spring, but some can also be planted during the summer growing season. When planting, protect them by putting a two or three-inch layer of mulch or pine straw over their roots.
The more sun they get, the more blooms roses can produce. Grow them where they’ll get at least six hours of sunlight a day.
Radiant tulips and daffodils are spring gardening favorites, and the do-ahead gardener’s secret, because they’re planted in fall. A long winter’s sleep helps these spring blooming bulbs gather energy to put on a springtime show. If you’re an instant gratification kind of gardener, look for pots of forced blooms from daffodils, tulips, fragrant hyacinth and more in the Garden Center.
You can still plant bulbs in spring for summertime flowers. The summer-flowering bulb category includes some of the most popular annual blooms, like tuberous begonias, cannas, dahlias, gladioli, lilies and caladiums. These summer-flowering bulbs are tender perennials that can't survive a cold, snowy winter or any area where the ground freezes. They are typically grown as annuals in the warm seasons and dug up in the fall, then stored indoors over the winter.
Learn more about planting spring-flowering bulbs.
Plant Shrubs and Trees
Bring flowering shrubs and trees into your landscape for big-scale blooms.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 multi-colors and grow them as accent plants or in beds.
- 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.
- Hydrangeas are woody shrubs that are often treated like perennials due to their spectacular blooms and the fact that, like many other perennials, they need a little pruning for tidiness and blooms. Hydrangeas can be grown in-ground and in containers. They are deer-resistant and tougher than their delicate blooms indicate.
- 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.
Popular flowering trees include redbud, lilac, magnolia and dogwood, among many others.
For example, 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 flowering ornamental trees in fall or late winter to give roots an opportunity to establish before the stress of the growing season. Select a full sun site for most flowering trees, and make sure the soil is well-draining. You can amend poor-draining soils with organic compost mixed in with the native soil. Water newly planted trees regularly through the first years in your landscape.
Grow Edibles for Flowers
Dial in on a trend that edible gardeners have known for years – vegetable and herb flowers are beautiful as well as tasty. Fragrant lavender is probably the best example of an herb that rewards with a lovely bloom. Plant lavender near a doorway or driveway so you get the magnificent fragrance as you pass by. Learn more about growing lavender.
In the Garden Center, look for strawberry plants with big white or red flowers that will become sweet berries in your garden. In the hottest days of summer, you’ll be pleased to see okra blooms. These relatives of hibiscus send up pretty blooms that become okra pods. Grow okra from seed; it takes 50 to 65 days for seeds to mature to flower stage.
Look, too, for patio styles of popular vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. Eggplants produce a pretty purple bloom before setting luscious fruit. Learn more about growing edibles as ornamentals in a foodscape.
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.
Looking for a plant, tool or other item? Use The Home Depot mobile app to search by voice or image.