Spring Greenery

Learn about several plant varieties and the planting information for each zone.

Gumpo Pink Azalea

gumpo pink azalea is compact, evergreen shrub

Compact, evergreen shrub with pink flowers in May and June

Height: 2-3 feet; Width: 2-3 feet
Plant in rich organic soil that is well drained in partial shade (morning sun)
Fertilize after flowering
Prune, if needed, after flowering

Hardy in USDA zones 6-9:
Zone 6: Plant in fall or early spring; plant in partial shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; water during dry periods.
Zone 7: Plant in fall or early spring; plant in partial shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; water during dry periods.
Zone 8: Plant in fall or early spring; plant in partial shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; water during dry periods.
Zone 9: Plant in fall or early spring; plant in partial shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; water during dry periods.

Autumn Fern

autumn fern is deciduous to evergreen fern

Deciduous to evergreen fern with new bronze colored foliage that changes to green

Plant in moist to wet soil rich in organic matter
Plant in partial to full shade
Height: 18-24 inches; Width: to 18 inches

Hardy in USDA zones 5-9:
Zone 5: Plant in spring to avoid winter heaving; plant in partial to full shade; mulch after planting and again before first frost; avoid contact with salt; water during dry periods; deciduous to semi-evergreen in this zone; remove dead foliage after frost; divide in spring every few years.
Zone 6: Plant in spring; plant in partial to full shade; mulch after planting and again before first frost; water during dry periods; deciduous to semi-evergreen in this zone; remove dead foliage after frost; divide in spring every few years.
Zone 7: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in partial to full shade; mulch after planting and again before first frost; water during dry periods; semi-evergreen to evergreen in this zone; remove dead foliage in fall; divide in spring every few years.
Zone 8: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in partial to full shade; mulch after planting and again in fall; water during dry periods; evergreen in this zone; remove dead foliage in fall or spring; divide in spring every few years.
Zone 9: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in partial to full shade; mulch after planting and again in fall; water during dry periods; evergreen in this zone; remove dead foliage in fall or spring; divide in spring every few years.

August Beauty Gardenia

august beauty gardenia has fragrant flowers

Large evergreen shrub with white fragrant flowers from May to frost

Lustrous, dark green leaves
Height: 4-6 feet; Width: 4-6 feet
Plant in rich organic soil that is well drained in full sun to partial shade
Protect from winter wind
Prune in late winter

Hardy in USDA zones 7-10:
Zone 7: Plant in early spring or fall; plant in full sun to light shade; water during dry periods; apply extra mulch in fall; foliage may suffer winter burn in this zone.
Zone 8: Plant in early spring or fall; plant in full sun to light shade; water during dry periods; apply extra mulch in fall.
Zone 9: Plant in early spring or fall; plant in full sun to partial shade; water during dry periods; apply extra mulch in fall.
Zone 10: Plant in early spring or fall; plant in full sun to partial shade; water during dry periods; apply extra mulch in fall.

Lenten Rose

lenten rose blooms in late winter to early spring

Evergreen or deciduous perennial with cup-shaped flowers of white to dark purple blooming in late winter to early spring

Large, palmate dark green foliage
Height: 12-18 inches; Width: 12-18 inches
Plant in rich organic soil that is well drained in partial to full shade
Do not disturb roots of established plants
Prune away older foliage at beginning of blooming season

Hardy in USDA zones 4-9:
Zone 4: Plant in spring to avoid winter heaving; mulch in spring and again after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; plant in partial to full shade; water during dry periods; may be deciduous in this zone.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to avoid winter heaving; mulch in spring and again after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; plant in partial to full shade; water during dry periods; may be deciduous in this zone.
Zone 6: Plant in spring or early fall; mulch after first hard frost; plant in partial to full shade; water during dry periods; usually evergreen in this zone.
Zone 7: Plant in spring or early fall; mulch after first hard frost; plant in partial to full shade; water during dry periods; evergreen in this zone.
Zone 8: Plant in spring or early fall; mulch in fall; plant in partial to full shade; water during dry periods; evergreen in this zone.
Zone 9: Plant in spring or early fall; mulch in fall; plant in partial to full shade; water during dry periods; evergreen in this zone.

Cherry Berry Hosta

cherry berry hosta is variegated white and green

Deciduous perennial with variegated white/green foliage and purple flowers with red seed pods

Plant in moist, but-well drained soil
Keep moist during drying periods
Plant in partial shade; can tolerate morning sun
Watch for presence of slugs
Height: 16-24 inches; Width: 15-18 inches

Hardy in USDA zones 3-8:
Zone 3: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; mulch heavily after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; pull back mulch in early spring; divide as new growth appears in early spring; protect from deer in prone areas.
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; mulch heavily after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; pull back mulch in early spring; divide as new growth appears in early spring; protect from deer in prone areas.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; mulch heavily after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; pull back mulch in early spring; divide as new growth appears in early spring; protect from deer in prone areas.
Zone 6: Plant in spring or fall; mulch after first hard frost; pull back mulch in early spring; divide as new growth appears in early spring; protect from deer in prone areas.
Zone 7: Plant in spring or fall; mulch after first hard frost; pull back mulch in early spring; divide in fall or as new growth appears in early spring; protect from deer in prone areas.
Zone 8: Plant in spring or fall; mulch lightly in the fall; pull back mulch in early spring; divide in fall or as new growth appears in early spring; protect from deer in prone areas.

Japanese Pachysandra

japanese pachysandra is spreading groundcover

A native alternative to Pachysandra terminalis is available. Allegheny Spurge (Pachysandra procumbens) offers bold foliage and large flowers.

Spreading, evergreen groundcover with white flowers in the spring
Plant in partial to full shade
Plant in average to dry, well-drained soil
Height: 6-12 inches; Width: 18-24 inches, spreading

Hardy in USDA zones 4-8:
Zone 4: Plant in spring; plant in partial shade; mulch in fall; avoid contact with salt; pull back mulch in spring.
Zone 5: Plant in spring; plant in partial shade; mulch in fall; avoid contact with salt; pull back mulch in spring.
Zone 6: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in partial to full shade.
Zone 7: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in partial to full shade.
Zone 8: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in partial to full shade.

Otto Luyken Laurel

otto luyken laurel is used frequently as hedge

Compact, evergreen shrub with dark green leaves and white flowers followed by black fruit

Plant in moist, but-well drained soil; water when dry
Tolerates pruning well; used frequently as a hedge; prune in early spring before new growth
All parts of plant are highly poisonous
Susceptible to shot-hole disease
Plant in full sun to shade; very shade tolerant
Height: 3-5 feet; Width: 4-6 feet

Hardy in USDA zones 6-8(9):
Zone 6: Plant in fall or early spring; mulch heavily after first hard frost; fertilize in spring with balanced fertilizer.
Zone 7: Plant in early fall; mulch in fall; fertilize in spring with balanced fertilizer.
Zone 8: Plant in early fall; mulch in fall; fertilize in spring with balanced fertilizer.
Zone 9: Plant in early fall; mulch in fall; fertilize in spring with balanced fertilizer; growth may not be as vigorous in this zone.

Shirobana Spirea

shirobana spirea is on invasive watch list

This non-native plant on the invasive watch list in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and the U.S. Forest Service. It is best avoided near moist areas.

Deciduous shrub with red, white and pink flowers blooming at the same time in early summer
Plant in full sun
Plant in rich, but well-drained soil
Water regularly until established; fertilize in spring; prune ½ to 1/3 when dormant
Deadhead to prevent the formation of seeds that produce unwanted seedlings
Height: 2-3 feet; Width: 2-3 feet

Hardy in USDA zones 4-8:
Zone 4: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost to prevent winter heaving; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 5: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost to prevent winter heaving; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun to light shade; mulch after first hard frost.
Zone 7: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall.
Zone 8: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall; may defoliate early in hot, dry weather.

'Emerald' Eastern Arborvitae

emerald eastern arborvitae has pyramidal shape

Upright, large evergreen shrub noted for its tight pyramidal shape and green foliage

Plant in full sun to light shade in rich, moist, but well-drained soil
Water regularly first season and in times of dry weather
Fertilize in mid spring with acid-based fertilizer
Dog urine may leave brown spots on foliage
Height: 12-15 feet; Width: 4-6 feet

Hardy in USDA zones 2-7(8):
Zone 2: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; avoid exposure to harsh winter wind.
Zone 3: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; avoid exposure to harsh winter wind.
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; avoid exposure to harsh winter wind.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; avoid exposure to harsh winter wind.
Zone 6: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first frost.
Zone 7: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun to light shade; apply extra mulch after first frost.
Zone 8: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun to light shade; apply extra mulch in fall.

Creeping Variegated Periwinkle

Evergreen spreading groundcover with variegated leaves and blue flowers from spring to summer
Plant in partial sun to moderate shade
Can be invasive
Plant in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil
Water regularly until established; prune to keep in bounds in early spring
Height: 4-8 inches Width: to infinity

Hardy in zones 3-8:
Zones 3: Plant in spring; plant in light shade; mulch after first frost to prevent winter heaving; remove mulch in spring; avoid exposure to salt; may suffer some foliage damage in extreme cold weather.
Zones 4: Plant in spring; plant in light to partial shade; mulch after first frost to prevent winter heaving; remove mulch in spring; avoid exposure to salt.
Zones 5: Plant in spring; plant in light to partial shade; mulch after first frost to prevent winter heaving; remove mulch in spring; avoid exposure to salt.
Zones 6: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in partial to moderate shade; prune hard in early spring to keep in bounds.
Zones 7: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in partial to moderate shade; prune hard in early spring to keep in bounds.
Zones 8: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in partial to moderate shade; prune hard in early spring to keep in bounds.

Carissa Holly

carissa holly has single sharp point on leaf

Compact, evergreen shrub with stiff, shiny leaves and a single sharp point on the end

Plant in moist, but well-drained soil; water when dry
Maintains rounded shape; prune, if needed, in early spring before new growth
May produce "sport" branches containing spiny leaves, which can be pruned away
Plant in full sun; fertilize once or twice each year
Height: 3-4 feet; Width: 3-5 feet

Hardy in USDA zones (6)7-9:
Zone 6: Plant in spring or early fall; mulch in fall; fertilize in spring and fall with balanced fertilizer; plant in a protected location; may suffer some tip dieback in this zone.
Zone 7: Plant in early fall; mulch in fall; fertilize in spring and fall with balanced fertilizer.
Zone 8: Plant in early fall; mulch in fall; fertilize in spring and fall with balanced fertilizer.
Zone 9: Plant in early fall; mulch in fall; fertilize in spring and fall with balanced fertilizer.

'Angel Mist' Summer Snapdragon

angel mist summer snapdragon used as bedding plant

Annual with upright spikes of blue, white or purple flowers used as a bedding or container plant

Plant in moist, but well-drained soil; water when dry
Tolerates heat
Plant in full sun
Height: 10-18 inches; Width: 8-12 inches
Annual in USDA zones 2-8

Hardy in USDA zones 9-11:
Zones 2-8: Plant in spring after danger of frost has passed; fertilize with water-based fertilizer twice monthly during growing season; bring indoors before frost or discard plants after killing frost.
Zones 9-11: Plant in spring; mulch in fall; prune back by 1/2 in early spring; fertilize twice monthly during spring and summer.

Mexican Heather

mexican heather is woody annual

Woody annual with small green leaves and lavender, white or rose flowers

Plant in moist, but well-drained soil; water when dry
Tolerates heat
Plant in full sun
Height: 18 inches; Width: 18 inches

Annual in USDA zones 2-8
Hardy in USDA zones 9-11:

Zones 2-8: Plant in spring after danger of frost has passed; fertilize with water-based fertilizer twice monthly during growing season; bring indoors before frost or discard plants after killing frost.
Zones 9-11: Plant in spring; mulch in fall; prune back by 1/2 in early spring; fertilize twice monthly during spring and summer.

Beefsteak Plant

beefsteak plant is an annual with edible foliage

Annual with bold magenta, green and cream foliage and white flowers that resembles a Coleus

Plant in moist, but well-drained soil; water when dry
Edible foliage
Tolerates heat
Plant in full sun
Height: 1-3 feet; Width: 12 inches

Annual in USDA zones 2-9
Hardy in USDA zones 10-11:

Zones 2-9: Plant in spring after danger of frost has passed; fertilize with water-based fertilizer twice monthly during growing season; cut back foliage and bring for indoors before frost or discard plants after killing frost.
Zones 9-11: Plant in spring; mulch in fall; prune 1/2 in early spring; fertilize twice monthly during spring and summer.

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