Special Gift Offer
URL:
http://www.gardengatemagazine.com/newsletter/2018/03/20/5-out-of-the-ordinary-spring-flowers/
Share:

5 out-of-the-ordinary spring flowers

By: Stephanie Polsley Bruner
These 5 great spring plants aren’t the typical flowers that you’ll find in every yard on the block.

No matter when spring starts for you, it’s a good idea to plan for several waves of color, from early spring through early summer, to keep your garden looking gorgeous. Check the bloom times on these plants as you’re reading to figure out how to fit them into the spring bloomers that you already have. Try something new and fresh this spring!

Checkered lily (Fritillaria meleagris)

Though you may have to kneel down to see it, charming checkered lily's bell-shaped flowers have a unique checkerboard pattern, which will make up for its faintly skunky fragrance. It is a darling addition to the woodland garden.

Growing tips

Checkered lily grows best in part sun, in moist soil that drains well. Adding compost will give the soil plenty of fertilizer for these plants. In addition, plant the bulbs sideways so the hollowed dip in the top doesn't hold water and rot.

Type Bulb Blooms White, pink, purple, dark red, in mid- to late spring Light Part sun Soil Moist, well-drained Size 9 to 12 in. tall, 3 to 6 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9 

Corydalis (Corydalis solida)

Clusters of ferny foliage enhance the bright flowers of this mid- to late spring bloomer. Plant them close to hostas, whose summer foliage will grow to cover bare spots left when corydalis finishes its lovely spring show.

Growing Tip

Corydalis will go dormant in the heat of summer, so just snip off any dead foliage and remember where they're planted so you don't accidentally dig them up. Divide bulbs every couple of years while they are dormant to maintain healthy plants.

Type Bulbous perennial Blooms Pink, purple or near-red, mid- to late spring Light Part shade Soil Moist, well-drained  Size 6 to 12 in. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8 

Reticulated iris (Iris reticulata)

Petite reticulated iris are one of the first spring flowers to bloom. They look especially striking planted in masses, and also make great cut flowers.

Growing tip

Reticulated iris are drought tolerant, making them ideal for rock gardens. Foliage dries up and bulbs go dormant shortly after they bloom. Though not usually long-lived, dividing the bulbs and replanting after they go dormant will give these iris a longer life.

Type Bulb Blooms Blue to purple, yellow or white, early spring Light Full sun to part shade Soil Well-drained Size 3 to 6 in. tall, 2 to 3 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9 

Eastern pasque flower (Pulsatilla patens)

Early-blooming eastern pasque flower's pollen-laden flowers provide much-needed sustenance for spring pollinators. This native prairie flower is perfect for rock gardens and meadows.

Growing Tip

Eastern pasque flower tolerates any soil, but especially thrives in rocky, dry, poor conditions in full sun. In warmer zones, a little afternoon shade can be beneficial.

Type Perennial Blooms Shades of blue, white and yellow in early spring Light Full sun Soil Well-drained Size 6 to 12 in. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 7 

California poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Native to the western United States, California poppy is a bright addition to meadows and cottage gardens. They’ll often self-sow, so you can enjoy a colorful surprise throughout your garden.

Growing Tip

California poppies love full sun, poor soil, minimal water and cool temperatures, so no need to fertilize or irrigate them. They’ll grow as a perennial in warm zones, but in colder zones grow them as an annual, direct seeding them in the garden in very early spring.

Type Perennial Blooms Orange, yellow, white, pink, peach or red midspring to early summer Light Full sun to part shade Soil Well-drained Size 12 to 18 in. tall, 4 to 6 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 6 to 11

Checkered lily (Fritillaria meleagris)

Though you may have to kneel down to see it, charming checkered lily's bell-shaped flowers have a unique checkerboard pattern, which will make up for its faintly skunky fragrance. It is a darling addition to the woodland garden.

Growing tips

Checkered lily grows best in part sun, in moist soil that drains well. Adding compost will give the soil plenty of fertilizer for these plants. In addition, plant the bulbs sideways so the hollowed dip in the top doesn't hold water and rot.

Type Bulb Blooms White, pink, purple, dark red, in mid- to late spring Light Part sun Soil Moist, well-drained Size 9 to 12 in. tall, 3 to 6 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9 

Eastern pasque flower (Pulsatilla patens)

Early-blooming eastern pasque flower's pollen-laden flowers provide much-needed sustenance for spring pollinators. This native prairie flower is perfect for rock gardens and meadows.

Growing Tip

Eastern pasque flower tolerates any soil, but especially thrives in rocky, dry, poor conditions in full sun. In warmer zones, a little afternoon shade can be beneficial.

Type Perennial Blooms Shades of blue, white and yellow in early spring Light Full sun Soil Well-drained Size 6 to 12 in. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 7 

Corydalis (Corydalis solida)

Clusters of ferny foliage enhance the bright flowers of this mid- to late spring bloomer. Plant them close to hostas, whose summer foliage will grow to cover bare spots left when corydalis finishes its lovely spring show.

Growing Tip

Corydalis will go dormant in the heat of summer, so just snip off any dead foliage and remember where they're planted so you don't accidentally dig them up. Divide bulbs every couple of years while they are dormant to maintain healthy plants.

Type Bulbous perennial Blooms Pink, purple or near-red, mid- to late spring Light Part shade Soil Moist, well-drained  Size 6 to 12 in. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8 

California poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Native to the western United States, California poppy is a bright addition to meadows and cottage gardens. They’ll often self-sow, so you can enjoy a colorful surprise throughout your garden.

Growing Tip

California poppies love full sun, poor soil, minimal water and cool temperatures, so no need to fertilize or irrigate them. They’ll grow as a perennial in warm zones, but in colder zones grow them as an annual, direct seeding them in the garden in very early spring.

Type Perennial Blooms Orange, yellow, white, pink, peach or red midspring to early summer Light Full sun to part shade Soil Well-drained Size 12 to 18 in. tall, 4 to 6 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 6 to 11

Reticulated iris (Iris reticulata)

Petite reticulated iris are one of the first spring flowers to bloom. They look especially striking planted in masses, and also make great cut flowers.

Growing tip

Reticulated iris are drought tolerant, making them ideal for rock gardens. Foliage dries up and bulbs go dormant shortly after they bloom. Though not usually long-lived, dividing the bulbs and replanting after they go dormant will give these iris a longer life.

Type Bulb Blooms Blue to purple, yellow or white, early spring Light Full sun to part shade Soil Well-drained Size 3 to 6 in. tall, 2 to 3 in. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9 

Published: March 20, 2018
Share:
GDT Notes Ad_Garden Tips SIB 2021_zone5

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work in the garden. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

GDT_HTCSubAd_240x230

Related Tags

bulbs perennials spring

Also in This Newsletter


GDT Free Issues zone7and11 Mobile_Spring
Last Week’s Newsletter

March 13, 2018

GDT Free Issue zone15 Spring