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The Best Time to Plant Flowers

Flowers add much beauty to any landscaping. If you purchase bedding plants, you’ll find more varieties of flowering plants available in spring. But you need to plan ahead for some types of flowers, such as daffodils, tulips, iris and other bulbs, because most of them need to be planted in the fall. And if you want to try your hand at some unusual varieties of flowers and wildflowers, it’s smart to order seeds from mail order catalogs in winter and then start them indoors before your final frost.

When to Plant Flowers

Purchase and plant bedding plants such as marigolds, zinnias, snapdragons and other summer flowers in spring. Find out when your final frost typically occurs and wait to plant your flowers until after that date.

Order unusual varieties of flowers through print and online seed catalogs in the winter. Start them in nursery flats or pots indoors with a good potting soil in late winter or early spring. Transplant 3- to 4-inch seedlings into your garden after your final frost.

Plant flowering bulbs in fall, even if they will not bloom for many months. This applies to tulips, daffodils, crocus, iris and most other summer-flowering bulbs.

Plant wildflower seeds in fall . Just scatter them on the soil surface where you want them to grow. Most wildflowers will bloom in spring and early summer/ Those that are native to your area often naturalize--spread and grow on their own--by dropping their seeds, resulting in a wildflower patch that will come back year after year.

Plant flowering trees, such as dogwood, in early spring. You probably won’t see flowers the first season after you plant them, but they will produce lovely blooms for many years to come.

Time To Plant Spring Flowers

Ripened seeds from existing plants like Calendula (Calendula officinalis) or California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), are planted as soon as the seed pods ripen in summer. Perennials like daylilies (Hemerocallis spp. ), For best spring bloom, these divisions should take place in mid to late fall. New plants need four to six weeks to establish roots before cold weather enforces dormancy. True bulbs have narrow necks at their tops and growth plates on rounded bases. Iris, including California natives Douglas (Iris douglasiana) and Del Norte Country iris (Iris innominata) grow from rhizomes, but are treated as bulbs. Daffodils (nartcissus spp.) In USDA zones 8 through 10, bulbs and rhizomes are best planted from late fall through early December.

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