Spring-interest shrubs

Spring-flowering shrubs wake up the garden from its winter slumbers, bursting into bloom before many other plants have even emerged from the ground. These woody plants come in all sizes and produce some of the most dazzling and richly scented blooms. Choose from fragrant azaleas and daphnes to cheery yellow forsythia, elegant camellias, and much more.


These shrubs produce an early and often spectacular display of blooms, in a wide range of colours and styles. Thanks to their permanent woody structure, they have a year-round presence in the garden, whether they’re evergreen or deciduous (lose their leaves in autumn), large or small.


There are spring shrubs that enjoy most soil types and situations, but several of the most popular like acid soil, including rhododendrons and camellias. These both need moist soil in summer too, when their flower buds are forming.


Newly planted shrubs may not survive if left to dry out during their first year. Rhododendrons and camellias will drop their developing flower buds if conditions are too dry in summer.

Did you know?

The popular spring-flowering shrub forsythia is named after Scottish botanist William Forsyth. He was one of the founders of the Horticultural Society of London, in 1804, which later to become the Royal Horticultural Society.

Growing guide

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.