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10 Solutions for Cool Weather Plantings

Tired of planting plain ole pansies for all of your early season projects? We have ten fun alternatives available in every color of the rainbow--perfect for the landscape or a bright patio container combination. Prepare to be inspired! Click the plant names to learn more about each individual variety.

Solution #1: Osteospermum

Bright Lights, Soprano® and Symphony Osteospermum
It’s a sure sign of spring when retailers line their benches with colorful pots of Osteospermum daisies. These cheerful bloomers can't help but bring smiles to gardeners' faces and a bright splash of color to their newly planted containers.

All of the Ostospermum varieties from Proven Winners are early to bloom in spring yet they also have improved heat tolerance, blooming along with other annuals throughout the summer months and into fall in most climates. Use them as winter flowering annuals in the sunbelt states and as early season color from north to south.

Solution #2: Nemesia

With masses of blooms in deliciously warm shades of Cranberry, Blood Orange, LemonCoconut, or our newest, Aromance Pink--a highly fragrant option. Sunsatia nemesias are the perfect plants to bring the spring garden back to life again. Their attractive trailing habit makes them useful as spillers in combination containers and hanging baskets where they will thrive from spring through fall with no deadheading needed.

Solution #3: Calendula

You might be familiar with single flowered, seed grown English marigolds, but Lady Godiva® varieties take these plants to a new level with their fully double flowers and increased tolerance of heat and drought. Since they set little seed, the flowers just keep right on coming all season. Calendulas aren't just for spring anymore! Available in these colors: Lady Godiva® Orange, Lady Godiva® Yellow

Solution #4: Lobelia 

LAGUNA® Lobelia
For the perfect medley of spring color, blend Laguna® lobelia with osteospermum daisies in borders, pots, and baskets. The tiny blue, purple or white blossoms of the lobelias will knit the combination together into a fabulous show of color. As an added bonus, these particular varieties of lobelia are more heat tolerant than most, extending their show longer into the season. 

Solution #5: Lobularia 

Princess Lobularia
Snow Princess® sweet alyssum took the gardening world by storm when she was first introduced in 2010. Gardeners had never seen a sweet alyssum more vigorous, floriferous, or heat tolerant. Blushing Princess® came next, duplicating the garden performance of Snow Princess but with a twist—her flowers open white and then turn silvery lavender. The stronger the sunlight, the more intense lavender she becomes. 

These big, showy bloomers make enormous hanging baskets and work well as a groundcover too. Though they perform admirably as cool season annuals, they continue to be a blooming powerhouse through the summer heat and well into fall.

 

Knight Lobularia
Dark Knight is an exceptionally dark purple selection that provides early color for the landscape, containers, and hanging baskets. He won’t waste time producing seeds. This sweet guy’s only intention is to bloom like crazy for you from spring through fall. He is extremely cold tolerant but can take the heat too.

If purple’s not your color, try a more restrained white flowered sweet alyssum called White Knight®. He has a more densely compact habit, forming a perfect sphere in hanging baskets. Grown in full sun, he is so floriferous that you may not even notice his cool foliage. But grown in part shade where his flower clusters will be a bit less dense, you’ll get to appreciate his striped sense of style.

Solution #6: Supertunia® Petunias 

While Petunias may not be the first annual you think of planting in early spring, there are certainly some varieties that can tolerate colder temperatures than others. Trials have shown that the following selections are excellent for spring planting. Encompassing shades of red, pink, purple, yellow and white, there’s a Supertunia to match every spring color palette. 

Solution #7: Argyranthemum

You might think of daisies as summer flowers, but Marguerite daisies were made to handle cooler temperatures, too. Cheerful white or yellow daisies appear all summer on full plants that make perfect thrillers in containers or mass plantings in landscapes. You won’t need to remove the spent flowers for them to keep right on coming all season. Choose from three varieties: Golden Butterfly®, Pure White Butterfly® or Vanilla Butterfly®.

Solution #8: Artemisia

The lacy textured, silvery foliage of Silver Bullet® artemisia may look delicate but this is one tough plant! It requires very little maintenance to keep it looking fabulous from spring through fall. Drought and heat tolerance make it a good choice for low water landscapes where it will spread up to 30” across. In containers, its an easy filler that will spill over the sides of the container in time. Deer resistance is an added bonus.

Solution #9: Lamium

Pink Chablis® lamium is often thought of as a durable, deer resistant, perennial groundcover for sun and shade, but it is plenty hardy and versatile to use in containers, too. Its cool silver foliage is complemented by soft pink blossoms which dot the trailing stems from spring into summer. This plant is drought tolerant but also grows well with average moisture, so it’s easy to combine with other flowers in containers. 

Solution #10: Strawberries

Strawberries are a popular edible crop that can be planted in spring and enjoyed all summer. Berried Treasure Red strawberries are twice as nice since they produce beautiful magenta red, semi-double flowers and sweet snack-sized fruits together all summer long. Since the plants produce short runners, they are easily grown in patio containers to make fruit picking a breeze.

Want to know more? Here's a link to further reading about early spring planting and cold tolerant plants.

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