By Carolyn Plank, Master Gardener
Deep in the doldrums of winter, everyone is anxious for spring weather to arrive so that,
once again, they can dig in the dirt planting flowers and vegetables. To entice us even more, we’re seeing bulb plants in the stores for sale so we can enjoy them at home
until spring finally arrives. In this article, I’ll talk about some of the most popular
spring blooming plants for your garden.
CROCUS is one of the first bulb plants to peak its head up in early spring. They are a very reliable plant and frost tolerant. They grow 3-6” tall and are available in multiple colors in shades of purple, orange, pink, and white. They like full sun to part shade and prefer a slightly neutral soil pH of 6.0-7.0, but well-draining soil is very important.
DAFFODILS are also an early spring plant best known for their bright yellow trumpet shaped flower. They grow in clumps and unlike tulip bulbs, they have little appeal to wildlife. Planting them amongst snowdrops, hyacinths and tulips provides a wonderful array of colors. They tolerate full sun to part shade with a slightly neutral pH soil (6.0-7.0).
DWARF IRIS is a fragrant miniature plant that blooms early in the season and grows to about 6-8”. They bloom in two waves in various shades of dark to light blue, and purple making them ideal for borders. They prefer full sun to part shade, good soil drainage, and spread through underground rhizomatous stems filling the garden with beautiful spring blooms.
HYACINTH loves full sun to part shade in a well-drained soil with pH close to neutral (7.0). This plant is well suited to Zones 4-8 and range in height from 6-12”. This plant has a very fragrant flower with tiny blooms resembling bunches of grapes.
TULIPS bloom early in the spring season along with daffodils and crocus. They do best in full sun and well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-6.5. Colors include orange, pink, purple, red, white, yellow and numerous multi colors that grow to 12-18” tall.
EASTER LILY – Lilies are very flamboyant with beautiful flowers and an intensely sweet fragrance. Easter lilies are white in color although there are numerous types of lilies such as Asiatic and Oriental hybrids that come in many colors. The lily is an upright perennial that ranges in height from 2-8’ tall. Don’t forget, once that easter lily is done blooming, cut the stems down and plant the bulb in the garden so you can enjoy it again next spring. Lilies grow best in slightly alkaline (6.5-7.0) moist, well-drained soil high in organic matter.
Fall is the time to plant the bulbs for most of these plants, so, if you haven’t planted any of these spring delights in your garden yet, I hope you are inspired to do so this year. Then look forward to a rainbow of color in the spring.