Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Spring Flower Planting Guide

By Julie Christensen
Petunias are a tender annual.
flowers image by pearlguy from Fotolia.com

Perennials, annuals and bulbs planted in mid spring soon fill the garden with colorful flowers. Perennials are the foundation of many gardens but vary in their bloom times, while annuals and some bulbs flower all summer.


Spring-planted perennials, such as black-eyed Susans, salvias and daylilies, are long-lived, but slow-growing flowering plants that are generally grown from nursery-grown plants. Annuals, including nasturtium, petunias, and pansies, grow quickly, but are frost tender and live only one season. Summer-blooming bulbs, such as gladiolus, cyclamens and dahlias, are planted in spring.

Time Frame

Roses and a few other cold-hardy perennials are planted early in the spring, as soon as the soil is soft enough to work. Most perennials, annuals and summer blooming bulbs, though, are planted in late spring after the last expected frost, but before temperatures climb.

Soil Preparation

Perennials represent a permanent investment in the garden, so good soil pays off. According to Cornell University, 3 to 6 inches of organic material, such as compost, tilled into the garden before planting improves drainage and soil fertility. Bulbs and annuals also benefit from good soil.


About the Author


Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."