February 5th, 2015
If you’ve gone into your local gardening supply store, you’ve probably seen large racks of bulbs for sale. The bulbs have big flowers and fun names like Dahlias and Gladiolas.
These are the bulbs you plant now that bloom in the summer and create a gorgeous burst of color.
There are many varieties of flowering plants, but few offer all the advantages of bulb plants. For starters, bulbs are generally cheap to buy, and are available from local shops or on the internet.
Bulbs are also beautiful putting out the most beloved flowers in the garden. Irises, hyacinths, daffodils and tulips are also bulb plants. Most of these should have been planted in the late fall or early Winter. But don’t let that stop you. If you can find the bulbs, plant them and they will certainly bloom the next year. Sometimes, they even reward you by blooming the first year.
Even though bulbs are among the hardiest of all plants, it is important to exercise caution when planting them, and to buy only the best and most healthy bulbs. By choosing the healthiest bulbs, it will be easy to create a beautiful and healthy garden year after year.
When shopping for bulbs, look for the firmest, plumpest bulbs you can find. A good, high quality bulb will seem surprisingly heavy for its size. Avoid bulbs that are too soft as it’s often a sign of bulb rot. In addition, bulbs that are very light in weight, or that appear shriveled or cracked, should be rejected. These bulbs may have lost too much of their moisture to bloom in the garden.
The best blooms are generally provided by the largest bulbs. For instance, the largest iris bulbs will generally provide the biggest irises, and the biggest tulip bulbs will produce the largest tulips. Since bulbs bloom every year, a most cost effective approach for the patient gardener is to buy small bulbs and allow them to grow over time.
Or you can buy some large and some small and build up your garden with a variety of color and flowers that are timed with the season. For example, you could have the crocuses and paperwhites flower in early spring giving way to tulips and then irises and finally the dahlias.
Just be certain to give each bulb plenty of space to grow, and plant them in well draining soil. If water hangs out, you’ll unfortunately rot out your bulb.
And take care of your bulbs annually. If they’re rhizomes like irises and dahlias, you’ll need to cut them up. A great gift could be some bulbs and directions on how to grow them.