Plants that bloom in April, from the spring flowers to flowering shrubs, make the landscape burst with color and fragrance. The early burst of life seems to wash away the starkness of winter and usher in the new gardening season. Blooming flowers in April are the start of the fruits of a gardener’s efforts.
The forsythia (Forsythia spp.) is from the olive family. It is an easy-to-grow and fast growing shrub. The shrub can get 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide, filled with 1- to 2-inch-wide yellow flowers. Leaves are 2 to 4 inches wide and in three lobes. Grow forsythia in sun or dappled shade with a well-drained soil. Propagate via semi-ripe cuttings in summer or greenwood cuttings in spring or summer.
The higan cherry or rosebud cherry, Prunus subhirtella, is from the rose family. It is a fast growing ornamental flowering tree. It will get 20 to 30 feet tall. Leaves are lance-like and 1 to 3 inches long. Pink tinted flowers are under an inch wide. Cherries of this tree aren’t edible. Leaves will turn yellow in fall. Grow higan cherry in full sun with well-drained soil. Propagate via bud-grafting or by semi-hardwood cuttings in the summer.
The deutzia (Deutzia gracilis) is from the saxifrage family. It is a flowering shrub. It will get 6 feet tall and nearly as wide. Leaves are 2 1/2 to 3 inches long and smooth. Flowers are white racemes with flowers under an inch. There is a light scent to the flowers and they are profusely covering the shrub. Grow deutzia in well drained soil in sun to light shade. Propagate via warm weather softwood cuttings.
Florida Flame Azalea
The Florida flame azalea, Rhododendron austrinum, is from the heath family. It is a fragrant flowering shrub good for shade, hummingbird gathering, and butterfly attracting. The shrub can get 6 to 8 feet tall and 2 feet in width. Flowers are yellow with red or peach bases and are trumpet shaped 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. Leaves are 2 to 5 inches long and oval. The shrub smells like a honeysuckle. Grow a Florida flame azalea in acidic soil in part sun to shade. Propagate the azalea via clump division or by seed.
The sparkleberry, or farkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum), is from the heath family. It is a shade loving drought tolerant shrub that attracts songbirds. It can get 8 to 10 feet tall on average with some up to 30 feet tall. Leathery leaves are 1 to 2 inches long and dark green. Flowers are bell shaped, white, and under an inch long. Berries may stay through winter. Grow sparkleberry in acidic soil in full sun to partial shade. Propagate via cuttings or seed.