Gardening column: March delivers spring flowers | Columnists

In a regular 12 months, March is the commencing of spring in South Carolina, equally by the calendar and by the quantity of flowers gardeners can love. The plants talked about in this short article are deer-resistant other than as noted.

White-blooming shrubs

A few uncomplicated-to-grow shrubs bloom with white flowers in March. White-flowered vegetation match into any shade plan, and the several diverse measurements and light-weight tastes offer a wide variety of placement selections.

The tallest shrub is banana shrub (Magnolia figo). My plant is 10 toes tall by 7 ft huge. As I have published earlier, banana shrub flowers scent like the artificial banana flavoring (isoamyl acetate) we produced in large university chemistry class. The a lot of tiny flowers are product with reddish-purple edges.

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The lower leaves of banana shrub, like other evergreen magnolias, are attacked by fake oleander scale if they never get immediate daylight portion of the day. Horticultural oil can be sprayed to regulate scales following blooming is completed. A number of applications during the year may perhaps be wanted to hold scale under control.

Bridal wreath spirea (Spirea prunifolia) is 8 toes large when unpruned and 6 ft tall. “The Southern Living Gardening Book” (Oxmoor House, 2012) describes this shrub as “an aged Southern favorite.” The oldest stems that have number of leaves should really be pruned out following flowering each individual other calendar year.

Bridal wreath, like most spireas, demands complete to partial sunshine. They desire nicely-drained to ordinary soil, that is, soil on the drier somewhat than wetter side.

Pieris “Temple Bells” (Pieris japonica) is at times named lily of the valley shrub due to the fact the specific flowers on the drooping flower stalks seem like lily of the valley. Temple Bells is a gradual-escalating dwarf cultivar. My oldest plant, which I’ve experienced about 10 several years, is just 2 toes tall.

Temple Bells delivers far more than just bouquets for curiosity. The winter buds are noteworthy. The new leaves that emerge all through flowering are crimson, creating an eye-catching blend of dim eco-friendly mature leaves, creamy white flowers and carmine-colored new progress. However deer also enjoy the new growth on pieris.

Pieris requires partial shade and perfectly-drained soil, despite the fact that my oldest plant survived a couple of yrs in moist soil right up until I recognized it was in the completely wrong place. My plant confirmed my determination by increasing 2 times as significantly the first year in its new spot.

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Indigenous vegetation

Two indigenous vegetation that bloom in late March are pink buckeye (Aesculus pavia), a significant shrub or small tree, and blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium).

Whilst wild red buckeye is an understory plant, landscape plants develop more substantial when they get partial sun. They prefer soil that is more moist than dry. If you have just one that blooms and generates chestnuts, you will probably get a few seedlings when squirrels bury the nuts.

“Suwanee” is a widely out there cultivar of blue-eyed grass, a quick, clump-forming native plant helpful in moist soil as edging, ground cover or a specimen plant. Clumps will thin out if the soil is far too dry. Flowering lasts almost a thirty day period, a welcome characteristic.

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White flag iris, also known as white cemetery iris (Iris albicans) blooms in early to mid-March. The buds seem and open inside a few days, so plant this iris in a visible place to consider full benefit of it. Like all bearded irises, cemetery iris demands very well-drained soil. Mine seem to be information in partial shade, though portion solar is proposed.

Autumn sage (Salvia greggii) normally blooms in March, although the very first blooms can surface any time in between late February and early April, depending on the temperature.

Dwarf coreopsis (Coreopsis auriculata “Nana”) blooms intermittently all calendar year. At times its very first golden-yellow flowers appear in March. This coreopsis is so shorter, only a few inches tall, that deer, which are browsers not grazers, generally pass it by.


Of course, March is large blooming season for a variety of spring bulbs, such as my 3 most loved, trusted ones: blue spring star flower (Ipheion uniflorum “Rolf Fiedler”), Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica “Excelsior”) and several kinds, colours and dimensions of daffodils. Spring star flower and daffodils are reliably deer resistant, but Spanish bluebells are not.

Spring flowers are a welcome sight, no issue how mild the wintertime.

Anthony Keinath is professor of plant pathology at the Clemson Coastal Investigation & Education and learning Heart in Charleston. His abilities is in health conditions of veggies. He is also an avid gardener. Make contact with him at

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