Seasonal Flowers for Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall

Given the large number of flowers that can be planted, beginning gardeners might be overwhelmed by the task of choosing which ones to grow. One way to bring order to the chaos is to pick the right seasonal flowers for the given time of year. Planting flowers during their proper season will ensure the best odds of optimal growth and good health. In addition, some flowers have unique sentimental meanings that gardeners might be fond of. To choose the right flowers for the season, it will be necessary to know what time of year each of the desired species are best suited for.

Spring

Crocus - Crocus, or Dutch Crocus, are easy to grow spring flowers that bloom in March and April. They are fast growing and some of the earliest blooming spring flowers. Bulbs of the crocus are cup-shaped and may be white, purple or yellow in color. In some cases, crocus are also striped. The Crocus means good cheer or happiness, and there are approximately 80 different species of the flower.

Daffodil - Narcissus are most often called daffodils and in some instances jonquils. They are a species of bright spring flower that comes into bloom during the early to late spring. Daffodils also come in a host of colors such as yellow, orange, pink, white, and orange-red. Depending on the species they may have a short, cup-like appearance, or a long and tubular shape. They are frequently seen as a symbol of rebirth.

Freesia - Freesias are a fragrant, bell-shaped flower with yellow, red or pink coloring. They are the appropriate flower for seventh anniversaries and symbolize both friendship and innocence. These flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and have a sweet citrus scent.

Hyacinths - Hyacinths bloom in the early spring months, usually around March to April. They are a cluster of flowers that are arranged on a single stem or stalk called an inflorescence. The florets of the inflorescence may be purple, blue, yellow, orange, pink, or white.

Iris - Iris are a flower that have an orchid-like appearance. They typically will bloom during the late spring, from May to the middle of June. Once an Iris has blossomed, each blossom lasts for approximately three days.The blossoms may be yellow, pink, blue, orange, red, or brown in color. In addition, some iris blossoms are a combination of these colors.

Star of Bethlehem - The star-of-Bethlehem is an ornamental six petaled, symmetrical flower that blossoms starting in late spring. The flowers are small and sit upon a conical spike. Once fully opened the flowers last for approximately two weeks, closing each night as the sun sets. These flowers are white in color and are used in wedding and other floral arrangements.

Sweet Pea - Sweet peas are annual flowers for spring gardening. The blossoms of the plant are available in a large variety of shades of white, red and pink. They have a delicate, ruffled appearance and are extremely fragrant. The flowers of this fragrant plant stand for blissful pleasure.

Tulips - Tulips are easily recognized flowers that grow from bulbs. They blossom on and around the month of April, and have a cup shape. The blossoms are found in a rainbow of colors including red, yellow, orange, pink, purple, or a combination of colors. Their meaning comes from the color of the blossoms, which means that purple tulips symbolize royalty, while cheerful thoughts are represented by the yellow tulip, while red ones represent love.

Summer

Love-lies Bleeding - Also known as "Tassle Flower", love-lies bleeding is a popular type of amaranth that blooms in the late summer months. It is characterized by flowers that look similar to tassels. The tassel-like flowers of the five-foot tall plant may be red or gold. These belong in a group of summer flowers that are drought-tolerant.

Cockscomb - Cockscomb is an annual that gets its name from its appearance which resembles the comb of a rooster. There are two types of cockscomb: crested and plumed. Both groups bloom in mid-July and don't stop until the first frost. The spiked blossoms may be white, purple, red, or yellow.

Gladiolus - Gladiolus are summer flowers that are popular as cut flowers. It is named for the sword-like shape of its leaves. The flowers consist of florets lined up in rows on a spike or stem that blossom from June to September. As they bloom, the bottom florets open up first, before the florets near the top of the spike. Florets may be pink, lavender, purple, yellow, or white in color. Gladioli symbolize infatuation, and also integrity and strength. It is the birth flower for August and it is also the flower associated with fortieth wedding anniversaries.

Hydrangea - These clustered flowers consists of numerous star-shaped florets. The florets are gathered into a rounded or pom-pom shape. There are several differing meanings associated with the flower. One of these is that the flower symbolizes boastfulness. Another meaning associated with the flower is gratitude or heartfelt sincerity. There are numerous varieties of hydrangeas that affect the size and even color of the flowers, which range from green to blue, lavender and pink. The flowers bloom throughout the summer and into the fall months.

African Marigolds - Also referred to as American marigolds, these marigolds are (summer flowers) that are identifiable by their bright orange and yellow blooms. They begin blooming by mid-summer and have large double-headed blossoms.

Periwinkle - Periwinkles, also known as vincas, are (summer flowers) that blossom throughout the summer months. Although the flowers are often blue, they may also be pink or white. Vincas symbolize first love.

Petunias - Petunias represent a variety of perennial flowers that fall into four categories called grandiflora, multiflora, milliflora, and spreading petunias. They represent healing, but may also symbolize anger and resentment. Most petunias found in gardens are hybrids.

Zinnias - Zinnias are ideal summer flowers in that they tolerate heat and are easy to maintain. They bloom from the midsummer months until frost, and are available in a multitude of bright colors and varieties.

Fall

Asters - Asters are a species of fall flower that blooms anywhere from August to October, depending on the variety. The colors of the flowers are white, pink, and purple or lavender with yellow centers. They are the symbolic of patience, are the designated flower for twentieth wedding anniversaries, and are the birth flower for the month of September.

Colchicum - Colchicum autumnale, also known as the Autumn crocus, is a flowering perennial herb. These plants grow up to six inches tall and are best in zones 4 - 9. Flowers begin to blossom in the early fall months. The big blooms are pink or white in color and have a cupped shape.

Helenium - Helenium autumnale. These plants grow as tall as five feet and are hardiest in zones 4 - 8. The blooms on these fall flowers are orange, red, or yellow in color, and bloom in the late fall months. The plants are native to North America and are easy to grow.

Toad Lily - The toad lily requires shade and soil that is moist but well-drained. Blooming occurs throughout the fall and may begin during the late summer. The resulting flowers have a similar appearance to that of orchids. They are white, and depending on the variety, they may or may not have dark purple spots.

Perennial Sunflower - Helianthus, or perennial sunflowers, bloom in the early fall, but may begin blooming in the late summer depending on location. They are aggressive growers that spread rapidly and have yellow flowers. Depending on the species, perennial flowers can grow as tall as 10 feet, such as the Maximilian sunflower. Perennial sunflowers are native to North America.

Golden Rod - There are over fifty Goldenrod species found in North America. All species have bright "golden-yellow flowers that bloom though the fall months. The leaves are long and narrow and may be either toothed or smooth along the edges. In terms of height, goldenrod typically do not grow taller than six feet.

Red Spider Lily - Lycoris radiata is a perennial flower that is native to China and Japan. It has a unique appearance in that the red blooms are bare and have a spider-like quality. They may grow as tall as two feet and are found in zones 8-10. The plant is native to China and Japan.

Japanese Anemone - The Japanese anemone blooms toward the end of the fall season. Its flowers are pink or white with single to double blooms, and it may grow as tall as five feet.

Winter

Amaryllis - Amaryllis are winter flowers that have a distinct trumpet shape. They bloom mid to late winter and are most often red in color. Other than red, Amaryllis are also available with pink, apricot, salmon or white petals. Petals may have different edge colors or be bi-color. The flower is meant to symbolize radiant beauty.

Cyclamen - Cyclamen will flower in the months of November and December, producing colorful blossoms that give the appearance of butterflies. These flowers come in colors such as pink, red, and white. They are often given as gift plants and adapt well to growing in containers.

Pansy - Pansies do well in the western and southern United States, but are not as suitable in the mid-western states or in the northeastern U.S. One species of pansy, Snow Angel, is a new variety that does well in colder regions such as Zone 4. Pansies are a five petal flower and come in a range of colors, such as white, yellow, purple, and red. They are all common colors and may be mixed on the face of the flower.

Violas - These winter flowers do well in cold weather conditions. They can tolerate rain and are smaller in size than pansies but similar in appearance. Colors include yellow, blue, white and they may also come in a mixture of two colors.

Poinsettias - Of the seasonal flowers, poinsettia are one of the most recognizable. This flower, which is also referred to as the Christmas Star, is the December birth flower. It symbolizes success and is thought to grant celebratory wishes. The plant begins to bloom around November and December, provided it receives natural light and cycles of darkness. The blooms of the plant are one of the reasons for its popularity as one of the top (seasonal flowers). Vibrant red is the most common color of its petals, however, pink, green, and even white poinsettias are also an option.

Stock - Matthiola incana, or stock, are winter blooming plants in regions that experience mild winter temperatures. It produces red, purple, lavender, yellow, cream, blue, and pink single or double flowers that are one-inch wide and four inches long. They are fragrant and do well as cut flowers and last up to eight days in a vase. Stock is symbolic of a happy existence.

Snapdragon - Snapdragons are tall flowering plants that are native to the Mediterranean. They produce yellow, orange, pink, lavender, and purple flowers that are in the shape of a snout. They produce flowers throughout the winter in states such as Florida and Tennessee. Snapdragons represent graciousness, but also deceit.

Winter Jasmine - The flowers of the winter jasmine appear in the later winter months. They are in the shape of a six-petal trumpet or funnel, and are bright yellow in color. It is a spreading plant that can reach heights of six to ten feet.

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