21 Spring Flowers for Your Garden

Annual Flowers for Spring
Early spring flowers are the surest sign that warmer weather is coming. Our list of early spring flowers will give you ideas for the best flowers to plant in spring. After a long winter, it's time for spring landscaping!

Pansy

Cool weather is just what pansy prefers. It's an annual that gardeners flock to because it's one of the best flowers to plant in spring for early-season containers and window boxes, relishing the variety in petal color as much as the cheery uplifted blooms.

Name: Viola x wittrockiana

Growing conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 10 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Zones: 4-8

Yellow Trillium

Yellow trillium is a true spring plant: Once its flowers die back at the season's end in June, the foliage recedes, too. Even so, its marbled leaves and delicate yellow-white blooms are a welcome sight in April.

Spring flower tip: In a woodland garden, pair it with other shade-lovers.

Name: Trillium luteum

Growing conditions: Shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 16 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Zones: 5-8

Hellebore

Also known as a Lenten rose or Christmas rose, hellebores produce spring flowers of delicate beauty and surprising resilience. In warmer climates, it may even tolerate light frosts, making it one of the best flowers to plant in spring. For unusual flowers, ask at your nursery about double-bloom varieties.

Name: Helleborus niger

Growing conditions: Shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide

Zones: 4-8

Bloodroot

This herbaceous spring perennial flower makes its appearance in March, shooting up white flowers that last until late spring. It's one of the best flowers to plant in spring and a good fit for either a shaded or woodland garden.

Name: Sanguinaria canadensis

Growing conditions: Shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Zones: 3-9

Snowdrop Anemone

Fragrant and festive, the bright clusters of snowdrop anemone work well even in a spring garden that's slightly shaded. Bonus: Once the cooler temperatures of fall arrive, the plant may put on a second bloom show in the garden.

Name: Anemone nemorosa

Growing conditions: Full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Zones: 4-8

Redbud

Flowers get lots of press, but plenty of trees offer springtime feasts for the eyes. One of them is the eastern redbud, a tree that puts on a riotous display of pink beginning in March.

Name: Cercis canadensis

Growing conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 30 feet tall and wide

Zones: 5-9

Lilac

There's no sweeter spring fragrance than the blooms of this cottage-garden favorite. Lilac varieties, one of the best flowers to plant in spring, come in all shapes and sizes, from dwarf shrubs to taller trees.

Spring flower tip: The lilac blooms on old wood, so hold off on pruning until right after the same year's flowering is finished.

Name: Syringa vulgaris

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 20 feet tall and wide

Zones: 4-8

'Acoma' Iris

Pick your favorite color, and there's likely an iris to fill your spring garden need. Most put on their bloom show toward the end of spring, but the plants' tall growth and delectable petal variations make them pretty additions to a variety of garden styles.

Name: Iris 'Acoma'

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 34 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Zones: 3-9

Grape Hyacinth

As much as any other spring bulbs, hyacinths trumpet the arrival of spring. Clustered flowers hang lusciously from sturdy stalks, resembling bundles of grapes; they are one of the most beautiful and best flowers to plant in spring.

Name: Muscari armeniacum

Growing conditions: Full sun or part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide

Zones: 4-8

'Harmony' Iris

As much a late-winter plant as it is an early-spring bloomer, dwarf wild iris pops with deep, wild purple or blue -- a welcome contrast to many of spring's pastel flowers. Cut a clutch of the iris to put in a vase and take the pleasing fragrance of this early spring flower inside.

Name: Iris reticulata 'Harmony'

Growing conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall and wide

Zones: 5-8

'Grand Maitre' Crocus

Crocuses are one of the best flowers to plant in spring, announcing the departure of winter with lovely pink, purple, yellow, or white petals. Planted from corms, crocuses also range in size from delicate blooms to more showy versions.

Name: Crocus 'Grand Maitre'

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall and wide

Zones: 3-8

Daffodil

If it's spring, it's time for a show of daffodils. The bright, jovial spring flower has a range of shapes and sizes, from trumpet to small- and large-cupped to double. Deer find them less palatable than other spring plants, but the foliage should be left to die back on its own to rejuvenate the plants for the following year.

Name: Narcissus selections

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 1 foot tall and wide

Zones: 3-9

Tulip

With innate cheerfulness and beauty, a  tulip, one of the best flowers to plant in spring, lends itself to a variety of garden settings -- from formal border gardens to naturalistic, casual settings. And there's a tulip for every gardener, from diminutive 4-inch-tall specimens to extravagant multifoot-high blooms.

Name: Tulipa selections

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide

Zones: 3-7

Winter Aconite

If the snow has melted, you can be sure that winter aconite is ready to burst forth from the spring garden. Its growth time is limited -- the plant dies back once spring transitions to summer -- but its pretty, open blooms make it a showpiece in a woodland garden.

Name: Eranthis cilicica

Growing conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 3 inches tall and wide

Zones: 4-9

Puschkinia

Inside the blooms of snowdrift is an exquisite surprise: striped flowers that offer surprising color variation. Tall foliage stalks make these a good companion to lower spring growers such as crocus and one of the best flowers to plant in spring.

Name: Puschkinia scilloides

Growing conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide

Zones: 3-9

'Miniature Snowflake' Mock Orange

The delicate blooms of sweet mock orange belie its easy-growing nature. After planting it, you hardly have to do a thing to this compact shrub! In addition to pretty white flowers, the plant supplies an intoxicating fragrance.

Name: Philadelphus 'Miniature Snowflake'

Growing conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 3 feet tall and wide

Zones: 3-7

Bluestar

The rewards of Arkansas bluestar bridge the gap between spring and fall: The plant puts on a restrained color show in spring with star-shape, light blue flowers. Then in the fall, the foliage takes a turn for the brilliant, transforming into a golden-yellow display.

Name: Amsonia hubrictii

Growing conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide

Zones: 5-9

Summer Snowflake

A drooping bell shape distinguishes the diminutive blooms on summer snowflake, making it both delicate and one of the best flowers to plant in spring. In a flowerbed, group several of the plants to create a focal point.

Name: Leucojum aestivum

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide

Zones: 4-9

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Big flowers and oversize foliage ensure the oakleaf hydrangea has a unique presence in the garden. For flower lovers, the late-spring-blooming shrub offers reliable, vigorous growth, but the plant also supplies visual interest throughout the growing season.

Name: Hydrangea quercifolia

Growing conditions: Part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide

Zones: 5-9

'Pink Discovery' Azalea

Its bright color burst is short-lived, but 'Pink Discovery' azalea's solid mass of flamboyant flowers provides a just-right transition from spring to summer bloomers. Pair the shrubs with hellebores, as in this sidewalk border, for an early-season showstopper.

Name: Rhododendron yedoense var. poukhanensis 'Pink Discovery'

Growing conditions: Part shade and moist but well-drained acidic soil

Size: To 10 feet tall and wide

Zones: 5-9

Double Rock Rose

Rock rose makes spring-flower lovers wait until late in the season for blooms, but that extra dose of patience is worth it. Double varieties such as this one are one of the best flowers to plant in spring, with a profusion of petals on low-growing shrubs in both spring and early summer.

Name: Helianthemum 'Annabel'

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 6-8

These annual flowers don't mind cool temperatures and are perfect for early-spring gardens.

Annual Spring Flowers

These annual flowers don't mind cool temperatures and are perfect for early-spring gardens.

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