Updated Oct 18, 2022
After a long and cold winter, flowering plants are a major delight, adding a splash of color to lawns and gardens throughout the United States. Read on to learn a bit more about eight of our favorite spring flowers, from tulips to azaleas. With so many varieties, we’re sure you’ll find something that piques your interest.
English bluebells let you know winter is over by carpeting meadows, lawns, and wooded areas with a pleasant pop of blue, purple, or pink in early spring. They’re beautiful perennials with stunning stems and flowers that can reach more than 12 inches tall. They grow best in shaded and damp areas, but also fare well in sunny spots.
Scientific name: Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Growing zone: 5–8
CROCUS Crocus vernus
One of the earliest flowers to pop up each year, crocuses sometimes bloom even when there’s still a bit of snow on the ground. They have a jewel-like shape and can be found in shades of yellow, white, purple, or pink.
They range in size but are often small, which makes them a good option for fitting in among other flowers in a garden. Crocuses thrive in full sun, but will also get along fairly well when grown in partial shade.
Scientific name: Crocus vernus
Growing zone: 3–8
With their cheerful bright yellow, orange, and white trumpet-shaped flowers, daffodils are a crowd favorite come springtime, especially since they’re one of the first blooms to pop up each spring. Frequently seen growing in large clusters throughout most of the U.S., daffodils tend be healthiest when grown in full sun or partial shade. You’ll need to plant them in the fall for springtime enjoyment, though as a perennial, they will continue to bloom year after year.
Scientific name: Narcissus
Growing zone: 4–8
Tulips are another crowd favorite among spring blooms, bringing cheer to many with their rainbow of color options. They grow well in full sun and come in many varieties, making them appealing to an array of gardeners.
Aside from their beauty in gardens and planters, tulips are one of the most popular types of cut flower. Tulips are perennials, but many think of them as more of an annual because it can be hard to get them to bloom year after year.
Scientific name: Tulipa
Growing zone: 4–10
LILAC Syringa vulgaris
With their sweet and strong fragrance and delicate flowers in many shades of violet, lilacs are a popular and well-known spring shrub. They bloom in early spring, bringing cheer to many who’ve grown accustomed to stark winter landscapes. Lilacs tend to do best when exposed to full sun. As a perennial, they’ll bloom every year.
Scientific name: Syringa vulgaris
Growing zone: 4–9
PANSY Viola tricolor var. hortensis
Pansies come in tons of colors and are a hardy plant known to thrive in cooler weather. This makes them a great early spring option for window boxes. Though technically perennials, pansies are often treated as annuals and planted yearly. They grow best in full sun or partial shade.
Scientific name: Viola tricolor var. hortensis
Growing zone: 4–9
Well-loved for their bright pops of color and range of styles, azaleas are popular spring shrubs that are technically part of the rhododendron family. Because they grow in so many sizes and styles, it’s usually fairly easy to find an azalea that fits your landscaping desires.
You can find them in many colors, including pink, white, orange, red, yellow, and purple. They grow well in full sun or partial shade. Because azaleas grow as a bush, it can take a few years for them to come to size and for the first bloom to appear.
Scientific name: Rhododendron
Growing zone: 5–9
EASTERN REDBUD Cercis canadensis
Dazzling all who pass by with a saturated pop of pink, the eastern redbud is an early springtime delight. This tree is eye catching when it blooms (typically in late march), as small buds and clusters of flowers emerge from its branches, twigs, and trunk, adorning the plant with bright hints of color everywhere you look. Eastern redbuds are perennials and grow best in sun or partial shade.
Scientific name: Cercis canadensis
Growing zone: 5–9
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