There is still plenty of time to put new plants in the ground and help roots become established before soil freeze sets in. Whether your retail customers are planting now or you are planning varieties to add to landscape designs in the spring, consider the following favorites for seasonal waves of color.
Texas Scarlet Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles ‘Texas Scarlet’)
Texas Scarlet Flowering Quince
Among the spring’s first flowering shrubs to bloom in the Midwest, Texas Scarlet Flowering Quince produces a dramatic display of charming, orange-red blossoms in as early as February and March. Foliage is red-tinted as it emerges and turns glossy green as it matures. Pollinators appreciate the nectar of this dramatic early bloomer, which flowers for weeks before small, yellow-green fruits in late summer provide food for birds.
Texas Scarlet Flowering Quince is a deciduous, compact shrub and is widely adaptable to a variety of soils. It is low maintenance and versatile as a specimen plant, low hedge and focal point in a meditation or cottage garden. With a medium growth rate, mature height and spread is between 3 and 4 feet. Plant in partial shade to full sun. This shrub performs best in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9.
Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis)
Baptisia Blue False Indigo
Delicately beautiful, Baptisia Blue False Indigo produces dense clusters of deep blue, pea-sized flowers on tall, upright stems. Blue-green leaves are divided into three leaflets, which lend a subtle color backdrop to other blooming perennials. Flowers begin blooming in late spring and continue through early summer. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the petals. Deep black seed pods form on the plant in the fall and persist through the winter.
Plant Baptisia Blue False Indigo in pollinator, native plant and cottage gardens, and in larger containers, in-ground beds and perennial borders. To maintain a rounded plant appearance, trim the foliage once flowers have finished blooming. If seed pods are left to overwinter, they will produce seedlings that are fine to leave and easy to pull out. Low maintenance, Baptisia prefers loamy, sandy soil with an acid or neutral pH. The plant has no special watering requirements. Mature height is 3 to 5 feet; width is 2 to 3 feet. Plant in full sun, in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 10.
Scarlet Flame Phlox (Phlox subulata ‘Scarlet Flame’)
Scarlet Flame Phlox
Viva magenta! Dressed in the 2023 Pantone Color of the Year, low-growing Scarlet Flame Phlox turns heads for its stunning flowers in April and May. Plant it in a rock garden, along a border wall, around bulb plants and under flowering shrubs. With its carpet of color, this moss phlox produces feathery, evergreen foliage that spreads gradually and crowds out weeds. Foliage keeps its deep green color in summer, fall and winter.
Scarlet Flame Phlox is a durable perennial plant that requires well-drained soil and placement in full sun. Encourage new growth by trimming the flowers once they’ve finished blooming. Low maintenance, hummingbirds, hawk moths, long-tongued bees and butterflies are attracted to its tubular flowers. Slightly fragrant, they produce a spicy, vanilla-clove scent. This phlox has a mature height of 4 inches and a typical spread of 14 to 16 inches. Plant in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9.
Yuki Snowflake® Deutzia (Deutzia x)
Yuki Snowflake Deutzia
Loaded with elegant white flowers, Yuki Snowflake Deutzia is an ideal specimen plant in moon or night gardens. Use this extra-heavy bloomer to cool down hot floral colors around a patio and as a compact shrub in a meditation garden, cottage garden and in perennial borders. It has a short, mound habit that makes it a stunning showcase in urns and containers. Green foliage turns burgundy in the fall.
Deer resistant, this miniature shrub is only 12 to 14 inches tall and wide at maturity. Easy to maintain, it blooms on old wood from early to late spring. Prune after flowering to maintain the shrub’s shape. It prefers moist, well-drained soil but has no other special soil or watering requirements. Plant in part to full sun, in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 8.
Tiny Wine® Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)
Tiny Wine Ninebark
This miniature shrub produces pink-white, button-like flowers up and down its stems for a lush display that complements its bronze-maroon foliage. Add Tiny Wine Ninebark to perennial borders and garden beds, and as a foundation plant in smaller spaces. Companion plants are coneflowers, phlox and daylilies.
Tiny Wine Ninebark has small, refined leaves on a bushy habit. Blooms emerge in spring on old wood. Although not required, prune this shrub after bloom if desired. Otherwise, it requires almost no maintenance, is drought tolerant and adapts to most soils. Mature height is about 5 feet tall; width is about 4 feet. Plant in sun, in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 7.
Pop Star® Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘Bailmacsix’)
Pop Star Hydrangea
Pop Star Hydrangea is a mighty little herbaceous shrub that delivers a big impact with starry, lacecap blooms that keep going and going from summer through fall. Its bright color makes it a stand-out in the landscape and irresistible to butterflies, bees and other garden pollinators. It is versatile as a front-of-the-border shrub in larger landscapes and as a specimen shrub in smaller spaces. It looks great in containers, around patios and along walkways, especially when planted in groupings.
At maturity, Pop Star Hydrangea is only 18 to 36 inches tall and wide. It prefers rich, loamy soil. To ensure that soil is well drained, add organic compost. Feed the shrub with a balanced fertilizer in the early spring and late in the summer. Depending on soil pH, electric blue or vibrant pink blooms cover the shrub from top to bottom. Alkaline soil produces blue petals. Acidic soil produces pink blooms. Foliage is dark green. Prune after flowering, either in the early spring or late in the fall as personal preference dictates. Plant in partial shade, in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.
Learn About the Loma Vista Nursery Family and Our Landscape Plants
Loma Vista Nursery grows healthy plants for independent garden centers, landscape contractors and wholesale distributors. We are now taking professional trade orders for the spring 2024 growing season. Click here for our container order form. Click here for our in-ground tree order form. Visit our plant catalog for more information about Loma Vista Nursery grown perennial plants, trees and shrubs – all ideal for Midwest landscapes.
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