Flowering gardens in the South need to contain warm-season-loving plants, since the Southern United States falls in the USDA hardiness zones of 6 to 10. Spring blooming flowers, trees, and shrubs show off the first signs of the season with some of the first blooms of the year. These flowering plants for spring will really make your landscape pop at the first sign of ground thaw.
Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia), is from the horse chestnut family and is an easy to grow, fast-growing, drought-tolerant tree. It will get 8 to 10 feet high on average, with some up to 30 feet tall. Leaves are 5 to 10 inches wide and velvety with flowers in 4- to 10-inch terminal spikes of red blooms. Grow this one in rich neutral soil and shade, partial shade, or full sun. Propagate via seed, cuttings or graftings, and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 5 to 9.
Deutzia (Deutzia gracilis) is from the saxifrage family and is a deciduous shrub. It will get 2 to 4 feet high with some up to 6 feet. Leaves are oval and 2 ½ to 3 inches long. White flowers are cup-shaped and come April or May. Grow this one in fertile well drained soil in sun to light shade. Propagate via softwood cuttings and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 4 to 10.
Tung tree, Aleurites fordii, is from the spurge family and is a fast-growing drought-tolerant tree. Leaves are dark green and 3 to 5 inches long. Flowers, which appear in spring, are 1 ½-inch pale peach blooms. The tree will get 30 to 40 feet in height and must be grown in light to medium soil in full sun. Propagate via seed or budding and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 8 to 10.
Mexican orange (Choisya ternata) is from the citrus family and is a fragrant, drought-tolerant shrub that is evergreen. Leaves are 2 to 3 inches long with 1-inch-wide white, fragrant flowers. The shrub will grow 6 to 8 feet in height and 6 to 8 feet in width. Grow this one in full sun in cool climates and shade in hot climates. Propagate via semi-ripe stem tip cuttings and grow in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 10.
Tea olive (Osmanthus fragrans), which is from the olive family, is a fragrant evergreen shrub that gets 6 to 10 feet tall on average but can get up to 20 feet. Leaves are dark green with white flowers that bloom in fall, winter and spring. Grow this one in sun to partial shade, with best results coming from morning sun and afternoon shade. Propagate via wood cuttings and grow in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 10.