Spring-flowering shrubs are ideal plants for any gardener, no matter your experience. The shrubs are easy to maintain, requiring little to no maintenance and re-blooming each year.
They offer a bright display of flowers throughout spring at a higher level than your annuals and perennials giving your garden depth, texture, and color at different heights. Not to mention, planting spring-flowering shrubs will help to provide shelter for birds and nectar for pollinators early in the flowering season.
When selecting a shrub for your garden, you need to consider which plants thrive in certain conditions. For example, if your garden does not gain much access to direct sunlight, then select shrubs that grow well within the shade and vice versa.
Take a look at our tips to care for your spring-flowering shrubs along with our list of some of the best flowering shrubs to choose from for your garden.
How to Care for Spring Flowering Shrubs
Once you have selected your shrubs from your local garden center, select an area within your garden that isn’t next to your house or walls. Shrubs require a lot of room to grow their roots outwards and will cause difficulties if planted too close.
Shrubs are best planted in a garden bed where there is lots of space for them to grow strong roots but also can spread out above ground as well.
As with most plants, shrubs also require general maintenance and care. Your shrubs will need watering at their base around the soil so that the water can reach their roots.
Spring flowering shrubs will also need pruning. As these are flowering plants, it is best to prune them after they have finished blooming. Not only will pruning help to tidy up the overall shape of your shrub and maintain the desired size. It will also remove deadheads and encourage re-blooming shrubs to produce new buds.
4 Spring-Flowering Shrubs
Viburnums are a beautiful spring-flowering shrub, offering clusters of delicate, tiny flowers in shades of either white or pink. There is a wide choice of viburnums with some varieties being evergreen, meaning that they maintain their leaves all year round.
Whether you select a deciduous or evergreen variety, viburnums mostly flower between spring and early summer. They can grow up to 6 feet high and hence require consideration for the amount of space this shrub will need.
When planting viburnums, take care to plant in either early Autumn or Spring. The softer ground and rain will help provide time for the shrub to settle. Viburnums do not like hot and dry climates, so avoid planting during summer.
Though they generally do not require pruning, if you find your viburnum outgrowing its dedicated space, they can be pruned after flowering.
For a choice in color, rhododendrons should be your go-to spring-flowering shrub. Rhododendrons can flower in pinks and purples, reds, oranges, and yellows. They have a pale green leaf with clusters of soft, waved flowers. Mostly available as evergreen shrubs, they have a long flowering season from April to July.
As there is a large variety of rhododendrons, it is best to check the variety you have selected before planting. Rhododendrons varieties can prefer full sunlight to partial shade.
This shrub should ideally be planted in either early spring or by late autumn to allow the roots to settle and establish.
Rhododendrons generally require no pruning however they will need deadheading after the blooming season has finished.
Do be mindful that rhododendrons can be toxic to pets and livestock. Though they are an excellent source of food for pollinators, if you do have pets it might be safer to select an alternative flowering shrub.
For a smaller spring-flowering shrub, consider selecting an Andromeda, specifically Compacta. This variety of Andromeda is ideal for a smaller space growing to only 20 cm in height and approximately the same size in width.
Andromeda Compacta offers deep green, oblong leaves surrounded by round light pink flowers that bloom during spring and summer.
Unlike many shrubs, Andromeda Compacta prefers an area of shade. Due to its size, it is also best planted towards the front of your garden bed so that the flowers aren’t covered by larger plants.
Flowering quince is a stunning shrub with delicate soft, round rose-like flowers in red, orange, white, or pink. Unlike the other shrubs within this list, the flowering quince is a thorny shrub with less foliage helping the flowers stand out against the twiggy appearance.
This shrub makes a good choice for planting at the back of a border as it can grow up to 10 feet tall and wide. Flowering quince prefers to be planted in an area of full sunlight and often blooms between the end of winter and early spring. Plant your flowering quince within winter before the first frost so that it has time for the roots to establish.
Due to its potential size, it can create an excellent hedge shrub within your borders. However, if it does grow too large, you can prune the shrub ensuring to remember to remove not just branches but also part of the base that is outgrowing its space.
Unlike our other spring-flowering shrubs listed, flowering quince has a relatively quick flowering season of only 10-14 days. After which, the flowers turn to yellow fruits that are ideal for making preserves and jellies.
Spring-flowering shrubs can provide a beautiful display of flowers early in the year. This helps your garden beds come to life in spring, providing shelter for local wildlife and food for pollinators.
Selecting one of these 4 shrubs will fill the back of your garden borders helping to draw attention away from your fence to the colorful flowers in spring and foliage the remaining seasons.
Remember to consider the amount of sunlight your borders receive before purchasing your spring-flowering shrubs. Only prune them if they outgrow the space dedicated to them and ensure to water them during dry periods.
Following these tips and selecting one of the shrubs from this list will help you to successfully grow a spring-flowering shrub in your garden.
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