The Best Shrubs For Early Spring Garden – Early spring is not the time you expect to see anything except the budding of plants and trees. If you want to have flowers this early in the year there are five shrubs that will give you the desired splash of color and aromatic breezes in early springtime. Read on to find out more about these plants and how to care for them.
1. The Azalea
The Azalea is an early bloomer much like the Rhododendron. The difference is seen in the size of the flower clusters. The Azalea has smaller flowers but is large on style. The blooms can be in a variety of colors and sizes. They can reach up to 15 feet in height and grow best in full sunlight or partially shaded areas. It is good to add mulch around the base to help seal in moisture.
Buxus (Box) is a popular shrub outdoors, but has only recently been accepted as a house plant. It is tolerant of cool conditions and draughts, producing a dense screen od shiny small leaves. There is an essential requirement – good light, especially in winter. Stand the pot outdoors in summer. These shrubs can be clipped and trained at any time of the year. The only danger is overwatering.
The popular Buxus sempervirens (Common Box) is an evergreen shrub growing to 5 m (16ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a slow rate. Common Box can be grown, but the small-leaved Box (Buxus microphylla) is a better choice. Slow growing – prune to keep in shape. Can be trimmed to decorative shapes.
Provide a natural food source by planting shrubs to feed the birds – shrubs and trees that will provide berries and fruit to your birds all year long. What is wonderful about fruit bearing trees and shrubs is the glorious flowers they produce in advance of the flowers turning to seeds/berries that the birds just love.
If you plant a variety of shrubs that flower and fruit at different times of the year, your birds will have a natural source of food and you won\’t have to spend quite as much on bird seed either. It is especially important to have food for birds during the winter months.
Hibiscus is an excellent specimen plant for the sunny windowsill. A hibiscus is a perennial plant in the genus Hibiscus. There are a huge number of species in this genus, from dwarf herbaceous shrubs to towering trees, and these plants grow in many regions of the world. The plant with this name is often welcome in the garden because it has very large, trumpet-shaped flowers that come in an array of colors, and it sometimes also has a very delicate, pleasant scent that can be very enjoyable when a large cluster of plants is massed together. Its large papery flowers last for only a day or two, but with proper care there will be a succession of blooms from spring to fall. The flowers are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Hibiscus can grow to 15 feet tall in frost-free areas.
You will find Breynia plant in a number of garden centers and department stores but in very few textbooks. It is basically a greenhouse plant which was introduced as a house plant in the 1980s. This native of the southern Pacific islands may also be grown as a tender perennial. Under glass it will grow into a shrub; in the living room Breynia is grown as a small bush, with slender branches densely clothed with colorful leaves.
Breynia nivosa (Snowbush, Hawaiian Snow Bush) has green leaves marbled with white. The variety B. roseopicta is the usual choice. The pink, white and green variegated leaves have a flower-like appearance – hence the common name.
The Lollipop Plant or Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys) is a perennial shrub often sold as a potted plant in colder climates. It’s origin from South America. This plant bears cone-shaped flower-heads above the oval leaves. The main appeal is the long flowering season – from late spring until fall if the plant is liberally watered and fed regularly. The lollipop plant is an easy care plant that will do fine in semi-shade or full sun with routine rainfall or watering. Don’t hesitate to prune it when it gets leggy.
Pachystachys lutea grows about 1½ ft high, with flower-heads made up of golden bracts and white blooms peeping through. The leaves are prominently veined.