Flowering Bulbs In Your Garden

General Information On Bulbs, Corms, And Tubers
spring daffodils


Cheerful and easy to grow. Narcissus info and posts.
bright tulips


Colorful tulips, what is spring without them? Grow Tulips.
small bulbs, snow crocus

Small Bulbs

Small bulbs naturalize for big impact. Plant minor bulbs.

General Info On Flowering Bulbs In Your Garden

From my earliest memories of a garden, it was the spring flowering bulbs that I loved. Inspecting the spear tips of emerging daffodils, plucking the heads off tulips to present to my mother, and rushing home from school to see how far along the crocus had come in lines on either side of our sidewalk.

These were the first things I planted as a young married woman, even at the first house we rented. Bulbs are the easiest flowers to grow and their stored plant is ready in its entirety is ready to burst forth with moisture and sufficient light, whether in bulbs glasses on the windowsill or within the garden.

This page is a collection of post and pages about the different bulbs and their related plant types, the corms and tubers.

Display Your Spring Bulbs With Panache

Spring Flowering Bulb Tips And Design

The Bulb Expert

  • Bulbs love good drainage, and any incline or little hill will provide that.
  • Spring bloomers mix well with evergreen backdrops.
  • There are trees and shrubs that bloom at the same time, and help create a picture.
  • Flowering bulbs are best planted in large clumps of the same kind for good effect.
  • Mulch protects bulbs and cuts down on weeding.
crocus botanical painting

Favorite Facts on Bulbs, Corms, Tubers, and Rhizomes

Flowering bulbs are not always bulbs…sometimes they are corms, or tubers, but we usually designate plants that grow from an underground food storage unit as a “bulb”. They are grouped as geophytes, herbaceous plants with underground nutrient storage. They all require a period of dormancy.

What is the difference between bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes?

True bulbs are a food storage unit for the flower and plant, they have a “tunicate” papery sleeve around the outside. Examples are tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, alliums, and grape hyacinths.

Corms are food stored in the base of the stem with a papery tunic covering. They have a bottom, basal plate, and a top, the growing point. Crocus, spring and autumn, are examples of corms.

Rhizomes are food storage swellings that grow horizontally under the soil. Iris, Ginger, and Lily of the Valley are examples.

Tubers do not have the basal plate or the tunic covering- examples are Anemones, Cyclamen, and many of the summer flowering “bulbs” like dahlias and tuberous begonias.

Quicktips On The Bulb Garden Plan:

Plants & Bulbs - Shop Now - BloomingBulb
  • Choose from those which flower early, mid, or late season. Aim for a long season of bloom by adding selections for each bloomtime. Example in “Stretch Your Flowering Season
  • Choose high quality bulbs. They will be firm, heavy for their size, and of good size for their type. See my video on this page for more info on that.
  • Purchase a large quantity of the same type. This give a much better effect. A minumum of 10 of the larger types, many more if you can afford it. One hundred is not too many of the smaller types like Scilla or Chionodoxa.
  • Use bonemeal when planting, it is still a good source of phosphorous and calcium which is important for root growth. Use organic fertilizer topdressing for the second season.
tulip posts

A few notes about “true bulbs”

  • A true bulb contains a flower bud inside, a miniature though colorless version of the flower.
  • The color develops with light exposure.
  • The energy for the entire plant is stored inside the bulb, which is why tulips, hyacinths and the like can be forced into bloom in the winter time.
  • Changes in temperature cause the bulb plants to grow, putting down roots in the fall, going dormant during cold wintry months, emerging as the temperatures warm in the spring. A time of refrigeration mimics these stages in bulbs prepared for forcing.

Notes on “Corms and Tubers”

Corms and tubers need a bit more sustenance from their soil- good soil fertility and more moisture. They also have a dormant period, and that is when they are planted. Some of them can be hard to figure out: which is the bottom and which is the top? Crocus corms are like a flattened chocolate drop, a tiny growing point cues you in to the top of the corm. Many summer flowering bulbs are corms or tubers.

Dutch bulbs are some of the first things I planted when I started gardening on my own. And no wonder, since they are among the easiest, most satisfactory, blooming plants for your landscape.

Thanks to the Holland bulb industry it doesn’t take long before the many innovative ways to use them in designs that light up the landscape with welcome color. Following a few tips and techniques gives you a spring landscape bursting with blooms and fragrance.

Don’t stop with bulbs, add in spring flowering shrubs, too.

Top Bulb Growing Pages

See these pages, which include relevant links, tips, and garden ideas:

A springtime garden courtesy of rkramer62, on Flickr

Bulbs are for Indoors, too

It is a time honored tradition to force bulbs for winter bloom. They are very obliging and it is easy to have color on your windowsills even in the darkest, coldest of winter months.

Consider gathering a collection of bulb pans to showcase such easy bloomers as paperwhites or Amaryllis.

Indoor bulbs

Planter for forcing bulbs

Lily of the Valley pips, tulip and crocus bulbs are favorites – in the case of tulips, some varieties are better suited for forcing. (See the tulips pages for more info).
Info Pages:

crocus are minor bulbs

What Is A Minor Bulb?

These early bulbs are smaller plants and are examples of Minor bulbs

My Youtube Bulb-Growing Tutorials

(This is a brand new project!)

How To Plant Your Bulbs

Second in a series of three videos

From  Heather Blackmore

Master Gardener tips

My Favorite Minor Flowering Bulbs for Spring

The Minor Flowering Bulbs I Love Along with a few stories One of the first things I wrote about for this site centered on the small, or minor, bulbs. Read it here, with the names, descriptions, and my comments on those I've grown. I wanted to further point out some of...

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Specie Tulips Are Picture-Perfect in Miniature Gardens

Discover Wildling Tulips The specie tulips have a charm all their own, with the small size, but tough constitution of plants that grow in the wild. Tulipa polychroma is an example of the delicacy of the flower and form of the species class. Grown in pots makes them...

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Specie Tulips, The Botanicals

Tulipa Division 15 Ideal for Naturalizing Want something different blooming in the bulb garden? Or do you just love dainty little plants? Grow some of the wild botanical bulbs, better known as specie tulips. Specie tulips are sold in the fall as bulbs, just like their...

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Spring Container of Bulbs

View the video for: Pretty effects for earliest container plantings: spring bulbs. One thing I would add to the information is that in Ohio it would be important to store the container in a frost free area. Somewhere the bulbs would get chilled, but not frozen...

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10 Quick Tips On How To Shop For Flower Bulbs

Step right up to bins and shelves full of Dutch imported flowering wonder, it's time to choose colorful spring blooms.If you wish to make the most of your buying choices, check out these top tips for finding the best from this the array of flower bulbs. September...

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Blushing Lady, An Elegant Single Late Tulip

Lasting, Graceful, Gorgeous A lady with these qualities is welcome in the garden party of spring, and this tulip is fine addition to either a cutting garden or a spring display. Tall, with a long stem and an oval head which is ideal for vases, this has been one of the...

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Remind Me How To Grow Tulips

Tulips are sold in the fall , and are likely to be classed as hardy and perennial. They require a dormant period of chilling temperatures to bloom.

Two things are necessary with any plant that grows from a bulb:

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Spring Regrets About Planting Tulips

... Or I should say about not planting tulips last fall. It never fails that when spring rolls around (especially after the type of deep freeze winter we had this year), that I regret not planting more tulips and other spring blooming bulbs. Fall is the time for that,...

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Snowdrops for Earliest Spring

Snowdrops So often we overlook the simple, and go for the garish, and we are especially prone to that mistake when choosing spring bulbs. Admittedly, I love the bright yellows, reds, pinks, and blues as much as anyone, but there is something distinctly pleasing about...

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First Ever, Garden How-To Video by Me

I am experimenting again. Making my first video with the laptop camcorder when I was out planting some of my bulbs. This is beginning level, Spring blooming bulbs 101. Covered in the video: What a tulip bulb looks like, and what to look for when buying your bulbs What...

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Small Spring Bulbs, Chionodoxa

Low Growing Bulb for Spring Bloom Glory of the snow, or Chionodoxa is one of those small bulbs with a big name, one which has that irresistible combination of beautiful sky blue color, ease of growing, and charm of form. That makes it the perfect choice for [tooltip...

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On a Cold Winter’s Night: Indoor Bulbs

A Garden In Winter It is so hard for a gardener to lock up the growing season for winter, even when the platoons of garden catalogs begin marching in from the mailbox. Although houseplants offer a bit of green, it is the indoor flower displays from forced bulbs which...

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Small Spring Bulbs, Crocus

Crocus are among the first flowers I planted when first planting my own garden, at age twenty. I had long loved the early spring crocus in my mother's garden, lining the walk leading to the entry door, and at the front of her perennial borders surrounding the...

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5 Steps To Dazzling Daffodils

Planting Easy Care Daffodils Daffodils, Narcissus species, are quite easy to grow, but there are a few things you can do to insure that the bulbs you plant produce a dazzling display of spring bloom year after year. 1 Be sure you plant your bulbs in a place that gets...

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Stretch The Bloom Season With Daffodils

Which Flowers Do You Love? Daffodils? Do you love daffodils? Tulips? All the flowersof spring? Or do you love Chrysanthemums in the fall? Daylilies in summer? Which of these flowers makes your heart beat a little faster, just looking at them? No matter which of these...

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Bulb Links On The Web

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