- Planting Flowers
Best Perennial Flowers for Spring Gardens
Purple and Yellow Bearded Iris
I love flowers, the more the better! When we moved out to the country I had all the room I needed to plant all the flowers I wanted and I went crazy! I created more flowerbeds than I could keep up with. I knew that I wanted to plant mostly perennials so I would not have to re-plant each year. I spent hundreds of dollars planting flowers that I really knew nothing about. After several years of trial and error, and learning a lot, I have found several perennial flowers that are not only hardy, but also very easy to care for. These are what I consider to be the best perennial flowers for spring gardens. They are hardy plants that need little care.
These are one of the first flowers to bloom in spring and are just about the easiest flower there is to grow. They grow from bulbs and are extremely hardy. They come in colors from white and yellow to a deep orange. You want to plant your bulbs early enough in fall that the roots will take hold before the first freeze. You should plant your bulbs about 3-4 inches apart in a hole that is about 2 times deeper than the height of the bulb. Plant it with the pointed end up. Cover with soil, pat down and water. Daffodils prefer full sun, but as they will bloom long before your trees have put on leaves, planting them under trees is not a problem. Dead head the blooms once they fade, but do not remove them stem as it continues to feed the plant. Once the leaves turn yellow or brown, you can them snip the off.
Tulips are another early bloomer and come in every color you can think of from white to black. They too, are grown from bulbs and need to be planted a few weeks before the first frost. With tulips, there are “early” bloomers, “mid” bloomers and “late” bloomers. You may want to stagger these different bloomers in order to have a continuous blooming tulip bed for a longer period of time. Tulips need to be planted in a sunny location. Plant the bulbs about 6 inches apart and about 2 inches below the ground for best results. You will want to remove the bloom just as it starts to fade. Leave the stem, as it will continue to feed the plant. Once the leaves have turned yellow, you can gently pull them off or snip them off if you prefer. It you leave the leaves alone, it won't be long before the simply fall off.
Hyacinth are one of the most popular spring flowering bulbs. Their most common colors are pink, purple and white. Hyacinth are a very fragrant flower and many are grown indoors in early spring for their fragrance. They are low growing plants and many people plant them in planters outside about “sniffing” range, so they can enjoy their fragrance as they walk by. Plant Hyacinth 6-8 inches deep, pointed end up and space plants about six inches apart. They can be planted in rows, or in groups. Just be sure not to let them get over crowded. Again, being bulbs, the best time to plant Hyacinth are a few weeks before the first freeze, in order for the roots to have time to take hold. Cover with soil, give one good watering and wait for spring. Once the blooms have faded, snip the bloom as close to the tip of the stem as possible as the stem will continue to feed the plant. Once the leaves have turned yellow or brown, you can snip them off, but they normally just fall off on their own.
Crocus need very little care and are always one of the very first flowers to pop up even before spring has actually sprung. I have seen them blooming while surrounded in snow! Plant them in “drifts” in sun to part shade. The need to be plated about 3-4 inches apart and about 3-6 inches deep. They are hardy from zones 4-8. The most likely reason for crocus to not do well is over-watering. They like water in spring and fall, but you can actually over water them in summer, so don’t plant them near other plants that you will be watering often.
The Bearded Iris is another perennial flower that blooms in spring, but a little later than the crocus, tulips and daffodils. They grow from rhizomes instead of bulbs. Bearded Iris come in many different colors and their leaves will add beauty to your flower garden even after the flowers have stopped blooming. The best time to plant your rhizomes are in early fall. Again, you want to be sure that the roots have time to take hold before the first freeze. Do not plant iris rhizomes deep. They need to be planted so the top of the rhizome is just below the ground. These iris need at least half a day of sun and good drainage. If they get too much water, it will cause the rhizome to rot. Bearded Iris need to be planted about 6 inches apart. They look beautiful in clumps but over crowding can cause them to stop blooming. You may need to thin them out from time to time as they put on new plants. Iris are very easy to transplant.
Creeping Phlox is also known as Moss Phlox. It is a very hardy plant that blooms early spring. Phlox should be planted in full sun, but in really hot regions, it may need some afternoon shade. If you are planting by seed, you will want to plant before the last frost in spring. Plant you seeds approximately 7-8 inches apart and about 1 inch deep. Keep the soil moist until they have had time to establish their roots. You may want to trim them back or “dead head” them after their first bloom to encourage new growth. This is an excellent plant to have “spilling” over the edge of raised flowerbeds.
I hope I have given you some useful information here about the best perennial flowers to grow in your spring garden. These plants are all hardy plants they need little care. These perennials should be hardy for zones 5-8. Happy planting!
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