Skip to main content

Plant these flowers to have the earliest spring blooms

April showers bring May flowers, but what if you can’t wait until May? Or April, for that matter? What flowers can you plant to get beautiful flowers as early as possible? These questions and more are answered, just for you!

What is the earliest blooming spring flower?

Three snowdrop plants outdoors

There are several flowers you can plant for early blooms, and some that begin blooming in late winter. Snowdrops, reticulated iris, and winter jasmine all put out blooms in late winter, making them stand out among the rest as early risers. Snowdrops have small flowers with white, oblong petals. Reticulated iris have blue or purple flowers and curving petals. Winter jasmine is a shrub that looks similar to forsythia, an early spring shrub, with little, bright yellow flowers dotting the branches.

If you’re looking for the first flowers to bloom after the last snow melts, then you’ll likely want crocus, hellebore, or pansies. Crocus are small, cup-shaped flowers, typically blue, purple, or white. Hellebore have flowers that, interestingly, face downward and come in a wide array of purples. Pansies come in almost any color or combination of colors.

What flowers bloom in spring?

Many flowers begin blooming in spring, although not all do. There are a few flowers that have become almost synonymous with spring. Aside from those listed above, there are daffodils, tulips, camellias, hyacinth, and primrose.

Daffodils in particular are known, especially throughout the American South, as the flowers of spring. Although they aren’t the earliest bloomers, they mark the beginning of spring for many people with their cheery yellow blooms.

Daffodils in sunlight

Tulips come in a variety of colors, from classic red to unconventional parrot tulips, and are a cornerstone of Mother’s Day.

Hyacinth comes in blue, pink, and yellow, and the grape hyacinth, which shares a name but is not related, is a common purple wildflower that blooms in early spring, as well.

Camellias bloom in stunning reds, elegant whites, and soft pinks. Primrose is a delicate, round flower that typically has two or even three colors per blossom.

When should you plant flowers to bloom in spring?

The majority of plants can be planted in the fall and will lay dormant through the winter to bloom in spring. The exact time will depend on the climate where you live. In general, you want to plant them just as the weather begins cooling. If they’re planted when it is still warm, they may begin sprouting before winter, and the frosts will likely kill them. However, if you wait too long, it will be too cold and the ground too hard for planting. Make sure your plants are nice and warm with a layer of leaf mulch, and all you have to do is wait!

Purple and blue pansies outdoors

In general, seeds need to be just an inch or two under the surface. Bulbs, due to their bigger size, need to be planted an inch or two deeper than seeds, and larger bulbs may need to be planted another inch or so below that. Planting mature plants depends much more on the exact plant you have, but, in general, you want a hole the same depth as the root ball and twice as wide.

If you’re worried about your plants surviving the winter, you can always start them inside and transfer them to your garden in the spring. All you need is a container a few inches across for each seed, and 5 to 6 inches across for each bulb. Plant your seeds or bulbs as you would in the garden, make sure they get plenty of sun, supplementing with artificial light when necessary, and keep an eye on the soil. Seeds can’t store water for very long, so they need soil that is consistently moist but not damp.

Bulbs have a little more storage capacity, but they still need a fair amount of water. You can create a humidity dome or a mini greenhouse, made out of clear plastic, for your seeds and bulbs. This traps humidity and heat, while allowing in sunlight. It essentially tricks the plants into thinking it’s already spring!

So now comes the fun part: Picking what flowers you’ll plant! Which ones were your favorite? Which really spoke to you? No matter which you choose, you can’t possibly go wrong with these phenomenal early bloomers.

Looking for more inspiration? Plan a four-season garden with us and learn about the things you must consider during the whole process!

Cayla Leonard
Cayla Leonard is a writer from North Carolina who is passionate about plants.  She enjoys reading and writing fiction and…
Kokedama is an easy and elegant gardening trend that you can try today
This method from Japan might be a new gardening technique that'll work for you
Three small plants growing in kokedama moss balls on a blue background

There are many unique and inspiring gardening trends and techniques from around the world that you can incorporate into your own garden. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to learn about these techniques, where they come from, and how to try them out for yourself. One gardening method that’s becoming more popular in the U.S. is kokedama. Curious about what kokedama is or eager to give it a try? Here’s our simple guide to this fascinating gardening method.

What is kokedama?
Kokedama is a traditional Japanese gardening method related to bonsai gardening. Dating back centuries, this method involves growing plants in a ball of soil that is wrapped in moss and bound with some form of twine, string, or wire. The plant is rooted in the soil, the moss keeps the soil together and helps keep it moist, and the twine keeps the moss in place.

Read more
Zone 10a planting guide: Here’s what you need to know about what you can plant
Plants and their growing schedules for this zone
Woman reading book by plants

Consisting of the southernmost parts of the U.S., zone 10a is a rich region for a wide range of plants. While you might need to keep an eye out for your tender herbs and cold-hardy plants, many flowers, succulents, and plants can thrive in zone 10a's warm temperature outdoors. Below, we've put together a zone 10a planting guide to break down all that you need to know about this welcoming environment for nourishing foliage life.

What is a climate zone? 
With the Plant Hardiness Zone Map, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has divided the country into 13 different climate zones based on average annual minimum temperature ranges. Zone 1 has the coolest temperatures, while zone 13 has the warmest ones.

Read more
Can you grow plants in water beads? Here’s what you need to know
Find out what common houseplants you can grow this way
A tulip in a vase with water beads

Keeping your plants healthy includes keeping them hydrated, but what is the best way to do that? There’s traditional watering, automated watering systems for when you’re out of town, and even water globes. One option you may have heard about is growing plants in water beads. Is this really an effective way to keep your plants hydrated, though, or are the potential risks more troublesome than they’re worth? This guide to gardening with water beads will answer all your questions.

What are water beads?
Water beads are gel spheres that come in a variety of sizes and colors. They absorb water and slowly release it over time, which is why some gardeners use them to keep their plants watered. Water beads can be made from a variety of materials, including both naturally occurring and manufactured substances.

Read more