Flowers in DC! Where and when for 10 Blooms in 2023

Maryland Spring Activities Washington DC Virginia Summer Activities

I absolutely love the flowers in DC! From the popular cherry blossoms to the fragrant magnolias to the stunning tulip fields and the wild bluebells; there's something for everyone to enjoy! Below are 10 types of flowers, where to see them in the DC area, and when they are expected to be in bloom. (And a couple of ideas for parking specifically for the Tidal Basin cherry blossoms.)

flowers in dc bloom guide

Photos taken by Jennifer at

Table of Contents

  1. Magnolias (Early March)
  2. Cherry Blossoms (2023 Peak March 22-25)
  3. Tulips (Early to Mid April)
  4. Bluebells (Early March to Mid April)
  5. Azaleas (Late April to Mid May)
  6. Lilacs (April)
  7. Hydrangeas (June)
  8. Roses (June to August)
  9. Lotus and Waterlilies (July/August)
  10. Sunflowers (July - Sept)

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Magnolias (Early March)

The saucer magnolias are in my top 2 favorites each Spring! They are huge, fragrant and just a joy to behold! The best place to see them is the Enid Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle. They bloom about 2-3 weeks prior to cherry blossoms.

In 2023, the peak was around March 3rd. We went on March 5, 2023, and there were still buds blooming so I would say this entire week will be stunning!

Other spots around DC include:

  • Rawlins Park near Foggy Bottom in Northwest DC
  • National Arboretum in Northeast DC
  • George Mason Memorial near the Jefferson Memorial in Southwest DC

Photo taken by Jennifer at

Cherry Blossoms and Where to Park for the Tidal Basin

Peal bloom for the cherry blossoms is predicted for March 22 - 25, 2023.

I wrote extensively about 10 places to see the Cherry Blossoms in DC both on and off the Tidal Basin in a new blog post. It includes parking and stroller info for each spot!

cherry blossom flowers in DC

And check out these cute kids' Cherry Blossom-themed items from Amazon!

Cherry Blossoms Say Spring (National Geographic Kids Book)

Toddler & Baby Organic Cotton Cherry Blossom Short-Sleeve Dresses


Sometimes the cherry blossoms are more white! Photos were taken by Jennifer at

Tulips in DC and Virginia

My favorite tradition in Virginia is to visit Burnside Farms in Nokesville. They plant 2 million tulips with 30 different varieties! Check out more on this blog post.

The 2023 Festival of Spring opens 7-10 days (on average) AFTER the Cherry Blossoms peak downtown which is predicted for March 22-25 this year. So best guess is that the farm will open around April 10. They will announce tickets on their Facebook and the festival is only 3 weeks long so I suggest getting tickets before they sell out.

Closer to DC, the Floral Library has 10,000 bulbs at the Tidal Basin at Maine and Independence Avenues, SW. It is maintained by the National Park Service. There is also a small patch of tulips near the Netherlands Carillon in Arlington overlooking the National Mall.


Photo taken by Jennifer at

Wild Bluebells in Virginia

Have you ever been in a field of bluebells? They are tiny and grow near calm rivers. We had a beautiful walk at Bull Run Regional Park last April. Located in Centreville. Put Atlantis Water Park into your maps app to go directly to the parking lot closest to the Bluebell Trail. It is a very large park so you want to be right there! Last year they had 2 portable restrooms in the parking lot. It's a 2-mile loop trail but some parts of the walk are on the road so we just went to bluebells at River and then back on the boardwalk. Went at 3 pm and was not too busy but heard it can get a little busy in the morning. Not stroller-friendly. See a reel of our time here!

Riverbend Park also has a Bluebell Festival Saturday, April, 9th. "Celebrate the Virginia Bluebells that carpet the early spring forest! Enjoy wildflower walks, live animals, exhibitors, live music, crafts, and food trucks. $8 online until 4/9, $10 at the door."

Bull Run Regional Park bluebells

Photo taken by Jennifer at

Azaleas (Late April to Mid-May)

You can see these everywhere from in front of homes to the side of the road BUT they are extra special at the Franciscan Monastery in NE DC. Tons of colors are all put together in a peaceful and contemplative space. Also known for their roses later in the year. I wrote more about t

The National Arboretum also has a specialAzalea Collection that is not to be missed!

Franciscan-Monastery azaleas

Photo taken by Jennifer at

Lilacs of Georgetown - Beautiful April Flowers in DC

I've been completely influenced by Instagram with the lilac walls of Georgetown! An insta-famous wall is at Dumbarton Oaks and other homes have beautiful vines of these fragrant flowers! Hope to update you with a photo soon.

Hydrangeas at the Yards Park, SE Flowers in DC

I was stunned by these last year in June at the Yards Park! Nothing fancy but gorgeous and so many different colors of hydrangeas!


Photo taken by Jennifer at

Roses from June to August - Flowers in DC

  1. Franciscan Monastery
  2. Bon Air Rose Garden in Arlington (reel here)
  3. Folger Rose Garden (behind the Smithsonian Castle)
Bon Air Memorial Rose Garden

Photo taken by Jennifer at

Lotus and Waterlilies at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

How lucky are we to have the only national park dedicated to aquatic flowers! They bloom mostly in July and August. We saw a few when we visited in June.

Sunflowers - Flowers in DC and Virginia

Haven't been yet but will update soon! I know Burnside Gardens has a Sunflower Field in Virginia and there are many great ones in Maryland that my friend Sara wrote about here.