Helpful Hints for Choosing New Plants This Spring

Spring Planting

They’re Here! The New Plant Catalogs Are Here!

When I am traveling and visiting franchise owners I tend to get a little jealous regarding the plants that are growing around the country especially those owners who live in warmer climates.

I recently was in the Seattle, WA area and saw pansies for sale at a home improvement store. I wanted to buy some so I could take them back with me, but realized that the high temperature was only going to be about 4 degrees when I got home. So much for the pansies…

However when I got home, you can imagine my delight when I found that my first plant catalog had been delivered. This becomes an exciting time for me, since I always look forward to picking out all of the plants I want to buy each year. Even though I usually end up forgetting to order them, don’t have enough time to plant them, or the weather is not conducive to planting when I do have the time.

For those of you who receive a plant catalog or seed catalog every year make sure to keep in mind the growing conditions where you are going to put the new plants. In my own yard, it is very shady, so I pass by the ones that have the little “sun” icon and look for ones that have either the “partial sun” or “all clouds” icons. The ones that seem to do the best in my landscape are hostas and astilbes.

There are numerous varieties of hostas with different colored leaves, flowers and sizes. They are relatively hardy in northern Illinois, so I try to stick with these type of plants.  Then there are Astilbes which are very pretty and have very showy flowers. It seems that most plants that grow in the shade have less flowers than there sunny counterparts, so having some pink or red flowers in the landscape is a nice change.

Also look at the planting zones.  There are a lot of beautiful plants that grow in warmer climates, but will still grow where I live, however they do have to be dug up every fall as they cannot handle the deep freeze we receive every winter.

Climate zones

I have purchased these type of plants in the past, like gladiolas, but never seem to find the time to dig them up in the fall.  In the past when I have dug them up I forget about them the following spring and they never get planted. However if you are not up for a challenge, gladiolas are relatively cheap when purchasing standard color bags of in the spring, so I find it easier to just buy new ones each year.

I know that I have about three more months before I can start “diggin” in the dirt again, so I will have to be satisfied with pursuing the plant and seed catalogs and dream about warmer weather.

Do you have any questions about what to plant in your yard this spring? Contact your local Spring-Green with any questions you may have.