Must-Have Early Spring Bloomers

Though the snow puts a slight damper on our progress in the garden, it creates time to dream about our favorite part of the garden that will soon be here in abundance, and that is flowers.

Take a look at your garden (after the snow melts), and ask yourself, “Could I grow a plant there?”, then consider what you’d like to see. There are winter and early spring bloomers that could brighten up the place, and serve as food sources for pollinators.

We’re here to help you find those plants, and determine if they will grow in the space you’re working with. To give you inspiration and some bloom-for-thought, this week we asked our team what their favorite early spring bloomers are.

From 4 inch tall crocus to 15 foot tall witch hazel, here’s a list of must-have early spring bloomers:

A great surprise every spring (one of those plants you always forget you planted), and they add lots of color. (Pictures above)

The flowers may be small, but they provide a bounty of food for early foraging bees. Great for mason bees!

One of the first bloomers in early spring with nodding white flowers. Naturalizes easily in woodland gardens.

Very reliable and unique foliage even before they bloom.

Flowers are very showy and they’re very easy to grow. (Pictures below)

Heather’s are a fun collector’s item, and a decent source of food for pollinators. Blooms can be white, dark-light pink, or purple (Irish Bell). Get some winter, spring, and summer blooming varieties – Erica (early), Irish Bell (intermediate), Calluna (late). (Picture below – left)

It’s easy to get the early and late blooming heathers mixed up, so a memory hint to use for heather bloom cycles is Calluna has ‘luna’ in the name, and you can think of a ‘big bright moon late at night’.

A great hummingbird plant that blooms in the winter. It’s also a native plant, and adds great texture to your landscape.

Flowers very early and provides food for pollinators when not much else is blooming. Do be cautious of the thorns!

The bright yellow flowers announce that spring really is finally here.

Bumblebees and other bees, as well as hummers, like the profuse bell shaped early flowers. After the flowers finish, the bright colored new growth continues the show through the spring and into the early summer. The evergreen foliage is attractive year round. (Picture below – right)

A bee and hummingbird favorite, one of the most stunning native plants.

Beautiful evergreen plant in the winter, and a great pollinator plant.

The buds set up in the fall, then open a few at a time in the late winter, culminating in a peak bloom in early March – bright pink, fragrant, and showing well on bare branches. After blooms, the leaves have interesting texture and smell like green peppers. (Picture below – left)

Yellow, red, or coppery orange flowers stand out on bare branches, and are lightly fragrant. Great fall leaf color too. (Picture below – right)

Brings color early and fills shady spots! These are a good source of food for hummingbirds (keep in mind that double flowering varieties are less useful to pollinators). (Large bottom picture below)