One of the best things about this time of year is that after a long dark winter, colourful spring flowers start popping up all over the place. Greys and browns are replaced by a kaleidoscope of colours – and seeing the vibrant spring blooms and blossoms can brighten our mood and give us a new lease of life. Plus, their delicate scent can lift our spirits too.
If you’d like to celebrate the arrival of warmer weather by admiring colourful flowers in your garden, you might like to consider adding bedding plants like pansies and primroses, which will bloom this year.
Alternatively, you could plan ahead for next spring by sowing seeds like forget-me-nots and bulbs like daffodils that’ll flower next year.
Remember, it’s worth choosing plants that are hardy enough to survive an unexpected cold snap. After all, this is the UK!
Whether you have a big garden, a small patio, deck, balcony, or even a window sill, everyone can grow pretty spring flowers. To get you inspired, here are 10 of the best spring-flowering plants.
Few flowers are as synonymous with spring as daffodils. These sunny yellow blooms act as heralds for the new season, and they offer a vibrant splash of colour when the days are still grey and listless.
There are many different kinds of daffodils, some which bloom as early as February, and others as late as May. There are also different colours, including white and salmon-pink varieties.
If you’re a fan of daffodils, you might want to plant a selection of early and late-flowering varieties, so you can admire their bright, bobbing heads throughout the duration of spring.
Daffodils grow just as well in containers as lawns, and they like fertile, well-drained soil with plenty of sun. Aim to plant bulbs in September to enjoy a daffodil-soaked spring.
To find out more about growing daffodils, check out this guide by RHS.
Primroses are some of the prettiest native spring flowers, and their pale yellow petals and crinkled green leaves will add a dainty pop of colour to your garden.
They’re much tougher than they look too, and can survive sudden cold snaps. If you fancy more colours, cultivated forms of primroses called polyanthus, have bright purple, red, and pink blooms.
Primroses are perennial plants, so if you plant them in a good spot, they can come back year after year. For instant blooms, you can put primrose bedding plants straight into the ground in spring.
Eventually, they’ll grow into clumps that can be split up and planted in different places for a larger display. And in the right conditions, they’ll also self-seed, which can add a lovely wild look to your garden. Primroses like partial sun and moist soil – not too wet and not too dry!
You can find out more about growing primroses in this guide by RHS.
Snowdrops are one of the first flowers to bloom in the new year, and these white, bell-like flowers can appear as early as January, and continue to flower well into March.
If you’re looking to inject some life into a dull winter garden, they’re a great choice. – a And while they might look delicate, snowdrops are actually pretty tough, and can even bloom when snow is on the ground.
Snowdrops are easy to care for, and they’ll happily grow in most soil types, (except permanently wet soil). They like partial shade, so planting them around deciduous trees and shrubs is a good move.
The best time to plant freshly-lifted snowdrops is in late April and May, and then by the time the new year rolls around again, you can look forward to generous drifts of these blooms in your garden.
To find out more about growing snowdrops, have a read of this guide by RHS.
While there are many beautiful spring flowers, tulips have got to be a contender for most dazzling.
They come in an incredibly wide range of colours, including purple, red, orange, yellow, maroon, pink, violet, white, and lilac. Some tulips are bi-coloured, which ups the wow-factor. There are also frilled and peony-flowered varieties if you fancy something different.
While tulips grow happily in borders, they do really well in containers too. Planting bulbs in late autumn means these colourful cup-shaped flowers will bloom in mid-spring.
Tulips like good drainage and lots of sun, though they’ll usually still grow in partial shade. Pick bright colours to create a cheery look in your garden, or choose contrasting colours like maroon and cream for a dramatic look.
To find out more about growing tulips, have a read of this guide by RHS.
If you’re a fan of unusual, yet equally flowers, then you might want to plant aquilegia.
Also known as columbine or granny’s bonnets, these pretty plants come in shades of blue, purple, violet, pink, red, yellow, white, and orange – although the purple, blue, and violet blooms are most common. With their delicate foliage and dainty flowers, they’re a favourite for cottage gardens.
Aquilegia are also hardy perennials, and their nectar-rich blooms attract pollinators like bumblebees. Sow them between March and June indoors for flowering between May and June the following year.
Aquilegia are easy to grow, although they need well-drained soil to thrive and are suited to sunny or partially-shaded positions. Aquilegia are self-seeding plants, so they’re ideal for wild or naturalistic looking gardens. And because they’re tall flowers, aquilegia will add height to your garden too.
To find out more about growing aquilegia, check out this guide by RHS.
If you’re looking to plant shrubs rather than flowers, then forsythia is an excellent choice.
Usually large, upright shrubs with green leaves and curved stems, forsythia is pretty unremarkable for much of the year and makes a good hedging plant. However, in March and April, it explodes with glorious sunshine-yellow flowers that make the entire plant look like it’s glowing.
Forsythias are hardy plants and can withstand the cold, and they can grow in most soil types, and thrive in full sun or light shade. Container-grown forsythias can also be planted at any time of year, as long as the ground isn’t frozen.
These shrubs grow very quickly, so you’ll need to prune them to keep them looking neat – but if you prefer a wilder-looking garden, just leave them to it! A great way to stop forsythias from getting too big is to cut lots of flowering stems and display them in vases in your home.
You can find out more about growing forsythia in this guide by RHS.
Crocuses are among the first flowers to bloom in the gardening year – and they’re also one of the prettiest and cheeriest!
These goblet-shaped flowers are usually purple coloured, but can be white, yellow, or lilac, and some are boldly striped. Many varieties have a lovely light scent and their flowers provide plenty of pollen for bumblebees.
There are many different varieties of crocuses, but the ones that flower in spring should be planted in autumn, in a fully sunny spot with well-drained soil.
You can plant crocus bulbs in borders, in pots, or on the lawn. However, because rodents like to dig up the bulbs and bury them elsewhere, you may also find them growing in unexpected spots, like under bushes!
To find out more about growing crocuses, have a read of this guide by RHS.
Heather is commonly found growing wild on moors, heaths, and open woodland. But with its pretty pink, purple, and white blooms, this perennial flowering shrub looks great in gardens too.
Colourful and compact, heather’s tiny bell-like flowers are a magnet for bees. Though, if you’re looking to attract pollinators, be aware that some types of heather (‘bud-bloomers’) don’t ever open their flowers.
Winter and spring-flowering heather will add colour to your garden when little else is in bloom. Plus, these hardy evergreen plants often continue flowering right through winter and well into spring too.
You can plant heather in pots, at the front of a sunny border, or grow large swathes of it to make your garden look like a rural wilderness. It’s best planted in spring, though some can be planted in autumn.
To find out more about growing heather, have a read of this guide by RHS.
Forget-me-nots are easy-to-grow flowers that provide clouds of beautiful blooms from April to June.
Their clusters of yellow-eyed, sky-blue flowers look lovely enough by themselves, but are also known for attracting butterflies, which will make your garden look even more gorgeous. While the blue flowers are most common, there are also pale purple, pink, and white varieties.
These low-growing flowers work really well at the front of flower borders, but if you’re looking to create a colourful and bright spring display, you might like to plant them with tulips and daffodils.
You can sow forget-me-not seeds directly into the ground when the risk of frost has passed – ideally between late spring and late summer.
Forget-me-nots will flower in their second year, and after that, they’ll self-seed. They thrive in sun or partial shade, and grow quickly in moist but well-drained soil.
To find out more about growing forget-me-nots, have a read of this guide by RHS.
If you’re looking to add plenty of colour to your garden, then pansies are a smart choice – and can offer year-round colour. Bedding versions are also cheap and can be planted from spring up until late autumn.
These sweet-looking flowers come in every colour of the rainbow, from bright yellow to deep pink, and they’re a great way to inject some more vibrant tones to your garden that’ll contrast with the usual soft spring shades. Plus, they can withstand frost or even snow, so you don’t have to worry about cold snaps.
While pansies grow well in the ground, they’re often planted in pots, baskets, and window boxes, which makes it easy to add vivid pops of colour throughout your garden.
Pansies like full sun and moist soil, and to keep your plants growing new flowers all spring, just pinch off the older blooms.
For more information about growing pansies, check out this guide by RHS.
Spring is an exciting time of year when we appreciate the beauty of nature and feel renewed and refreshed after the long winter.
If you have a garden, you can inject some colour into it by planting all kinds of bright flowers. Not only will these pretty blooms attract wildlife, but they’re also likely to lift your spirits every time you look outside.
But if you don’t have a garden, you don’t need to miss out, as there are all kinds of spring-flowering plants that do well in pots, containers, or window boxes. And luckily, many of these plants are really easy to grow and maintain…so you don’t need to have a green thumb to brighten up your spring!
For more gardening ideas and inspiration, you can check out the home and garden section of our website.