How to Care for Spring Flowers

Spring is in the air, which is putting a spring in our steps. It’s also time to start planting and caring for spring blooms – after all, it is at this time of year that your garden starts to come to life!

Here we’ve listed a handful of useful tips to help you when it comes to caring for your spring flowers…

Aftercare for tulips, daffodils, and other spring bulbs

Get the gardening season off to an early start with a series of popular spring-blooming flower bulbs. From the first daffodils and crocuses to the last alliums and tulips, there are a number of spring flowers to choose from, all of which promise a glorious show from March until May.

Other spring blooms begin to grow just as the Christmas decorations are being taken down. Early bloomers include the likes of Snowdrops, Winter Aconite and Glory-of-the-Snow.

As spring turns to summer, many gardeners often aren’t sure what to do about fading foliage and spent blooms. To answer this question correctly, you need to establish whether the bulbs are annuals or perennials.

Annual options

The majority of spring-blooming bulbs tend to bloom year after year. However, it is important to note that not all of them act in this manner. Both hyacinths and tulips, for example, will look their best the first spring post-planting. Going forward, it is likely you’ll notice fewer flowers that tend to be slighter in size.

To guarantee a great colour show each and every spring, it is important to plant fresh bulbs each autumn. You can even pair the likes of daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths with cold-hardy annuals, to achieve a garden display worthy of a magazine spread. For best results, opt for the following pairings:

  • Hyacinths and pansies

  • Dutch iris and sweet alyssum

  • Tulips and primroses

  • Daffodils and scented stock

If you are tending to your spring bulbs as annuals, it is a good idea to dig them up once they have ceased blooming to ensure they thrive the following year.

Growing spring-blooming bulbs as annuals do boast some benefits, as it ensures your garden will be privy to an extraordinary display of flowers every spring.

On top of this, annuals are a great option for those who embrace putting together new texture and colour combinations each year.

Perennial options

Early-blooming bulbs, comprising crocus, snowdrops, chionodoxa, and daffodils are all blooms that are incredibly carefree, low maintenance, and renowned for their annual blooming abilities. On top of this, they will multiply over time.

If you have little time to tend to your garden or you’re a newbie gardener, you’ll be pleased to know there is no need to fertilize, deadhead, or divide your bulbs and blooms, unless they require additional space or you wish to introduce them to other areas of your garden.

One of the most popular spring perennials is the hyacinth, which can flower for several years. Other prevalent options include alliums, tulips, and muscari. Provided that the soil is well-drained and remains dry throughout the summer months, you will get many years of joy out of these flowers.

Creating the perfect flowering landscape

A good garden design principle to follow includes beginning with trees, followed by shrubs, and finally plants. Why shrubs? They will give your garden depth and texture. The most reliable spring shrubs to choose from comprising forsythia and azaleas. For a brighter garden, opt for daphne, elderberry, or viburnum.

Growing spring containers

When it comes to creating the perfect spring garden, you don’t have to limit yourself to the ground alone. Spring containers are a great way to add instant hue and interest to your exterior space.

Containers can be brought in at night when the temperatures drop, meaning you can choose more delicate blooms that normally wouldn’t grow this early in the year.

Removing spent flowers

Smaller bulbs, such as scilla, crocus, muscari, and snowdrops all multiply by bulb offsets and seeds. To provoke naturalizing, it is a good idea to allow the flowers to remain attached, as this will encourage the seeds to ripen.

If you are trying to encourage tulips to re-bloom, simply snip off the blooms as soon as they fade. With daffodils, the blooms are often removed for aesthetic reasons, however, leaving them intact, won’t harm the flower.

Another flower you may wish to leave is alliums. The seed heads of these blooms are often seen as attractive as the flowers themselves.

Hiding or removing bulb foliage

Bulbs will often use their foliage to provide the necessary energy required to form new blooms. If your main aim is to encourage your bulbs to re-flower, it is wise to leave the foliage intact, at least until it has turned a shade of yellow or starts to wither. This is actually the easiest way to remove the foliage, as it can be pulled away with a slight tug.

Both chionodoxa and scilla feature foliage that tends to fade away extremely quickly. Larger bulbs will likely take longer, with the process spanning between a few weeks and a few months, however, this is heavily dependent on the bulb type and the weather.