Perennials for Spring Blooms

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Perennials for Spring Blooms

Unlike annuals which complete their life cycle in one growing season, perennials can persist for years, often with a minimum of care.

To help ensure success, make sure to select the right plants for the right place. In my garden I am fortunate to have both sunny and shady areas so that I can grow a variety of plants. I strive to choose perennials that bloom over a period of months and combine them with other perennials, as well as trees and shrubs. Consider what your plants will look like when they are not blooming.  Some offer colorful fall foliage or leaves with interesting textures.  Below are a few of my favorites for their spring flowers. Start with plants growing in gallon size containers for an instant impact.  The Fiskars Steel Extendable D-handle Ergo Garden Spade is great to use for planting your perennials.  

Amaryllis x johnsonii- I have grown this hardy amaryllis for about six years in the same spot. The bright red flowers, which appear in mid-to-late April and into May, stand out against the dark foliage of purple smoke tree. (Zone 7a to 10b)

Amsonia hubrichtii, also known as Arkansas bluestar, has handsome green willowy foliage and pale blue flowers in late April to early May. In late autumn the leaves turn golden.  With this native you get a lot of bang for your buck.  

Make sure to give it lots of space, it will easily grow three feet wide and tall or larger. (Zone 5 to 8)

Amsonia and Heuchera

Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight’ is covered with soft yellow flowers in mid-May.  

I grow this selection with Amsonia and Rosa ‘Zephirine Drouhin,’ which is fragrant and thornless.  Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke ‘ is another choice selection.

It makes a good companion for peonies. Both of these selections form large clumps, three to four feet tall and wide. (Zone 4 to 9)

Baptisia 'Carolina-Moonlight' and Rosa 'Zephirine Drouhin'

Iris tectorum; also known as Japanese roof iris displays lilac-purple flowers with a white crest in May. It’s handsome foliage looks good for months. (Zone 4 to 9)  The white form ‘Alba’ is also a good doer. This iris will grow in full sun or part-shade and tolerate soils that dry or damp.  

Iris tectorum

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is one of many hardy geraniums that begin blooming in spring, (for me this one blooms in May). Its foliage is handsome and the flowers occur over a long period of time. (Zone 5 to 8) ‘Rozanne’ is a clumper.  

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

Phlox divaricata, sometimes called wild Sweet William, is a native that grows to about one ft. high. A perfect companion for other woodland plants, it prefers part to full shade and a moist soil that is rich in organic matter. The pale blue to lilac flowers are slightly fragrant. (Zone 3 to 8)

Phlox glaberrima, also known as smooth phlox blooms in April to May. This native will grow in full sun to part shade. The reddish purple to pink flowers appear atop stems that grow two to four feet tall. (Zone 3 to 8)

Veronica umbrosa ‘Georgia Blue’ – This charming mat forming perennial is covered with medium blue flowers which begin as early as late February and continue until March. It also works well as a groundcover for small bulbs or early daffodils. (Zone 4a to 8)  

Veronica 'Georgia Blue'