Which Plants Will Return in the Spring?

Posted on Dec 27, 2018 9:00:00 AM by Stephanie Morgan

Which Plants Will Return in the Spring? | The Experienced Gardener

For someone who loves to have a beautiful garden and green lawn, the cooler months can seem bleak. The blooms that appeared in the spring and stuck around into the summer have disappeared by the time fall gives way to winter. Many types of grass go into dormancy during the cooler weather leaving them shades of brown or yellow. This lack of color may have you wondering if the plants you love during the spring will ever come back. The good news for plant lovers is that there are a number of plants that return in the spring without needing to be re-planted.

Perennial plants

Perennial plants are those that continue to come back year after year. They may appear to die off once the weather cools. But, the reality is that the root system of the plant is still alive under the surface of the ground. The state that perennial plants go into during the winter is called dormancy. This is a period of rest for the plant and a way to protect it from the harsh weather conditions. In dormancy the plant does not need the same level of nutrients as during a growing phase. This is beneficial when the weather conditions are harsh because the nutrients required for growing may not be available. Examples of perennial plants commonly found in gardens include daylily, hosta, lavender, and flowers in the daisy family.


Many types of grass are perennial and will return in the spring. Warm weather grasses like Zoysia grass and Bermuda grass thrive in the heat and will seem to come back to life when the weather warms up. As long as your grass does not go through any major trauma while it is dormant, like damage from voles, it should return to a growing state. It is good to understand that different types of grass have different growing and dormant seasons. Take some time to learn about the grass in your area so you have correct expectations as to when it will return.

Trees and Shrubs

There are some trees and shrubs that do not seem to change at all in the winter. These are generally known as evergreens. There are some types of trees and shrubs that go through changes during the winter. The most common example is a tree that sheds its leaves. Like the perennial plants mentioned above, these tree are in a resting phase called dormancy. When spring arrives, you can expect to see new leaves and blooms on the ones that lost them in the fall.

Many gardens have perennials and evergreen shrubs as the foundational plants. In the spring, the perennials come back and annual plants are added in to provide more color and interest. You can do this in your own garden by being intentional about the plants you choose. Go with plants that are native to your area or climate in order to maximize their chance of surviving and coming back year after year.

New Call-to-action

Topics: San Joaquin Valley, General Info, Gardens