10 Flowers You Should Plant in Your Garden Right Now

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Spring has finally sprung in the South. Spruce up your garden with colorful seasonal blooms. These 10 cool-season annuals thrive in early-spring weather. Gardening is a healthy, stress-relieving activity that's enjoyable to do solo. Reap the benefits of spending time in nature as well as boosting your home's curb appeal by planting a fresh crop of vibrant blooms in your flower beds or containers.

01 of 10


Flowering Jar Pansies
Photo: Ralph Lee Anderson

Pansies are cool-weather perennials commonly grown as annuals. These popular flowers grow best in US, MS, LS, CS, TS and USDA Zones 6-11. Find them at garden centers in a range of colors with shiny, heart-shaped leaves. Deadhead spent blooms to lengthen pansies' lifespan in beds. Remove them when hot temperatures start setting in.

02 of 10



Violas (which are in the same family as pansies) are a go-to choice for early- to mid-spring gardens in US, MS, LS, CS, TS and USDA Zones 6-11. At the nursery, look for the Sorbet and Penny series, which perform best in Southern climates. Unlike pansies, violas don't require deadheading.

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Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas
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Sweet peas are classic cottage garden blooms that last from spring through summer in US, MS, LS, CS, TS and USDA Zones 6-11. Soak the seeds in water for a few hours before planting to speed up the germination process. Give them full sun and regular water. Keep their roots cool by adding a layer of mulch on top of the soil.

04 of 10


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Plant geraniums in garden beds in CS and TS or USDA Zones 9-11. Everywhere else, grow these bright flowers in containers for best results. Vibrant clusters of blooms pop against the plants round, velvety green leaves. Give them morning sun, afternoon shade, and regular water. These tough growers can handle a surprising mid-spring frost and can also last into summer (be sure to give them plenty of water).

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Grow petunias along the border of garden beds in US, MS, LS, CS, TS and USDA Zones 6-11. They can also thrive in containers. Wherever they're planted, give them rich, well-drained soil, full sun, and regular water.

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Calendulas are tried-and-true spring flowers. These cool-season annuals grow best in US, MS, LS, CS, TS, and USDA Zones 6-11, and they're easy to sow from seed. With full sun and regular water, calendulas produce daisy-like blooms in a range of orange and yellow hues. They aren't appetizing to deer, but they do attract butterflies. Snip a few stems for cut arrangements.

07 of 10


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Forget-me-nots' blue flowers are tiny but grow profusely. Plant them in beds as ground covers. They perform best in US, MS, LS, and USDA Zones 6-8. Give them partial shade, regular water, and moist soil. Forget-me-nots' seeds self-sow and will keep blooming in your garden for years if you let them.

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Add height to your garden with spiky larkspurs. (Note: This flower is poisonous if any part is ingested.) They grow best in US, MS, LS, CS, TS, and USDA Zones 6-11 with regular water. Larkspurs grow 1 to 5 feet tall and attract butterflies. Use these tall stems in cut arrangements.

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Sweet Williams

Sweet Williams
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Sweet William is a rapid grower, reaching up to 20 inches tall and 1 foot wide. This flower is technically a biennial but often grown as an annual in US, MS, LS, CS, TS, and USDA Zones 6-11. It produces blooms in a range of white, pink, and purple hues. Plant it in full sun and water regularly.

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Sow snapdragon seeds in early spring, or buy started plants at your local nursery. These vertical growers make great additions to cut arrangements. Snapdragons perform best in US, MS, LS, CS, TS, and USDA Zones 6-11. To avoid rust (a common fungal disease in snapdragons that appears as brown splotches on leaves), don't water these flowers from overhead.

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