When to Plant Spring Flowers – Planting Guide 2024

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After a cold, dreary winter, the best thing is seeing color in your garden. There are many types of spring flowers, so knowing when to plant them will help you usher in this season of rebirth.

When to plant spring flowers: There are many categories of spring flowers, so knowing which ones you want to grow is the first step. Spring flower bulbs need to be planted in the fall, just before the first frost. Spring flower annuals need to be planted in early spring, and while some are more resistant to cold, most prefer being planted after the last threat of frost. Finally, spring flower perennials do best when planted in the spring, after the threat of frost has passed, so that they can establish themselves before the cold winter weather.

Planting Spring Flowers in Different Climates

Tropical Climate

You can definitely plant spring annuals in a tropical climate. However, spring bulbs won’t work as they need a cold, dormant period.

Look for perennials that do well in a tropical climate, such as rhododendrons.

Dry Climate

It can be hard to grow spring flowers in a dry climate as they need plenty of moisture. You can certainly try drought-tolerant flowers, such as yarrow.

Temperate Climate

There are many spring flowers that will thrive in a temperate climate. Most bulbs, annuals, and perennials will love the early end to winter so you may find blooms out earlier than in other areas.

Continental Climate

A continental climate has a shorter growing season in the spring as winter usually lasts longer and the hot temperatures of summer start earlier. However, most annuals and perennials will thrive. Bulbs are also a good option but expect them to come in up to a month later than in other climates.

Polar Climate

The best choice for spring flowers in a polar climate is a type of annual. Even though spring bulbs need to be dormant, a polar climate can be too cold, likewise with perennials. Choose hardy annuals like pansies that you can plant once it starts to warm up.

Choosing Spring Flower Type

There are many categories of spring flowers, so this is a good place to start before planting. Spring bulbs can say in the ground year-round and spring perennials will also continue to grow each year. Just remember that spring annuals need to be planted new each year.

Spring Bulbs

  • Daffodils

Bright spots of sunshine, these bulbs are a gardener’s favorite. They come in different sizes and different shades of yellow, and as a bonus, are deer-resistant.

  • Tulips

There are hundreds of choices when it comes to tulips. They bloom in April and their radiant pop of color will make anyone burst into a smile.

Spring Annuals

  • Pansies

With bright spots of color and an array of hues, pansies are long-lasting and a perfect way to usher in spring. With proper care, they can last from mid-spring to early summer.

  • Alyssum

For those tired of short blooms, alyssum is the perfect investment. You can plant it in the earliest part of spring and it is so hardy, that it will actually last all the way into the fall.

Spring Perennials

  • Rhododendrons

These perennials can grow for up to a hundred years and if they have enough space, they can actually look like trees. Rhododendrons bloom in mid-spring, usually around May.

  • Hellebores

An early spring favorite, these flowers will come to alive in March or April. They have rusty pink shades of petals and their foliage will last for the rest of the spring.

How to Plant Spring Flower Seeds

As mentioned, spring flowers fall into three main categories. There are bulbs, annuals, and perennials. In this section, we’ll discuss all you need to know about this wide array of flowers.


Spring bulbs may bloom in the spring, but they need to be planted in the fall. Get your bulbs into the ground before the first frost of the year, which should be around October.

Spring annuals need to be planted in the spring. These flowers only last for one season.

Check individual flowers for specific timing. Most spring flowers should go in the ground after the last frost date but some, such as ranunculus, can go in the ground much earlier.

Spring perennials have two options for planting. Many gardeners opt to plant them in the spring after the last frost date as this will give the plants enough time to establish themselves.

However, if you live in a more temperate area that does not have very cold winters, you can plant perennials in the late summer or early fall.


The location for your spring flowers is not dependent on category but instead on the preference of each individual flower. You will need to research this further once you decide what types of flowers you want to plant.

Generally, most spring bulbs prefer areas that are in full sun. The same usually goes for annual flowers.

While there are more sun-loving perennial spring flowers than shade lovers, there are some varieties, such as bleeding hearts, that will wilt in full sun.


No matter the type of spring flower, make sure your soil can drain well. Too much pooling water means root rot can set in.

You should also add compost or other organic matter to your soil before planting as this will get your spring flowers off to the right start.

How to Water Spring Flowers

Generally, after you plant any sort of flower, either perennial or annual, you should give the area a really good watering. This will loosen the soil and help the roots establish themselves.

Spring flowers that are bulbs don’t need much water as they flower early when there is enough precipitation. Then, after you cut the flowers back, the bulbs will naturally receive water indirectly as you water other nearby flowers.

Annual spring flowers need more water as they won’t be as established. If it doesn’t rain often where you live, then you will need to amend your water schedule.

Some perennial spring flowers are drought tolerant as they become more established. These flowers won’t need as much water in the spring but you will have to add more during the height of the summer.

How to Grow Spring Flowers

Growing spring flowers can take either a lot of energy or not much at all. Bulbs are very easy as they will seemingly grow on their own, and annuals provide a lot of colors but need to be re-planted each year. Perennial spring flowers take the most amount of work but after an initial investment, they will keep growing each year.


Adding mulch around your spring flowers can make them last longer. Bark mulch helps prevent weed growth and will also keep the soil protected and moist.

For perennial spring flowers, add a new layer of mulch every spring, right after the plant has come back again after winter. Bulbs don’t need much mulch as many of them are early growers.


You can add extra fertilizer to your spring flowers in early spring. Use a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer to keep them healthy.

For perennial spring flowers, you can add compost in both the spring and the fall to the area around where you planted.


Unfortunately, spring flower bulbs will only bloom once before dying off. However, with spring annual and perennial flowers, you can get the blooming season to last longer with regular deadheading.

Remove any dead blooms from the plant and this should signal them to grow more flowers. You can either pinch off the faded blooms or use a pair of clean scissors.


Spring annual flowers can be cleaned up as soon as the blooming season is over. Once you are done with these flowers, you can remove them and place them in your compost bin.

With spring flower bulbs, it’s important not to cut the foliage back too early. You can clean up the dead blooms but leave the foliage for another month so that it can absorb nutrients that are then stored in the bulb for the next year.

For perennial spring flowers, foliage is best cleaned up in the fall. This is when the blooms will be spent.

How long do spring flowers take to grow?

Spring flower bulbs take about four to six months to grow. Plant them in the spring and they will bloom in the fall and will continue to do so each subsequent year.

Spring annual flowers will bloom shortly after you plant them. These flowers only grow for one season and are usually started as plants rather than seeds.

Finally, spring perennials will bloom shortly after you plant them in the spring. Alternatively, if you plant perennials in the fall, they will then flower in the spring.


There are many categories of spring flowers, including bulbs, annuals, and perennials. Plant your annuals in early spring and your bulbs in the fall. Perennials are usually planted in the spring but mild climates can also be planted in the fall.

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