Flower planting: what you need to know

Spring has finally sprung, and we are excited for sunny days, lighter evenings and warmer weather! Now is the perfect time to do some flower planting, so in this blog, we’re going to tell you the basics and share some of our favourite spring flowers that will give your garden a burst of colour. 

Flower planting in April 

April means we are beginning to see the tell-tale signs of spring. Lambs are appearing in the fields and the staple flowers such as daffodils and tulips are popping up through the soil to tell us the warmer weather has arrived. 

April is the perfect time to start filling your flowerpots and flowerbeds, as the chance of frost is relatively low. If you’re a beginner and want to know where to start, then this is the blog post for you. 

Step 1: right place, right time 

Do the plants you’ve picked out need sun, shade, or a combination of both? Start by arranging your plants so they’re in a spot where they’ll get the kind of light they prefer (plants that like the sun should be out in the open, plants that need shade should go in a spot where they’ll have some cover). Full sun is six hours or more of direct sun per day, not always hours in a row. Part shade typically means four to six hours of sun per day. Shade definitions vary, depending on how deep the shade really is, so ask someone at your local garden centre if you’re not sure. 

Step 2: Dig the Soil

Beautiful flower gardens start with healthy soil. In general, most flowering plants do best in soil that’s loose and well-drained with a lot of organic material in it. You don’t need to dig a large area to plant flowers, but you should dig enough soil that you can add some compost to improve the soil structure and add nutrients.

Avoid digging or handling soil when it’s wet, this helps to prevent compaction. Plants need a certain amount of space between soil particles for roots to grow. One test to see if soil can be worked is to dig a small sample of soil from a 3-inch hole. Squeeze it into a ball, then toss the soil onto a hard surface such as a rock or pavement. If the soil stays together, it’s too wet for planting, but if it shatters, it’s time to plant.

Step 3: flower planting 

The steps for how to plant flower seeds are a little different than plants from your local garden centre, so follow the directions on the seed packet to know how deep to plant each seed and how far apart. With potted garden plants, you should usually plant with the soil at the same level as the soil in the pot, but read the plant tag to double-check! 

Some flowering plants, such as irises and peonies, prefer their rhizomes and roots to be planted very shallow. When removing the plant from the pot, gently tease some or all of the soil from the roots and place the plant into the hole you’ve prepared. Push the soil back into the hole, firming it gently but not packing it down.

Step 4: Water and add mulch 

Thoroughly soak the soil around your newly planted flowers. Garden flowers generally need 1 to 2 inches of moisture every week to perform well, so water if you don’t receive enough rain. It’s best to water deeply and less frequently than shallow and more often, so the roots of the plants grow deeper. 

Avoid keeping soil waterlogged or the roots of your flowering plants may rot. A layer of mulch, like shredded bark, around your new plants will help slow down evaporation and reduce how often you need to water.

Our favourite flowers to plant this spring 

You can plant lily bulbs in pots. Lilies grow really well in containers and you can move them around your patio or into gaps in borders as they come into flower.

The beautiful British native primrose is one the most well-loved spring flowers, with its pale yellow blooms and fresh green, crinkled leaves. Over the years, primroses will grow into clumps that can be divided and replanted around the garden, for a larger display. 

Forget-me-nots are cheery, low-growing blue flowers. They’re perfect for growing at the front of a border or combined with tulips and daffodils for a bright spring display. Forget-me-nots self-seed readily but they do start to look tatty after flowering and it’s best to pull them out and plant something in their place, instead.

Do you need help with your flower planting? 

If you’ve recently moved house and your garden is a blank canvas, or you’ve recently undergone an extensive garden renovation and need some new inspiration, the team here at Rosewood can help! Whether it’s helping you choose which flowers would complement your garden, or regularly maintaining them throughout the year, we’ve got you covered. 
To discuss how we can help, please give us a call on 07393 821797 or email us at [email protected]. You can also click here to learn more about our team.