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15 Best Spring Flowers to Plant for a Beautiful, Blooming Garden

It's possible to get colorful blooms early in the season.

Spring flowers are the best kinds. While we love a summer garden in full bloom, a colorful garden in spring is a sign of warmer weather to come—and a respite from the brutal winter. However, finding hardy plants that hold up to the often unpredictable spring weather can be a challenge. To find out the best things to plant, we asked gardening pros for their favorite spring flowers that bloom early and late in the season. They even shared their favorite ones to plant for cut flowers! Keep reading for everything you need to know about how to grow these spring blooms and what they symbolize.

RELATED: 8 Easy Outdoor Plants That Don't Need Sunlight.

Best Early Spring Flowers

1. Daffodil

Yellow daffodil flowers

Botanical Name: Narcissus
Sunlight Requirements: Full sun

The daffodil is an early spring flower that comes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, so you can pick your favorite of the bunch.

"These grow as bulbs and should be planted in late fall to mid-winter," says Megan Proska, associate vice president of horticulture and collections at the Dallas Arboretum. "Once planted, they are very easy to maintain and only really need water to thrive." They'll even act as perennials in some climates.

If you're looking to gift these, just remember: These beautiful spring blooms symbolize hope, good luck, and fresh starts.

2. Forsythia

Forsythia, yellow spring flowers hedge and green grass

Botanical Name: Forsythia suspensa
Sunlight Requirements: Full sun

Horticulturist and botanical designer Nathan Heinrich says no spring plant flowers earlier or brighter than the forsythia, which is technically a shrub.

"It arrives several weeks before everything else in your garden and is the best source of hope for spring at the end of a long cold winter," he says.

You can cut the branches right before the flowers bloom and bring them inside as a bouquet. Because they're an early arrival, they symbolize anticipation for warmer weather.

3. Snowdrop

white Snowdrop flowers

Botanical Name: Galanthus
Sunlight Requirements: Light to moderate shade

These bulbed, white spring flowers are best known for their unique drooped shape. Plant them in the fall so they can begin to grow over the winter.

"Thriving in cooler climates, this resilient and charming choice prefers partial to full shade and well-drained soil," says Gene Caballero, co-founder of YourGreenPal. "This delicate white flower can often push through the last remnants of snow, symbolizing the onset of spring."

4. Primrose

Primrose flowres in pink, red, yellow, and white

Botanical Name: Primula
Sunlight Requirements: Full sun

The primrose just might add some summer-like color to your late winter garden. These beautiful flowers are typically two-toned in vibrant colors like pink and orange or orange and yellow. "They also have very interesting textured foliage that resembles a cabbage leaf," says Heinrich.

"These hardy annual flowers require nothing but full sun and only a little water," Heinrich adds. "If you're getting enough spring rain, you may not even have to water your colorful primrose flowers."

According to the Ancient Celts, large patches of them are portals to the fairy realm!

5. Hellebore

hellebore blooming in snow
Alex Manders / Shutterstock

Botanical Name: Helleborus
Sunlight Requirements: Partial shade

This perennial can grow from winter to spring, which makes it a great addition for people who want some early spring bloomers in their garden.

"The cup-shaped blooms come in a wide range of colors, from white to nearly black, and in solid, speckled, and striped patterns," says Janet Loughrey of Garden Design. "The foliage remains green year-round except for in colder zones."

Make sure your hellebores get water throughout the hotter months (that's when they're actively growing). In late winter, trim off any old or damaged foliage.

RELATED: Gardening Influencer Reveals the #1 Plant to Give Your Yard Beautiful Color.

Late Spring Blooms

6. Tulip

purple and pink spring tulips in garden

Botanical Name: Tulipa
Sunlight Requirements: Full sun

Tulips take a little longer to pop up in the spring. "These come in a variety of different bulbs, and some are specifically cultivated to be late bloomers," says Proska. "These will not perennialize in climates that are hot in the summer or mild in the winter, so they are treated like an annual."

Similar to daffodils, they don't need much to thrive. They're especially pretty in a bouquet: To many people, they symbolize unconditional love.

7. Iris

blue dutch iris flower

Botanical Name: Iris
Sunlight Requirements: Full sun

There are lots of varieties of the iris, and many of them bloom in late spring. "They are well-known for their eye-catching blossoms, which are available in nearly every hue of the rainbow," says Nathan Thorne, a gardening expert at Handy Flowers.

The flowers are associated with nobility in some European countries. They also represent courage and valor. Plant them in late summer or early fall for best results.

8. Climber Rose

Pink climbing rose "Manita"

Botanical Name: Rosa Banksiae Purezza
Sunlight Requirements: Full or partial sun

Gracie Poulson, co-founder of Grace Rose Farm, says climber roses tend to bloom at this time of year.

"The Rosa Banksiae Purezza, for example, has semi-double blooms that begin growth during [late] spring and repeats well throughout the summer season," she explains. "For this variety to thrive, it needs repeated flowering with either full sun or partial shade lighting. Given its taller nature, it is best to have a spacing of between eight and 10 feet to provide the best chance for substantial growth."

They're a great way to add vertical interest to your garden or to occupy a wall or fence area.

9. Peony

pink peonies in a garden

Botanical Name: Paeony
Sunlight Requirements: Sun with some shade

The peony is a great bloom for late spring that also looks beautiful in a bouquet. "The romantic flowers are fragrant, large, and very showy, occurring in single or double forms in a variety of colors," says Loughrey.

Fortunately, they're fairly easy to grow: You'll need well-draining soil in a spot with full sun, and you should support the stalks with a cage or staking (the blooms can weigh them down and cause breakage).

Before you gift these, be aware they're sometimes associated with shame or apologies.

10. Cranesbill Geranium

Red garden geranium flowers in pot against a stone house

Botanical Name: Geranium spp
Sunlight Requirements: Full to partial sun

Unlike other flowers in the geranium genus, this one acts as a perennial. It blooms from spring to summer and requires full to partial sun and well-drained soil.

The flowers grow to about six inches and come in blue, lavender, purple, white, and pink. They can also spread, which makes them a great way to cover larger areas of your flower bed with just one single flower.

The geranium is the Scorpio birth flower and symbolizes wishes for good health.

RELATED: The Best Natural Insecticides to Help Save Your Garden.

Best Spring Flowers for Bouquets

11. Daisies

daisies in the shape of a heart
Ivan Azimov 007 / Shutterstock

Botanical Name: Bellis Perennis
Sunlight Requirements: Full sun

These popular flowers bloom in early spring. If you grow them in your garden, you'll need full sun and well-draining soil.

"In addition to being the April birth month flower, these happy flowers are a symbol of new beginnings or a fresh start whether it's a new relationship, job, or starting a new phase of life like parenthood," says Alfred Palomeres, vice president of merchandising at 1-800-Flowers. "In fact, gerbera daisies happen to be one of our top five most popular flowers for Mother's Day!"

12. Ranunculus

pink and peach Ranunculus Flowers

Botanical Name: Ranunculus asiaticus
Sunlight Requirements: Full sun

These flowers come in a bunch of colors, and each one has its own symbolism.

"While red represents passion and romance, orange means happiness, and pink and white signify love," says Palomeres. "These delicate flowers bloom in the spring and summer, and their vase life can last from eight days to two weeks if cared for correctly."

They're annuals in most climates and should be planted in the fall for early spring blooms.

13. Hyacinth

pink and purple hyacinth flowers with delicate petals close up

Botanical Name: Hyacinthus
Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade

This flower has a fun star-shaped petal that adds pretty flare to bouquets.

"These fragrant flowers bloom in vibrant pink, blue, and purple hues and symbolize play and games, but their colors can have different meanings," says Palomeres. For example, white ones symbolize love, while pink ones represent joy and playfulness.

They'll start popping out of the ground in early to mid-spring and can be perennials.

14. Francis Meilland Rose

blush rose

Botanical Name: Francis Meilland Rose
Sunlight Requirements: Full sun

For a romantic bouquet, look no further than the rose. Poulson loves the Francis Meilland for spring.

"It's a blush garden rose that is spring-planting and comes with impressive blooms of five to six inches along with glossy foliage that has become a favorite among floral designers and enthusiasts alike to serve as the focal rose for bouquets due to its hardiness and rich tea rose scent," she says.

It needs full sun to thrive and will bless your garden with its sweet scent and repeated blooms if cared for properly.

15. Sweet Pea

pink, purple, red, and white sweetpea flowers in garden

Botanical Name: Lathyrus odoratus
Sunlight Requirements: Full sun

These flowers bloom in late spring. "Their rich fragrance and vibrant colors make them a crowd favorite," says Caballero. "They need a sunny spot, well-drained soil, and a trellis."

They're also the flowers of the April birth month (along with daisies) and symbolize goodbyes or a thank you for a good time. Offer them as a hostess gift for something especially thoughtful.


The best spring flowers for your garden will depend on the level of sunlight and the climate in your area. And before you give any of these blooms as a gift, you'll want to brush up on their symbolism. For more about making your backyard more beautiful, visit Best Life again soon.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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