Flowering Bulbs In Your Garden

General Information On Bulbs, Corms, And Tubers
spring daffodils

Daffodils

Cheerful and easy to grow. Narcissus info and posts.

bright tulips

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.

Plants & Bulbs - Shop Now - BloomingBulb

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:

  • 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

bulbs in containers

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 Tulip Varieties

First of all, I love tulips, and one of my sayings is that they are "the lipstick of the garden". Tulips just brighten up the visage of the spring garden in a way that no other of the plants can do. Azaleas have that bright color,but sometimes in almost a garish way,...

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12 Low Growing Spring Perennials

The time to think about spring garden plans is in the fall. Fall planted bulbs such as tulips are available from August onward. And perennials are available in late August thru September.

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Think Bulbs

In August: Think About Buying Bulbs The stores will soon be stocked with a wide array of flower bulb choices. Time to put on the thinking hat and plan your purchases and make garden plan for planting them. I put together many pages of advice and profile information on...

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Bulb Links On The Web

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