7 Colorful Spring Plants to Get in the Ground Now!
Spring is the perfect time to get your plants in the ground. The soil temperature is still cool, so your plants’ roots won’t get shocked by a sudden shift to warm temperatures. Plus, you’ve got a long growing season ahead, so you can enjoy their colorful displays for months!
Spring Into Gardening Season with These Gorgeous Cool-Season Plants
These seven plants prefer cool spring temperatures and don’t particularly love scorching summer heat. If you plant them in a spot shaded from the bright afternoon sun, you may be able to grow them from spring until frost. However, if temperatures are too hot in the summer, you can replace them with heat-tolerant annuals. Alternatively, you can grow these cool-season plants again in late summer for a second round of fabulous garden color!
The ultra-vivid blooms of this eye-catching flower look similar to snapdragons, but instead of growing along tall stalks, they spread outward, forming a mounded groundcover. It’s spectacular in containers and flower beds, superbly versatile, and available in so many colors!
Most varieties won’t exceed 12 inches tall; however, some can reach 2 feet tall. Plant in loose, sandy, well-draining soil and water consistently to maintain soil moisture. As soon as the blooms start to fade, pull them off to encourage new blooms.
While you’ll need to plant spring-blooming bulbs in fall, there are other bulbs and corms to plant in spring for mid-to-late summer color! Ranunculus is a favorite—its romantic blooms have layers upon layers of silky petals, similar to roses.
When choosing Ranunculus corms to plant, the bigger the corm, the more it will bloom! A Ranunculus corm looks kind of like a baby octopus—when you plant them, make sure the “tentacles” are facing downward! Ninety days after planting, those blooms will emerge.
Pansies & Violas
These early spring flowers are stunningly beautiful—and they’re edible too! Pop off those pretty flower heads, rinse well, and add them into fancy cocktails, salads, frosted cakes, and other spring treats.
Pansies and Violas are similar in appearance. The main difference is that Pansies have larger flowers but fewer blooms, and Violas have small flower heads, but they bloom profusely. They make lovely groundcover plants for filling in gaps between taller plants. Keep them away from extreme heat and long periods of direct sun so that you can enjoy their blooms for longer!
Also known as “Pinks,” Dianthus is loved for its frilly, fringed petals, adding gorgeous texture and irresistible pink color to the landscape. Some have layered petals similar to Carnations, while others have a flat, single layer.
Dianthus typically blooms from May until October. Some are self-sowing, meaning they spread by dropping seeds, so if you want to prevent this from happening, deadhead the blooms as soon as they begin to fade.
Veggie plants have plenty of ornamental value, too! There’s also the bonus of a self-replenishing, natural food source right in your backyard. Lettuce makes a fantastic border for gardens, and it looks quite pretty in containers. Harvest the leaves once they’re 3–6 inches long.
Don’t harvest your lettuce all at once, or it will struggle to grow back. Hot temperatures will cause your lettuce to flower, and the leaves will become much more bitter, so harvest lots before summer! Near the end of summer, sow lettuce seeds again for a second fall harvest.
This mega-healthy vegetable is so delicious and versatile. Even the pickiest eaters can’t say no to a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup! The edible part is the stem and its unopened flower buds—harvest your broccoli before those little buds bloom. The head of broccoli should be 4–7 inches wide when it’s ready to be picked.
There are two types of garden kale: edible and ornamental. Edible kale has big, sturdy green leaves packed with nutrients and antioxidants. It has gained popularity in recent years, so there are several interesting recipes online if you aren’t sure how to cook it!
Ornamental kale is surprisingly beautiful. Swirls of ruffled leaves in emerald green and purple shades bring fabulous jewel-toned color to your scenery. They’re gorgeous in containers, as filler plants, or as borders for the front of your garden.
On the hunt for spring plants in Long Island? Visit Dees’ Nursery to see everything that’s ready now for spring 2022!