Spring is an intoxicating time in the South – especially in the Lowcountry. In addition to the sweet, salty breeze that sweeps through this time of year, there is always a plethora of blooms that burst onto the scene, teeming with color and life.
If you’re like us, exploring the local gardens and plantations to see what’s blooming best – and to get inspiration for our own gardens – is one of the best springtime activities.
Every spring, you can expect to see gardens overflowing with azalea, wisteria, and Carolina jasmine. These plants are some of the most common in South Carolina, and thrive in the Lowcountry’s hot climate and dry, sandy soil.
To add these gorgeous plants to your garden, follow our simple gardening tips:
- Azalea: Typically the best time to plant is in the late spring or early fall. The azalea prefers well-drained, humus-rich, moist, and acidic soil and a sunny spot that receives a few hours of shade per day. Because of its shallow root system, the azalea needs moist soil and mulch to keep from drying out. You only need to water the azalea in the summer if the rainfall is less than one inch per week. Pro Tip: Avoid white-flowered azaleas – their thin petals typically shatter in the Lowcountry heat.
- Wisteria: Similar to the azalea, the best time to plant wisteria is in the spring or fall. Wisteria absolutely loves the sun. Make sure you plant it in a place with full exposure to sunlight. Wisteria will grow in most soils, but it grows best in soil that is fertile, moist, and well-drained. Because wisteria is a cross between a vine and a shrub it can overtake other plants, so be sure to give it plenty of space to grow. Pro Tip: Prune wisteria in late winter. Remove at least half of the prior year’s growth, leaving just a few buds per stem.
- Carolina Jasmine: Late winter is the best time to plant bare-root and potted Carolina jasmine vines. Carolina jasmine tolerates either full sun or partial shade, but its flowering is most abundant in full sun. Moist soil is ideal, but the Carolina jasmine is able to withstand periods of drought once it is established – making it an ideal addition to any Lowcountry garden. Pro Tip: Carolina jasmine can be grown as a ground cover, maintained with a yearly cutting in late spring after flowering to three feet or less.
Some other ideal additions you can make to your garden this season include summer annuals like periwinkle, marigold, zinnia, ageratum, pentas, elephant ear, or dahlia.