Spring Bloom Guide

Photography by John O'Hagan

Text by Hannah Jones

Spring is here! That means it’s finally time to get out in the garden and get to planting your beautiful blooms! But before you start, don’t risk losing your plants by digging in the dirt too early.

Based on the plant hardiness zone you’re located in, you may need to adjust your planting times from what the labels suggest on your bought blooms. We’ve created a guide based on your zone (below) to help you see exactly what to plant right now for best results. Just remember to be flexible with your planting times even within your plant hardiness zone. Factor in the current weather in your area, and always wait until the last frost before planting. Find your zone via the map and then get to planting!

Photography by Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co.

Zone 3

Central Canadian border

Zone 3 usually doesn’t see its last frost until mid-May, so spring is the perfect time to start seedlings indoors and prep the garden and soil. Stick with quick-blooming varietals like marigold, Johnny-jump-up, petunia, or poppies since the flowering season is so short.

Zone 4

Upper Great Lakes and Northern New England
Photography by Kindra Clineff

Zone 4 also has a fairly short growing season, so be sure to take a similar approach as in zone 3. Prep quick-blooming seed starters indoors and transplant outside in early-mid May.

Zone 5

Upper Midwest and New England
Photography by Rachel Tweggs

Zone 5 has a little more leniency and can safely start planting in mid to late April. We’d still suggest starting seeds indoors, but fast-growing varietals like those mentioned above should be able to safely start as seeds in the garden. Daylilies, lavender, hollyhock, peonies, and foxglove typically do well in this area.

Zone 6

Southern Midwest and Upper South
Photography by Jim Bathie

Zone 6 is a nearly ideal plant hardiness zone, with an average growing season and last frost. Start planting in mid-April with almost any varietal. Just keep an eye on hydration!

Zone 7

Photography by John O’Hagan and Marcy Black Simpson

Another great area for spring planting, zone 7 can handle many spring and summer favorites like hydrangeas, azaleas, daisies, and daylilies. Expect a typical last frost date around early April, but warm weather may tempt you to start planting in March. Hold off, though!

Zone 8

Deep South
Photography by William Dickey

Similar to zone 7, the Deep South is perfect for summer favorites. The main concern with this area is planting flowers and shrubs that last and bloom throughout the season, so stay away from quick once-blooming varietals like azaleas if you want a bountiful garden throughout the spring and summer months.

Zones 9 and 10

Tropical areas in Texas, California, and Florida
Photography by Emily Reiter and Rhianna Mercier

Zones 9 and 10 are known for fairly consistent weather throughout the year, so they can get away with anything that isn’t sensitive to high heat! We’d suggest sticking to plants that bloom throughout the season, just like in zone 8, or planting flowers and shrubs with different bloom times interspersed throughout. One major concern in these zones is rainfall—it can vary greatly depending on what part of the country you’re in, so take that into account!

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