8 Shrubs to Plant Now for Spring Blooms
Planting shrubs in the fall is by far the best time. Plants begin to pull energy downward to the roots. The soil temperatures are beginning to cool down which will trigger the plants to grow roots. Watering requirements are greatly reduced this time of year due to the cool rains and the lower angle of the sun which allows moisture to stay in the soil longer.
Fall is also a great time to start to think about spring flowers. Many tree and shrubs set flower buds for the spring during the cool fall days. Others will flower on new growth that bursts from the base when the temperatures begin to warm.
We’ve selected eight of our favorite plants that are perfect for planting in the fall and will reward you in the spring with an abundance of colorful blooms.
Bridal Wreath Spirea
Bridal Wreath Spirea is loaded with stunning clusters of white flowers which cover the branches in early spring before the leaves emerge. It has clean dark green leaves throughout the season. The foliage turns an outstanding deep purple in the fall when the days begin to cool. Bridal Wreath has been around for many years and has proven itself time and time again. We are very proud to be able to sell this underutilized spring blooming shrub.
Spring Blooming Camellias
Spring blooming camellias provide floral color in late winter and very early spring when not much else is blooming. Large established plants will bloom over a long period and even carpet the ground with petals. They produce many large flower buds, which open at different times so an extended bloom of 6 or more weeks is common. Our favorite, of course, is Camellia Kramer’s Supreme but there are many others available. In our area, it’s not uncommon to see spring-blooming camellia flowers peeking out through the snow. In addition to the flowers, camellias can be utilized as a formal hedge.
Lilacs bring fresh scents and beautiful color to any area of the garden. Lilac Flowers burst forth in the mid to late spring and we offer newer varieties like the Lilac Sensation, which will continue to re-bloom through the early to mid summer as well. Butterflies and hummingbirds will be attracted to any of the varieties you choose. Not only are the flowers of Lilac Shrubs great to look at outside, but bring them in and place into a flower arrangement for home interior decorations.
Physocarpus or Ninebark
Physocarpus is an easy way to introduce spring blooms into the home garden. As an added bonus they also add colored foliage as well. Physocarpus is fast growing and has few if any, pest problems. In late spring it blooms with white button-like flowers that accent the leaves nicely. Use it as an accent by itself or mixed in as part of a mixed border. Physocarpus may even be used as a cut flower in arrangements.
Deutzia are commonly grown as ornamental plants. Deutzia is hardy shrubs with white or pink flowers in the spring. They feature masses of gorgeous blooms and provide wonderful fall color. They are deer resistant as well Deutzias typically bloom in April and May.
Mahonia is easily grown in any garden and is full of desirable traits. It is one of the few shade plants that provides a full year of interest. In the spring fragrant flowers of bright yellow burst forth often before even crocus. In summer clusters of blueberries forms from the fading flowers. Fall color is amazing, and tough green winter foliage which stays evergreen. Hummingbirds, robins, mockingbirds and other berry-eating birds feast on the fruit. A thicket of Mahonia can provide an ideal sheltered spot for nesting songbirds. Bees and butterflies are enthusiastic pollinators of this plant in the spring.
Pieris, also known as Lily of the Valley, is a wonderfully versatile shrub that flowers from late winter to early spring. Flower colors range from white, pink and rosy-red. When the flowers fade the show is far from over. New foliage emerges in colors ranging from bronzy-pink to fiery-red. The foliage color can last for 3 to 4 weeks and then turn green. This easy to grow plant is available in many different varieties, so you're certain to find one that suits your taste or need. It’s easy to care for, long-lived, and prefers partial shade and acidic soil.
Fothergilla Mt Airy is a deciduous shrub with deep bluish-green leaves that have a spectacular range of fall color. Showy, fragrant, bottlebrush-like, white flowers appear in early spring before the foliage emerges. A beautiful and little-used addition to the landscape in the full sun to semi-shaded mixed shrub borders. Fothergilla Mt. Airy can also be used as a low growing hedge plant which requires very little in terms of pruning.
So there it is, a list of our favorite late-winter and spring blooming shrubs. All of these have been selected to do well when planted in the fall and will reward you with a myriad of colors in the spring.
Until next time see you in the garden,
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