dormant echinacea in a pot

What can you plant now that will give you a jump start on spring in your garden? Dormant perennials are a great answer. They might not look like much now, but dormant perennials allow you to take full advantage of these cool early spring months.  By planting dormant perennials or shrubs, you are encouraging their root systems to grow strong, resulting in bigger more beautiful plants this spring.

Echinacea

Plant Echinacea in well drained soil, in full to part sun.  Echinacea is easy to grow, and since most plants bloom during their second year, that's a great reason to start with transplants.

Salvia

Salvias are also easy to grow, bloom abundantly and are great looking in the landscape.

Hostas

Hostas are a perennial favorite among gardeners.  Their lush foliage and easy care make them ideal for a low maintenance garden.  A good rule of thumb is the lighter the foliage, the brighter the sun.  The deeper or darker the foliage, the more shade required.  The variegated varieties need more sunlight to keep their while and gold stripes, but all hostas need some shade.

Shasta Daisies

When you learn how to grow a Shasta daisy, you'll find it to be the perfect, low maintenance perennial, great for filling that bare spot in your landscape.  Shasta daisies provide a reassuring traditional look, and what's not to like about their sunny yellow face!

Hydrangeas

Who can forget the ever changing blooms of the hydrangea?  While there are many variety of hydrangeas, most can be grown in full sun or partial shade.  Most hydrangeas do not like extremely hot conditions, so be sure to plant them where they can enjoy some of that afternoon shade.  Hydrangeas do enjoy a good, deep watering at least once a week during dry weather.  A little boost of fertilizer in early spring will benefit your Hydrangea.

Gunnera

If you're looking to make a statement in your yard, then low lying Gunnera is a great choice for creating visual impact.  This prehistoric looking plant will fill any large empty space in your yard, and actually thrives in boggy soil.

So while they may not be the most visually appealing now, by planting dormant perennials and shrubs, you'll be months ahead of any other gardener on your block.