Five Early Blooming Flowers to Look Out For
If you’re looking to add color to your garden in the early spring, there are five flowers you should watch for. These include the primrose Primula Denticulata, the Bleeding Heart Dicentra Spectablis, the Snow Crocus Crocus Chrysanthus, the Lenten Rose Hellebore Orientalis, and the sweet violet Viola Odorata.
Bleeding Heart Dicentra Spectablis
Known as the lady’s heart, the bleeding heart (Diclytra spectabilis) is an evergreen plant that combines a bluish-green foliage with delicate heart-shaped flowers. It is native to northeastern China and Japan.
Bleeding hearts are an easy perennial to grow. They thrive in well-draining soil and light shade. The flowering stems reach three feet tall.
You can find white and pink blooms, and some are red. This popular perennial is great for a woodland or rock garden.
In the spring, the plant emerges with arching stems and produces heart-shaped flowers. These blooms are produced in the upper leaf axils.
Unlike most Dicentra species, the bleeding heart goes dormant in the summer. However, it will still produce new growth in the spring. If you want to see this flowering plant year-round, you should consider planting it in a shady spot.
Since the plant is poisonous, you should be careful when handling it. To protect yourself and your family, make sure to use protective equipment when digging up the roots. Also, never mix bleeding heart with other species.
When the flowers are gone, the plant will die back. You can cut it back to about two inches above the ground. Alternatively, you can plant it in a container and enjoy it indoors.
For the best results, the bleeding heart needs regular watering and well-drained soil. It also benefits from an organic mulch. It retains moisture and reduces weeds.
Some common diseases affect bleeding heart plants. Diseases include Verticillium wilt, powdery mildew, and fusarium wilt. A good way to prevent disease is to keep your plants healthy and free of aphids. Use horticultural soap to combat aphids.
Bleeding hearts thrive in moist, rich soil with a pH level of 6.0-7.0. Plant it near other moisture-loving perennials and ferns.
Sweet Violet Viola Odorata
Viola odorata is a fragrant garden plant that grows in the shade. The sweet violet was once fashionable in the 19th century, with a fragrance that was believed to have a calming effect on the mind.
It was also used in the perfume industry. In Europe, the extract of the flowers is used for cooking. As a medicinal herb, it is also used to make tea.
If you’re a fan of violets, you might consider adding a few varieties to your garden. These plants are hardy and grow in both sun and shade. Some homeowners use them as an understory or as a ground cover. They are very tolerant to light frosts.
When choosing which variety to grow, consider its bloom time. Many of them are early-flowering. For example, the Viola odorata “Melanie” flowers from March through April, while the “Princesse de Galle” grows from late spring to late summer.
The common wild violet, or violet, is a beautiful flower that grows in parks and woodlands. Their flowers are edible and have a rich blue color.
Depending on where you live, the Viola odorata can grow up to 10 inches tall. You’ll need to give it regular watering and mulch.
Viola odorata is a relatively pest-free plant. However, you may still need to cut it back after the flowers die. Also, it’s best to keep it in a shady spot to encourage growth.
Sweet Violet is a great flower to grow in a container. You can use it in salads and candies. A few seeds are enough to plant about eight inches apart. Water the pot after blooming and check the soil periodically. Potted violets are best kept below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lenten Rose Hellebore Orientalis
The Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis) is a perennial plant that is native to Turkey, Greece and Eurasia. It’s an easy to grow flowering plant, and is able to thrive in a wide range of climates. A variety of Hellebore Orientalis cultivars are available.
The Lenten rose is an easy to care for plant, and can bloom all year long. But it does require some maintenance. For example, you’ll need to fertilize it in the spring and in the early fall. You’ll also want to provide protection from harsh winter weather.
This plant is a good choice for a garden or for a container. While it’s drought-tolerant once established, it needs a lot of water to stay healthy. To ensure adequate moisture, place a layer of organic mulch at the base of the hellebore. If you’re planning to grow the plant in a pot, ensure the pot has adequate drainage holes.
If you want to propagate the Lenten Rose, you can sow seeds in the spring or fall. Or, you can artificially create seedlings by placing them in a clear bag for three weeks.
Hellebores are also able to survive temperatures as low as 5degC. They prefer a well-drained soil, and can tolerate shade. However, they are also susceptible to aphids and black rot.
If you plan to grow a large-scale hellebore, you will need to make sure your garden is free of pests. Aphids can easily spread the virus that causes black death. Snails can be another problem. And fungus can also be a hazard.
In addition to fertilization, you’ll need to make sure the Lenten Rose receives enough sunlight. It can be planted in partial or full shade, but you’ll need to protect it from hot, sunny conditions.
Primrose Primula Denticulata
Primula denticulata is one of the first primulas to bloom, typically in early spring. It’s a robust, deciduous perennial that grows well in moist, well-drained soil.
Primroses are a group of plants that have small, round flowers. They are native to mountainous areas of Asia and Europe. Most of these plants prefer moist soil and partial shade.
Primula is a genus that includes almost 500 species and cultivars. Each plant can be either annual or biennial. Some can be kept evergreen in colder climates.
The common primrose is a plant that can be found in many garden nurseries. Common varieties grow in cool, moist locations such as woodlands or bogs. This species blooms in early spring, usually in zones 4-8.
Many of the cultivated varieties of primroses are hybrids, so look for a variety that has sturdy stems, low rosettes of dark green leaves, and colorful umbrels. Generally, they’re hardy in the United States, but you may need to water during droughts.
Another great primula to add to your garden is cowslip. Cowslips are a European native that are adapted to partial shade. Their delicate, funnel-shaped flower heads are great in informal settings. These plants can self-seed and make a great companion plant for spring-flowering bulbs.
If you want to keep your primroses healthy, look for signs of crown rot disease. Crown rot can cause yellow leaves and stunted growth. To spot the disease, you can inspect the lower part of the plant, which will be dark. You can prevent this by keeping the plant in a well-draining area.
Other early blooming primroses include the drumstick primrose and the cherryblossom primrose. Both can be found in most garden nurseries.
Snow Crocus Crocus Chrysanthus
The Snow Crocus is a small, white-blooming species that is considered to be one of the best spring flowering crocuses. It can be grown in the garden, in pots, and in lawns. This plant is native to Greece and Turkey, and grows well in full sun to partial shade.
In addition to being a very showy plant, the Snow Crocus is also a good drought resistant plant. However, it does need to be watered properly to ensure healthy growth.
When growing Snow Crocus outdoors, water more than you would for an indoor plant. You can test the soil for moisture by placing a finger in the soil and seeing if it dries out. If the soil does dry out, you may have to water more often.
To protect the foliage, do not overwater. Too much water can cause mildew and mold. Overwatering can also stunt the roots of the Snow Crocus.
When a Snow Crocus is planted in the ground, the roots require more water than the leaves. However, the plants can grow well even in dry soil.
While Snow Crocus can withstand a drought, it is more likely to develop disease. Overwatering can kill the root system and leave the plant brittle and weak. That is why it is important to only water when the soil has soaked up all the moisture.
Although the Snow Crocus can grow outdoors, it is generally preferred to grow them indoors. These flowers can bloom as early as February. They can be planted in waves throughout a yard, and will multiply if left alone.
One of the most popular snow crocus varieties is the Crocus chrysanthus ‘Snow Bunting’. This cultivar has a rich golden heart and emits a sweet scent. Another popular selection is the Crocus chrysanthus “Advance,” which has a lilac outer tepal and a creamy yellow center.