Springtime Greenery

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

Kousa Dogwood

kousa dogwood is noted for white flowers

Small, deciduous tree noted for its white flowers in late spring and large bright red fruit in fall

Has good red fall color
More disease resistant and drought tolerant than native Florida Dogwood
Plant in organic, rich, moist but well-drained soil
Plant in full sun to partial shade
Prune after flowering in spring; fertilize in late spring
Height: 20-30 feet; Width: 20-30 feet

Hardy in USDA zones (4)5-8:
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; may not be hardy in zone 4a but survive in protected areas of zone 4b.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun to partial shade.
Zone 7: Plant in fall; plant in full sun to partial shade; provide supplemental water during dry spells.
Zone 8: Plant in fall; plant in full sun to partial shade with protection from hot afternoon sun; provide supplemental water during dry spells.

Eastern Redbud

eastern redbud is noted for its early pink flowers

Small, deciduous tree noted for its purple/pink flowers in early spring before the leaves

Has decorative bean-like seed pods fall through winter
Drought tolerant once established
Tolerant of poor and alkaline soil
Plant in full sun to light shade
Prune after flowering in spring; fertilize in late spring
Height: 15-20 feet; Width: 15 feet

Hardy in USDA zones 4-9:
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun to light shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun to light shade.
Zone 7: Plant in fall; plant in full sun to light shade; provide supplemental water during dry spells.
Zone 8: Plant in fall; plant in full sun to light shade; provide supplemental water during dry spells.
Zone 9: Plant in fall; plant in full sun to light shade; provide supplemental water during dry spells.

Korean Spice Viburnum

korean spice viburnum noted for fragrant flowers

Deciduous shrub noted for its pinkish-white fragrant flowers in mid spring and red to black fruit in fall

Reddish fall color
Plant in rich, moisture-retentive, slightly acidic soil; water during dry periods in growing season
Plant in full sun to partial shade
Prune after flowering in spring; fertilize in late spring
Height: 6 feet; Width: 6 feet

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

Canadian Hemlock

canadian hemlock is pyramidal needled evergreen

Pyramidal needled evergreen grown as a hedge or screen or as a specimen in larger landscapes

Produces brown cones less than one inch
Plant in rich, moist, but-well drained soil; does not tolerate drought
Plant in full sun to partial shade; does not tolerate heat or urban stress
Prune as needed in the spring
Watch for tiny "cotton ball" growths at base of needles – sign of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
Height: 40-70 feet; Width: 30-50 feet

Hardy in USDA zones 3-7:
Zone 3: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun to light shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; avoid exposure to winter wind.
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun to light shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; avoid exposure to winter wind.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun to partial shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; avoid exposure to winter wind.
Zone 6: Plant in fall; plant in light to partial shade; avoid exposure to winter wind.
Zone 7: Plant in fall; plant in light to partial shade; avoid exposure to winter wind; may struggle in warmer areas of this zone.

Snowmound Spirea

snowmound spirea maintains neat rounded form

Dwarf deciduous shrub with dark blue-green leaves and white flowers in mid to late spring

Maintains a neat rounded form
Plant in rich, moist, but-well drained soil
Plant in full sun to light shade
Prune as needed while dormant in winter; fertilize in spring
Height: 3-5 feet; Width: 3-5 feet

Hardy in USDA zones 4-8(9):
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in fall or early spring; plant in full sun to light shade.
Zone 7: Plant in fall; plant in full sun to light shade.
Zone 8: Plant in fall; plant in full sun to light shade.
Zone 9: Plant in fall; plant in full sun to light shade; may struggle in warmer areas of this zone.

Sweetshrub or Carolina Allspice

sweetshrub or carolina allspice is highly fragrant

Large deciduous, suckering shrub with fragrant (spicy) dark maroon flowers in spring

Leaves are fragrant when crushed, but fragrance is highly variable between different plants. There is a wide range of fragrance intensity in this plant. Walter's experience has shown that if the leaves and twigs are highly fragrant when crushed, the flowers will also be more strongly scented.
Plant in rich, moist, but-well drained soil
Plant in full sun to partial shade; may become open or leggy in shadier locations
Prune after flowering in late spring
Height: 6-10 feet; Width: 6-12 feet, suckering

Hardy in USDA zones (4)5-9:
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; may suffer some branch dieback in this zone.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in fall or early spring; plant in full sun to partial shade.
Zone 7: Plant in fall; plant in full sun to partial shade.
Zone 8: Plant in fall; plant in full sun to partial shade.
Zone 9: Plant in fall; plant in full sun to partial shade.

Siberian Iris

siberian iris produces clumps of grassy foliage

Deciduous perennial producing clumps of grassy foliage and 3-inch beardless lavender flowers in summer

Plant in reliably moist to wet soil; will tolerate standing water and boggy conditions
Plant in full sun to light shade
Remove dead foliage in fall
Height: 2-3 feet; Width: 2-3 feet, spreading

Hardy in USDA zones (3)4-9:
Zone 3: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; may be marginally hardy in this zone.
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to light shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost.
Zone 7: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to light shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost.
Zone 8: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun to light shade.
Zone 9: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun to light shade.

Japanese Iris

japanese iris has beardless pale violet flowers

Deciduous perennial producing clumps of grassy foliage and 6-inch beardless pale violet flowers with dark violet veins in summer

Plant in reliably moist to wet soil; tolerates boggy conditions during growing season; dry in winter
Plant in full sun to light shade
Remove dead foliage in fall
Height: 2-3 feet; Width: 2-3 feet

Hardy in USDA zones 4-9:
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to light shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost.
Zone 7: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to light shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost.
Zone 8: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun to light shade.
Zone 9: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun to light shade.

German Bearded Iris

german bearded iris produces clumps of foliage

Deciduous perennial produces clumps of grassy foliage and 6-inch bearded flowers with white ruffled petals edged in deep blue-purple in late spring to early summer

Plant in rich, moist, but well-drained soil
Plant in full sun to light shade
Remove dead foliage in fall; divide rhizomes after blooming in summer
Height: 2-4 feet; Width: 2-4 feet, spreading

Hardy in USDA zones 3-9:
Zone 3: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to light shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost.
Zone 7: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to light shade; apply extra mulch after first hard frost.
Zone 8: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun to light shade.
Zone 9: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun to light shade.

Blackie Sweet Potato Vine

black sweet potato vine is vigorous trailing vine

Vigorous trailing annual vine with dark purple to almost black bold foliage

Plant in moist, but well-drained soil; water when dry
Tolerates heat
Plant in full sun
Height: 6 inches; Width: to 48 inches or more

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 dig tubers for indoors before frost or discard plants after killing frost.
Zones 10-11: Plant in spring; mulch in fall; prune away old foliage in early spring; fertilize twice monthly during spring and summer.

Licorice Plant 'Limelight'

licorice plant has chartreuse fuzzy leaves

Trailing annual vine with bright chartreuse fuzzy leaves

Plant in moist, but well-drained soil; water when dry
Plant in light shade; may lose leaf color in strong light or heat
Height: 20 inches; Width: to 6 feet

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 indoors before frost or discard plants after killing frost.
Zones 10-11: Plant in spring; mulch in fall; prune away old foliage in early spring; fertilize twice monthly during spring and summer.

Red Pygmy Dahlia

red pygmy dahlia has bright red daisy like flower

Tender perennial with bright red daisy-like flowers from mid summer to frost

Plant in moist, but well-drained soil; water when dry
Plant in full sun
Fertilize weekly with nitrogen fertilizers before bloom and potassium fertilizers during bloom
Height: 20 inches; Width: 12 inches

Annual in USDA zones 2-7
Hardy in USDA zones (7b)8-11:

Zones 2-7: Plant in spring after danger of frost has passed; cut back foliage and bring indoors before frost or discard plants after killing frost; may survive in zone 7b with extra mulch.
Zones 8-11: Plant in spring; mulch in fall; prune away old foliage in fall.

Gay's Delight Coleus

Annual grown for its bold chartreuse foliage with maroon veins
Plant in moist, but well-drained soil; water when dry
Plant in full sun
Pinch plants to encourage bushiness
Height: 24-36 inches; Width: 24-36 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; cut back foliage and bring indoors or root cuttings indoors before frost or discard plants after killing frost.
Zones 10-11: Plant in spring; mulch in fall; prune away old foliage in fall.

Red Dianthus

red dianthus is trailing evergreen perennial

Trailing evergreen perennial grown as a groundcover or in containers with silver foliage and red flowers in mid spring

Plant in moist, but well-drained soil
Plant in full sun
Shear back after flowering to promote reblooming
Height: 12-18 inches; Width: 12-18 inches

Hardy in USDA zones (3)4-9:
Zone 3: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; may be marginally hardy in this zone.
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost.
Zone 7: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; apply extra mulch after first hard frost.
Zone 8: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun.
Zone 9: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun.

Nasturtium

nasturtium is known for its vivid color

Annual known for its vivid color

Plant in well-drained soil. Nasturtium will often grow even in poor soil.
Plant in full sun
Height: 12-inch bush or 24 inches trailing

Green Showers Boston Ivy

green showers boston ivy is vigorous climbing vine

A native alternative to Green Showers Boston Ivy is called Virginia Creeper – Parthenocissus quinquefolia.

Vigorous, deciduous climbing vine with large bright green leaves that turn burgundy in the fall
Plant in moist, but well-drained soil
Plant in full sun
Prune at any time to keep in check
Length: 40-50 feet

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

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