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Best Plants for Spring Planting in U.S. Cities: April and May Favorites


Spring is an ideal time for planting in many regions across the United States. The mild temperatures and increased rainfall provide perfect conditions for new plantings to establish roots. We’ve created a quick guide to get you started on the best plants for spring planting in April and May, tailored to the specific climates and growing conditions of various U.S. cities.

Northeastern Cities

Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Boston, Newark

  • Trees: Dogwood (Cornus spp.), Cherry (Prunus spp.)
  • Shrubs: Forsythia (Forsythia spp.), Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
  • Perennials: Tulips (Tulipa spp.), Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)

Cleveland, Erie, Philadelphia, Washington DC

  • Trees: Redbud (Cercis canadensis), Magnolia (Magnolia spp.)
  • Shrubs: Azalea (Rhododendron spp.), Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.)
  • Perennials: Peonies (Paeonia spp.), Allium (Allium spp.)

Midwestern Cities

Chicago, Minneapolis, Fargo

  • Trees: Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), Maple (Acer spp.)
  • Shrubs: Hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.), Viburnum (Viburnum spp.)
  • Perennials: Hostas (Hosta spp.), Astilbe (Astilbe spp.)

Mid-Atlantic Cities

Atlanta, Richmond, Charlotte, Raleigh

  • Trees: Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis), Crabapple (Malus spp.)
  • Shrubs: Camellia (Camellia japonica), Spirea (Spiraea spp.)
  • Perennials: Iris (Iris spp.), Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.)

Southern Cities

Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Savannah, Myrtle Beach

  • Trees: Palm (Arecaceae spp.), Citrus (Citrus spp.)
  • Shrubs: Oleander (Nerium oleander), Ixora (Ixora coccinea)
  • Perennials: Caladium (Caladium spp.), Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

High Altitude Cities


  • Trees: Aspen (Populus tremuloides), Pine (Pinus spp.)
  • Shrubs: Barberry (Berberis spp.), Juniper (Juniperus spp.)
  • Perennials: Lupine (Lupinus spp.), Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea)

Smaller Cities

Nashua, Manchester, Bangor

  • Trees: Birch (Betula spp.), Elm (Ulmus spp.)
  • Shrubs: Boxwood (Buxus spp.), Witch Hazel (Hamamelis spp.)
  • Perennials: Phlox (Phlox spp.), Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

This curated list ensures that gardeners in these cities can choose plants that will thrive in their specific climates, taking advantage of the spring planting season for optimal growth and bloom. Whether you’re in the warm humid South, the cooler Northeast, or the varied climates of the Midwest and the Rockies, there’s something to suit every garden this spring.

Posted on March 27, 2024

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