Fall in Love with Spring Flowering Bulbs

Often, bulb flowers are the first welcome sign that we have made it through the frosty winter months and Spring & Summer are just around the corner. Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, dwarf iris and many other flowers grow from bulbs.  You won’t get instant gratification as with annuals, but come spring, after planting bulbs in the fall, emerging bulb flowers are a rewarding sight for the work you put in months earlier.

The best part is that once you have made the initial planting, your blooms will  come back year after year and can be propagated every 5 to 10 years for more beauty in your yard or to share with friends. There are some guidelines to follow in order to have the best results in your Spring bulb flowerbeds.

First, determine what hardiness zone you live in. (Just look up USDA Hardiness Zone.) This will tell you how cold your region gets and the individual bulb packaging will indicate whether or not that flower is suited for your particular zone.

Plant bulbs with the pointed end facing up. The leaves and flowers will emerge from this end and the roots will grow from the other end. Some bulbs are easier than others to tell which end is which. If you’re not sure, plant them on their side in the hole. Mother Nature will do the rest!

Different types of bulbs are planted at different depths. Read the label to learn how deep they need to be planted. It’s also a good idea to plant several bulbs in each hole. This type of grouping looks better than single bulbs popping up here and there. To kickstart your bulbs, mix in some blood meal or bone meal into the soil - you’ll have stronger, healthier more vibrant blooms come next spring. Any garden center will carry these products.

Once the blooms fade, let the green foliage die back before cutting. The nutrients from the leaves feed the bulb for next year’s blooms. Once the foliage dies back, cut the stems and leaves.

There are many, many types of Spring flowering bulbs coming in an unlimited array of colors. Do some planning to determine which types, colors and heights will work well together in your flower beds next Spring.

Once you have put your bulbs to bed for the Winter, you’ll see the fruits of your labor in the form of beautiful flowers next Spring. A perfect gift to chase the winter blahs away!

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