How To Buy, Plant and Care For Flower Bulbs

December, 2023
Darren Spalding

Spring is just around the corner and it's time to prepare your garden for planting. One of the most beautiful things you can plant in your yard or garden are flower bulbs. Flower bulbs have been used for centuries by people all over the world to create a stunning display of color that brings joy and happiness into their lives. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about how to buy, plant, grow and care for flower bulbs so that they thrive throughout spring!

Types Of Bulbs

There are two main types of bulbs, Spring & Summer.

Spring Bulbs: These bulbs will grow in the spring and don't need to be replanted each year. They can also provide much-needed color after a brutal winter, which is great for those of us who live up north!

Summer Bulbs: These are planted during the summer months and produce beautiful flowers all season long before their foliage dies back at the end of fall. When buying these types of flower bulbs make sure that they're labeled as "summer flowering" because many people mistakenly buy them thinking they'll get blooms in Spring too.

Bulbs That Will Work For All Seasons: There are a few varieties of flower bulbs that will give you flowers all season long. Daylilies, Daffodils and Grape Hyacinths are some examples!

Buying Bulbs: When buying your spring-blooming bulbs make sure they're labeled as "Spring Flowering". It's easy to get confused in the store because there are so many different types of flower bulbs available for purchase nowadays but this is an important distinction. Some people mistakenly buy summer flowering plants thinking it'll be more colorful during the winter months when really what they want is something that will bloom in Spring. If looking at daffodils or tulips remember both these bulb types only produce one

Early Spring (weeks 1-4)

Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

Danford Iris (Iris danfordiae)

Crocus (Crocus spp.)

Glory-of-the-Snow (Chionodoxa luciliae)

Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica)

Striped Squill (Puschkinia scilloides)

Grecian Windflower (Anemone blanda)

Common Grape Hyacinth (Muscari botryoides)

Early Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)

Netted Iris (Iris reticulata)

Midspring (weeks 4-8)

Checkered Lily (Fritillaria meleagris)

Species Tulips (Tulipa spp.)

Early Tulips (Tulipa spp.)

Early Alliums (Allium spp.)

Hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis)

Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum)

Medium-Cupped Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)

Late Spring (weeks 8-12)

Dutch Hybrid Iris (Iris hybrids)

Midseason Tulips (Tulipa spp.)

Late Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)

Late Tulips (Tulipa spp.)

Alliums (Allium spp.)

Buying Flower Bulbs

You should always start your search by looking up specific varieties that you want on sites like Dutch Gardens or any other reputable nursery site online (be sure not to order from eBay as these bulbs can be old and of poor quality). Look for the type that will work well in your climate, whether it's a hardy variety or one to avoid certain climates.

You should also make sure you buy from reputable nurseries because there is such an abundance of plants available on sites like eBay these days that can be either really cheap and not what they say they are or just very expensive with no real difference between them.

When to plant bulbs

Plant spring-flowering bulbs, flowers such as daffodils, crocus and hycinths by the end of September.

Tulips should be planted in November, with hardy summer flowering bulbs such as aliums, lilies and crocosmia in September and October.

How do you plant bulbs?

Dig a hole that is three times the size of the bulb's root ball. Plant it at an angle, filling in around with soil and patting down gently to remove air pockets from between roots.

Water well after planting so all excess dirt has been drawn away from roots by water movement or gravity; this will also help settle any loose particles of earth into place.

Bulb Care

When your bulbs are dormant – which means they're not growing because there isn't enough light for them yet - keep them dry but don't leave them in direct sunlight (which can make their leaves turn yellow). If you want to store your bulbs somewhere dark like a basement, put some deep planter pots filled with potting mix on the floor and line them up with the bulbs sitting in pots, just barely poking out.

Keep your bulbs away from any heat sources like radiators or fireplaces so they don't dry out too quickly before they have a chance to grow.

When you see new green shoots popping through gently tug on one of the leaves until it comes off - this will allow more energy to go into growing rather than making food for its roots. If you notice that old foliage is starting to turn brown after pruning, give it some time (about two weeks) before pruning it again.

Plant your bulbs in the potting mix, about three times as deep as their height so that they are planted at least a finger's width below the surface of the soil. This will help them grow strong roots and keep them from rotting from wet conditions later on.

Covering with some mulch can be helpful to retain moisture, but make sure you don't put too much over top since this could cause rot if there is no air flow (or water).

Water once every four to five days or when dry - just be careful not to overwater because this can lead to rotted roots and leaves drooping down. You should also take care not to let any water pool around the base of the plant.

Keep an eye out for any signs of pests and insects, like aphids or slugs - these can quickly destroy your plants! Remove them by hand with a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol as needed.

The best time to harvest the flowers are during their peak season which typically lasts from about mid-March through May. It's also important to note that after you have harvested all of your bulbs then it’s safe to prune back the tops so they don't look messy over time

A good rule of thumb when planting bulb flower seeds outdoors is three times the number of inches deep equals how many feet apart they should be planted on average; this will vary depending on what type you're planting and the location.

Bulbs can be planted at any time of year, but it's best to wait until after all danger of frost has passed as they are sensitive to cold climates

How to dig up bulbs?

The best time to harvest the flowers are during their peak season which typically lasts from about mid-March through May. It's also important to note that after you have harvested all of your bulbs then it’s safe to prune back the tops so they don't look messy over time

Frequently asked questions

Can you plant bulbs any time of the year?

Yes, bulbs can be planted at any time of year.

Can I plant my bulbs in a pot?

No, you cannot grow flower bulbs indoors or inside the house; they need to be outdoors for their first winter and this is when they will bloom next spring. If you don't have room outside then try putting them on window sills where there's plenty of light. It won't work though if it gets too cold outside because these plants are sensitive to frosty climates so make sure it never dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit before bringing them back inside again.

You can also store your bulbs in an unheated garage space that stays between 38-45F throughout the day but not overnight. As long as they're

Should you soak bulbs before planting?

No, you don't need to soak bulbs before planting them. They're tough plants that are used to surviving harsh conditions and they'll do fine if planted as is or with a light sprinkling of compost on top.

Don't forget the water either; these beauties will refuse to bloom without it so make sure there's some nearby like in your backyard or an outside tap so that you can provide constant moisture for up to three weeks after planting time.

How deep should you plant your bulbs?

Bulbs should be planted at the depth that they were in when you purchased them.

How long does it take for bulbs to sprout after planting?

It usually takes about two to three weeks for bulbs to sprout.

Can I plant already bloomed tulips?

It's best to wait awhile before planting already bloomed tulips. Tulip bulbs don't like being exposed to light, so it's better for them if they're planted in a dark place and allowed

to "rest" until the leaves die back naturally or are trimmed off. Some gardeners prefer to just plant their tulip clumps over dormant bulbs that have not yet been touched by frost.

Can you plant bulbs that have already sprouted?

You can plant bulbs that have already sprouted, but the best time to do so is in early October.

We hope this article has been helpful in explaining how best to care for your flower bulbs and what you need to do before planting them! If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to contact us!

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