Design & Decor - Design Ideas

The best yellow spring plants

Top shrubs, bulbs and perennials for a sunny spring garden.

The Winner:
‘Northern Gold' Forsythia (Forsythia ‘Nothern Gold')

The arrival of brilliant yellow forsythia blooms are a true harbinger of spring. Now this yellow jubilation can be reliably enjoyed in northern gardens even as cold as Morden, Manitoba. ‘Northern Gold', developed from Forsythia ovata ‘Ottawa' and F. europaea parents by Felicitas Svejda of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, is one of the most bud-hardy cultivars available. Its golden yellow blooms cover arching branches in mid-spring (not just below the snow line, as is the case with some of its inferior cousins), shining like a beacon. This cultivar has a traditional upright vase shape (2 m high by 1.5 m wide) and blooms best in full sun. Plant this forsythia in moist, moderately fertile, well-drained soil. ‘Northern Gold' can look somewhat straggly as it ages (as do most forsythia), so keep its shape in check by pruning out up to one-third of the oldest branches after flowering. Plant in groups for added drama. Zone 3b.

Honourable Mentions:
Cushion Spurge
Euphorbia polychroma

Height 45 cm; Spread 60 cm; Location part shade to full sun; dry, moderately fertile, well-drained soil; Cultivation may self-seed. Protect skin from milky sap, which can cause dermatitis; Flowers small, yellow with masses of long-lasting bright yellow bracts; mid-spring to early summer; Foliage medium green during growing season and bronze in fall; Zone 4.

Cowslip
Primula veris

Height 15 to 22 cm; Spread 30 cm; Location part shade to full sun; moist, fertile, well-drained soil; Cultivation contact with leaves may cause dermatitis; Flowers fragrant, dainty, nodding, lemon yellow; early spring; Foliage dark green rosette; Zone 5.

‘Gold dust' Basket of Gold Alyssum
Aurinia saxatilis ‘Gold Dust'

Height 10 to 15 cm; Spread 30 to 45 cm;
Location full sun to part shade; moderately fertile, well-drained soil; Cultivation trim back after blooming; drought-tolerant; Flowers small, bright golden yellow; mid-sprin; Foliage grey-green; mounding habit; Zone 3.

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