Perennials are plants that live for more than two years and continue to bloom. There are many perennials that will flower in early spring and will continue to flower throughout spring, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. You should consult your local nursery for advice on which early spring blooming perennials will work best in your garden.
Lungwort, an early spring bloomer, comes in many different colours and does best in part shade or full shade. Lungwort requires rich soil and will spread fairly wide so it should be planted by itself if you are planting in pots. Lungwort is of the genus Pulmonaria, which derives from the Latin word for lung. The blooms come in as rosettes and the leaves are often spotted. Lungworts are relatively robust and pink, blue, purple or white flowers will bloom even in chilly springs.
Bloodroot will begin to bloom in early spring and the plant will usually last a few years. Blooming will stop in early summer and the leaves will grow and become relatively thick. The leaves are broad and the flowers have white petals and yellow stamens. In some areas, deer will feed on bloodroot. Bloodroot has also been used for medicinal purposes, as it has properties that can help form scabs.
There are many different colours of columbine and they are a very hardy plant. Columbines do well in part sun and thrive even in drought. They bloom very early in the spring, as early as February. The blooms can be yellow, blue, white, purple, red, pink or a combination. Columbines attract small birds and butterflies and usually continue to bloom for a few months.
Honeysuckle, which blooms in February and March is a hardy-growing vine that does best in areas with dry air. The flowers are bell-shaped and have a nice aroma; their nectar is sweet and edible. Honeysuckles will continue to grow in summer and will attract birds and butterflies. You should plant honeysuckle in full sun, and you should secure a trellis or an arbor 30 cm (1 foot) or less away from the honeysuckle before you plant it. Consult your local nursery about the hardiest variety of honeysuckle for your area.
Dappled Willow, a Japanese shrub also known as Hakuro Nishiki, will bloom beautifully in early spring. Pink or reddish shoots will burst into white, dappled, or lacy looking leaves and yellow catkins will emerge in April. Dappled willow will do best in partial sun and should be fertilised to help keep its colour. This plant will do well in gardens but it should be given room to spread.
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