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Outdoor Plants

7 Spring Flowering Trees and Shrubs

March 1, 2021 4 min read

Spring is in the air! These seven spring flowering trees and shrubs are a must-have for any space in your garden.

Spring flowering shrubs will not only add curb appeal to your front yard and spruce up your garden, but they also benefit emerging pollinators.

Quick Tip: All newly planted nursery stock should be watered at the soil level two to three times a week. Adjust your watering schedule according to rainfall or drought conditions.


The distinguished fragrant, lavender-hued blooms on lilacs make them indeed a timeless addition to gardens. In early spring they are covered in flowers that fill the area with an aromatic floral scent.

For best blooms, plant in an area that receives six or more hours of sunlight. They prefer soil that is organically rich in nutrients – if you have heavy sand or clay try adding compost before planting.


When you want to add a touch of whimsical elegance to your garden, look no further than the magnolia. The dreamy flowers are available in shades of pastel pink, creamy white, and even light yellow. They make great specimen plantings and work well when planted in woodland style gardens.

Magnolia tree in bloom

Plant in an area that has loamy, fertile soil. Keep the area well-watered (especially if they are newly planted) as they don’t tolerate drought very well. Mulch annually to help retain moisture levels and add organic nutrients to the soil. Avoid planting in areas that have strong winds and is away from any heavily salted streets or sidewalks. Six or more hours of sunlight is ideal.

Azalea & Rhododendron


If you are planting in an area that receives morning sun, you can still enjoy spring blooms by planting azaleas and rhododendrons. The area should be kept moist, and these plants enjoy acidic soil. Always protect from winter winds and away from locations that receive afternoon because it will cause the foliage to burn. Fertilize with Parkwood® Flower Plant Food 15-30-15 to encourage new growth for the following year.


Did you know Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) is native to Canada? These large specimen trees are adaptable to most soil conditions and can grow in partial to full sun locations.

Redbud blooms on a tree limb

Before foliage emerges in mid-spring, the textured grey bark emerges with tiny magenta buds that open with lavish rosy pink flowers. Heart-shaped green foliage will appear after the blooms and hold their colour until fall where they turn into burgundy. In autumn, bean-like pods will appear. Talk about a tree that provides four-season interest!


These deciduous shrubs welcome spring with golden yellow blooms that create an exuberant display before green foliage emerges.

Forsythia blooms against a blue spring sky.

Forsythia is often used in landscape plantings thanks to its upright growth habit, making it an excellent specimen for mixed borders. It’s adaptable to many soil types, is deer resistant and needs a sunny location. If you need to prune, hold off until the flowering is finished.


If growing an edible is your style, crabapple can be used as a cross-pollinating source for apples. In spring, crabapple trees erupt with a dazzling display of white, pink, or magenta-hued blooms (depending on the cultivar).

Unlike orchard apples, crabapples are grown for their ornamental qualities. The fruit is often smaller and more acidic in flavour, but it makes a great addition to jams and jellies due to the high pectin levels.

Flowering Almond

This elegant plant is available in tree and shrub form, making it a great addition to mass plantings and as a focal point where you need a boost of colour. In spring you will find branches enveloped in pink flowers from base to tip.

Flowering Almond Prunus triloba

They don’t produce almonds, but they do have a sweet almond-like fragrance. They require minimal maintenance; pruning should be done after flowering. Adaptable to most soils but it does need to be planted in an area with full sun. This is a magnificent plant for urban areas since it’s tolerant of city environments and pollution.