As the cold of winter approaches, it is the perfect time to think about planting bulbs that will bring fresh color at the first of spring. Bulbs are an easy way to jump start your garden in the new year. Don’t miss out on the opportunity. Review this list of colorful options and select a favorite (or a few) to get planted before it’s too late.
When to Plant Spring-Blooming Bulbs
Ideally, you’ll get your spring-blooming bulbs planted in the fall a few weeks before the ground freezes (though take care not to plant too early in warmer climates). Spring-blooming bulbs need a few months in the chilly ground to get the signal to bloom in spring.
If the fall days are cool and the ground is still soft enough to dig, then you’re ready to plant your bulbs.
Benefits of Spring-Blooming Bulbs
Spring-blooming bulbs make great border and filler plants for garden beds. Their bright colors appearing ahead of the other plants will make your garden the envy of your neighbors. These bulbs are perfect for any experience level of gardener.
They are the set it and forget it plant of the gardening world, being quite forgiving about soil conditions and not too picky about sun or shade. Many varieties are animal resistant yet kind to bees.
Types of Spring-Blooming Bulbs
Daffodils, along with tulips, are the iconic spring flower. Wordsworth famously wrote about them dancing in the breeze. Bright yellow daffodils with trumpet-like flowers are traditional, though they also come in white, cream, orange, pink, and mixtures of these colors.
There are many different daffodil varieties, including miniature ones. These flowers are easy to care for and will come back year after year. Animals hate eating them. Daffodils look best planted in irregular clusters.
Don’t let the delicate drop-like white flowers of this plant fool you; it’s a tough one. Snowdrops’ green stems will peek out of the ground when you still have your winter coat on. They are pest resistant and will show more flowers after the first year of planting.
At just 3 to 6 inches tall, Snowdrops will look best in the front of beds or along walkways.
Tulips’ long stems and cup-shaped flowers are synonymous with spring. They come in practically every color of the rainbow so you can choose what strikes you the most, from pastels to fiery reds and everything in between.
They typically bloom after the early daffodils and range in height from 6 inches to 2 feet.
Tulips make great cut flowers for brightening the inside of your home as well. Plant them evenly spaced in large groups.
Hyacinths, part of the lily family, will bring a wonderful fragrance to your garden. Its clusters of small flowers form a column-like shape that adds a spiky texture to landscaping beds.
It is recommended to plant them close together so they can support each other. They will look stunning cut and placed in a vase.
All varieties of crocuses grow less than 6 inches tall. These small flowers pack a punch, popping their bright hues right out of the snow in early spring. Purple and blue are traditional, but they also come in white, red, yellow, and pink.
Crocuses look great at the front of flower beds or can add a pop of color along walkways.
The Virginia Bluebell is a plant native to North America. Its namesake flowers grow on stalks about 1 to 2 feet tall. They will look natural scattered in a meadow, beautiful clustered around trees, or picturesque in landscaped beds.
Tips for Planting Spring-Blooming Bulbs
When selecting bulbs, larger ones will have more stems and therefore more flowers. Plant them with the tip pointing up soon after purchase. Follow the instructions on the package regarding depth of planting and spacing between bulbs.
Plant bulbs in large groups (50 or more) of a single color and variety for greatest visual impact. Plant tallest-growing flowers in the back of your flower bed and shortest in the front. Consider selecting varieties that will flower at different times, bringing you color from early to late spring.
Take caution with some spring-blooming bulbs if you have pets. The bulbs of hyacinths and tulips are toxic if ingested. Any part of the daffodil or crocus can cause stomach upset in pets. All parts of the bluebell are poisonous to animals and humans when ingested.
Therefore, bluebells are not recommended around homes with cats, dogs, or small children.
Enjoy Your Spring Flowers
Spring-blooming bulbs offer a great way to wake up your garden. Plant them in the fall or early winter for pops of color that emerge along with the first signs of warmer weather.
Their minimal care will have you forgetting you even planted them until they bring a smile to your face by emerging the next year.