When perennials wake up from their wintry naps, containers and gardens spring to life with vibrant hues of flowers and foliage.
Early bloomers such as hellebores bring cheerful blooms, creeping phlox shines from borders and flower beds and candytuft dances in the breeze. Now is the perfect time to pick out which early-blooming perennials are best suited for your garden.
Wake up spring with these 10 early-Blooming favorites:
1. Hellebore. These shade-loving perennials, also known as Lenten rose, start blooming in late winter and early spring. Their exquisite coloring is sure to cure the winter blues. Hellebores grow well in the cold and they’re not appetizing to deer and rabbit.
2. Candytuft. These white flowers love the sun and tolerate drought conditions. Candytuft is a ground hugger that blooms in spring and then again in fall. Shear off the early growth to encourage lots of continuous blooms. Deer resist candytufts but it’s prized by pollinators, including butterflies.
3. Dianthus. Easy-care dianthus tolerate cooler weather and spring up reliably each year.
Plant these flowers early to establish strong growth habits before the heat sets in. Dianthus, also known as carnations, will continue to bloom through summer if conditions don’t get too hot. Read more about dianthus.
4. Hosta. With their flashy foliage, these herbaceous perennials can be the star of your outdoor space. Hosta also works well in a supporting role with its color and texture framing lively blooms from annuals and bulbs.
5. Scabiosa. Known as pincushion flower, scabiosa features long-blooming flowers attractive to pollinators but not to deer.
These clumping flowers prefer afternoon shade in hot climates and look perfect in cut flower arrangements. Learn more about scabiosa.
6. Astilbe. It’s no wonder vibrant astilbe ranks among the top shade perennials. Astilbe comes in a variety of colors and wherever planted, it perks up the shadiest corner or container in your outdoor space.
7. Speedwell. This spiky flower, known also as Veronica, brings garden and container interest with its long, colorful and carefree blooms.
Speedwell flowers, which come in violets, blues, reds and pinks, attract hummingbirds and other pollinators from spring to fall. Combine with daylily, coreopsis, cranesbill and scabiosa for an attractive pollinator garden. Learn more about speedwell.
8. Creeping Phlox. This easy-to-grow native plant brings a carpet of color and fragrance to your outdoor space. You can confidently plant creeping phlox as a dependable groundcover. Deer will steer clear, but birds and pollinators will love it. Plant in full to part sun.
9. Iris. With so many varieties and colors, it’s no wonder most gardeners plant brilliant iris. These extremely drought-tolerant flowers easily spread and bring so much dimension to gardens and containers. Find out how to divide iris and share with neighbors!
10. Peony. Exquisite herbaceous peonies fill the air with fragrance so it’s no wonder these flowers are showstoppers. Peonies do not require much fuss once established, plus they don’t attract rabbits or deer. To keep peonies from toppling over in storms, use stakes. Plant in full sun.
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