Early Spring Container Garden

After a long, cold winter we are anxious for spring to appear in our gardens. While it is too early to fill containers with summer-blooming annuals such as geraniums and petunias, you can bring your planters out of hibernation by planting cool-season annuals and early-blooming perennials.

The plants listed below offer early-spring color and fragrance for containers in sunny (6+ hours of bright sunlight) locations. After planting the flowers, use a little Spanish moss or green sheet moss as a soil cover and add a plant stick or other decoration to create a cheerful bouquet.

As the temperatures warm up, plant the perennials in garden beds and repot the containers with summer-blooming flowers.

Cool –Season Annuals

  • Pansies: Flowers come in a wide range of colors including blues, yellows, pinks and white. The plant will bloom continuously throughout the spring until temperatures get too hot.
  • Snapdragons: A great flower to add height and interest to the container; also a good flowers for cutting, available in a wide range of colors


We like to use herb plants in containers because their foliage is fragrant and interesting. These herbs will also bloom later in the season providing a change to the look of the container. If the herb plants are not completely cold hardy, or "hardened off" when you purchase them, cover the container with a towel when night temperatures drop below 40 degrees.

  • Chives
  • Curry Plant
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Sweet Woodruff
  • Thyme


  • Dianthus "Mountain Mist" or "Bath’s Pink"
  • Leopard’s Bane "Little Leo" (Doronicum)
  • Blue Fescue (Festuca ovina var. glauca)
  • Coralbells (Heuchera)
  • Spotted Dead Nettle (Lamium)
  • Sedum
  • Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata)
  • Candytuft (Iberis)

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