Bulbs Buying Guide
Few things help us shrug off the doldrums of winter and anticipate the beauty of spring better than bulbs. The first few blooms -- sometimes under the last snow on the ground -- reward with unmistakable color and diversity. Turns out, though, there are blooms for the whole growing season.
Types of Bulbs
Daffodil and tulip blooms are typecast as harbingers of spring. While those two flowers are welcome sights in nearly any garden, there are literally hundreds of different types of bulbs for the landscape. Some bloom in springtime, but you can find bulbs that bloom almost throughout the growing season. If you're searching for bulbs to add to your garden, consider tulip, daffodil, hyacinth, allium, crocus, gladiolus, iris, and other miscellaneous bulbs; here's a guide to get you started.
Tulips ignited a buying and planting frenzy centuries ago in the Netherlands, and the love for these springtime bloomers remains strong. Tulips are available in single colors or multiple hues.
Daffodils are very early springtime bloomers, typically found in shades of yellow or white. Unlike some spring bulbs, the foliage of daffodils must be allowed to decay on its own to ensure the flowers return the following year.
Distinguished by heavy clusters of miniature blooms on flower heads, hyacinths are terrific early springtime bloomers in both the garden and containers.
A large, round bloom on a slender stalk gives allium its unique garden profile. Use these bulbs in the back of the border or as a focal point in a mixed bed.
Among the very first blooms to appear in spring, crocus features delicate, small blooms in white, yellow, or shades of purple. Crocuses are often planted in lawn areas to provide a pretty view that resembles a forest floor.
The bulbs of these tall summertime bloomers shoot up a vertical stalk that's covered with multiple blooms. In the fall, gladiolus must be dug up and overwintered indoors.
This perennial bulb blooms in summertime; it can and should be divided in order to increase the number of irises available and to maintain the health of the plants.
Regal Iris Mix Features an Outstanding Double Showing!Specially selected mixture of colourful German irises will bloom not once, b...ut twice! Enjoy an outstanding display of generous blossoms in late spring, followed by a second burst of colour again in late summer to early fall just as your neighbours' gardens are winding down. Easy-care selection naturalizes wonderfully and features high bud count plants that exhibit a coordinated mix in shades of orange, peach, purple, yellow and white. Gorgeous in borders and bouquets. Enjoy increasing numbers of blooms with each passing year. Make sure to save a few for cutting! Iris germanica read more
A Peaceful Ocean Blue A perfect combination of wide, flouncy petals and tranquil blue-all on very large blooms, over 6" wide. Baja... Blue is vigorous and produces very thick, strong stems to hold its impressive blooms aloft. Blooms mid to late spring on 33-36" stems. read more
Deliciously sweet award winner. Pale blue-white standards are flushed with medium blue-violet midribs and falls. Gently ruffled bl...ooms. There is no sweeter sight in summer than a landscape richly adorned by bright, beautiful irises. Thanks to our variety of colourful rebloomers, you can enjoy an even longer season of graceful elegance and vibrant charm. Blooms in a host of hues and forms are sure to add a sophisticated look to any garden. Plant in full sun to partial shade. Iris germanica read more
Snowy white standards sit prettily atop tempting pink-apricot falls for an inviting floral display in the garden or vase. Clear in... colour and a vigorous bloomer. There is no sweeter sight in summer than a landscape richly adorned by bright, beautiful irises. Thanks to our variety of colourful rebloomers, you can enjoy an even longer season of graceful elegance and vibrant charm. Blooms in a host of hues and forms are sure to add a sophisticated look to any garden. Plant in full sun to partial shade. Iris germanica read more
A variety of other, less common bulbs -- some of them annuals, some perennials -- are available for home gardeners. Some make a good fit for container gardens, while others work well in borders and beds.
Unlike other landscaping elements, such as garden sheds and arbors, garden bulbs may seem as though they have few features that affect how you use and enjoy them. But in fact, bulbs -- like any other purchase -- have various factors to review to find the plant that fits best with your garden's style, your time availability, and your climate. After you've chosen potential favorite bulbs to add, make sure to review the flowering season as well as whether the bulbs are perennials or annuals. Then get buying -- and get digging.
Bulbs will bloom at different times based on your climate and your growing season. Understand when yours may make an appearance and what conditions, such as sun or shade, are best.
Some bulbs return year after year, while others are one-shot blooms. To temper any disappointment, know the best- and worst-case scenarios for the return of your bulbs.
You may have your bulb digger garden gloves ready, but before you scoop a hole -- or buy a bulb -- it's a good idea to think through your purchase and how it fits with your climate and your time commitment. Even though they are fairly low-maintenance, bulbs do have some factors that may affect both your initial enjoyment and your long-term love of them. Those include the correct planting time, planting depth, and potential pests and diseases. Take a few minutes to review these purchase considerations.
Many oft-recognized bulbs are planted in the fall, but others are added to the garden in spring and must be dug up in autumn and stored in a cool, dry spot. Make sure you understand the specific requirements of your bulb purchases.
No two bulbs are alike when it comes to planting depth. To ensure yours come up, dig holes that are appropriately sized for your flower's growing requirements.
As with any landscape plant, some bulbs are bothered by troublesome pests. Know the risks and whether there are precautions you can take to ward off pests and diseases.
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