Bulb Varieties – So Many!
Ward’s offers many Spring-flowering bulbs for Fall planting. Read on to see what your many options are. Those that are pest-resistant are marked ‘PR’. Printable PDF Version of this post
- Daffodils (PR) are virtually ignored by deer, voles and other rodents. We have a variety of shapes, colors and sizes that will bloom for months. When you plant a deciduous specimen tree or shrub, include a ring of daffodils or any of the following bulb varieties for a pretty early show. Bulbs bring early color before the tree leafs out and the bulbs benefit from the dry soil as the tree starts drawing water in earnest through the growing season.
- Tulips and Hyacinths (PR) have an elegance that’s hard to resist. Fertilize their locations through the growing season to keep them performing for you. Also to keep pests at bay, use repellants on Tulips at planting time or encase them in a mesh box or mesh onion bag that will frustrate those small and large rodents. Ward’s has instructions for making your own mesh Bulb Cage.
- Garlic (PR) & Fritillaria (PR) will also serve as a pungent repellant. Plant these small and large bulbs around bulbs or plants that are regularly plagued by underground rodents. (And you’ll have the garlic to harvest in August!)
- Galanthus -Snowdrops (PR), Crocus, and Scilla (PR) are all small bulbs that show up in very early to early spring. Plants these in groups right under your grass. Cut away an area of sod and peel it back. Arrange the bulbs in the proper spacing and replace the sod. Water well. These bulbs will bloom and be dying back before your grass needs mowing in the spring.
- Camassia – Wild Hyacinth is a native bulb to North America. Multi-flower stems emerge in early summer and range in color from pale lilac to deep blue. Will naturalize and spread.
- Leucojum (PR) Spring and/or Summer snowflake are nodding white bell type flowers that emerge in March (for L. vernum) and April (for L. aestivum). Height ranges from 1 to 1.5 feet.
- Puschkinia – Striped Squill produces 3-6 star-shaped blooms of pale blue per stem in early spring, reaching about 4-6 inches tall.
- Muscari (PR) – Grape hyachinths look like inverted grape bunches in deep royal blue with white edges. Naturalize easily. If blooms fail to appear, it’s time to dig up and divide clumps. Grow 6 – 8 inches tall.
- Colchicum – Known as Fall-blooming Crocus because the pink and white, crocus-like blooms emerge now. The foliage doesn’t appear until spring then dies back as blooms emerge.
- Chionodoxa (PR) flower in multiple blooms from one bulb and emerge in March and April. Plant these in outdoor planters or around rock outcroppings and along the edges of perennial beds for a bright early show of blues, purples and pinks.
- Allium (PR) and Iris are also available now. The iris is in tuber form, will take some room and should not be planted too deep. The allium can be planted first in a layered planting of bulbs. Allium’s small to massive globes of blooms add a dramatic and unusual shape to your June garden.
To plant a layered bulb garden, largest bulbs are planted deepest. Bloom time is usually smallest to largest when you look at different bulb types. The exception is miniature narcissus which bloom later than full size daffodils. Daylilies can finish the planting and their long leaves will mask the die-back of the early bulbs.
Tips on Planting
To plant a layered bulb garden, largest bulbs are planted deepest. Bloom time is usually smallest (so first) to largest when you look at different bulb types. The exception is miniature narcissus which bloom later than full size daffodils. Daylilies can finish the planting and their long leaves will mask the die-back of the early bulbs.
If the bulbs you wish to grow are delectable to garden pests-- like anemone, hyacinth or tulips, try planting them in clusters within a bulb cage. Instructions to Make a Bulb Cage
As you can see, you have many options so get out there and expand your bulb collection!