Flower bulbs can be planted in your garden or kept indoors and forced to bloom. Either way, they offer beautiful, colorful, fragrant flowers that add character to any garden or home. If you're planning on planting flower bulbs, here are some tips to consider.
- Flower bulbs are actually small plants themselves. Everything they need in order to blossom and thrive is contained within the tiny bulbs. If you cut one open, you'll see a tiny bud with a leaf system intact. All of the food they need to start growing is also contained in the bulb.
- There are two main types of flower bulbs; spring flowering and summer flowering. Spring flowering buds are hearty and can withstand the cold of winter and freezing temperatures, while summer flowering bulbs are more delicate.
- Most spring flowering bulbs are perennials, and will return to blossom year after year without much work on your part. Summer flowering bulbs will only last a single season unless you dig them up and store them indoors for the winter, replanting well after the last frost of the season.
- Spring flowering bulbs, including tulips and daffodils, should be planted in the fall at least six weeks before you expect frost. The depth of your planting hole should measure about two times the length of the bulb itself. A bulb planter can be purchased to make this job a little bit easier, but this is by no means a necessary tool.
- Larger bulbs will often produce larger and more fragrant flowers, although this is not always the case. Read the labels carefully so you'll know what size flowers you will end up with, and how much room you'll need to plant your bulbs.
- Buying flower bulbs in bulk can be much less expensive per bulb than buying only a few. This is especially true when purchasing flower bulbs through mail order catalogs. If you only need a small number of bulbs, consider combining a purchase with friends, family or neighbors to allow everyone to benefit from the cost savings.
- Another way to lower the price tag on your flower bulb purchases is to buy bags of mixed bulbs. You'll get an assortment of flower varieties and colors which will brighten up your garden, and these are much less expensive than buying the bulbs separately.
- Garden centers and nurseries often have sales at the end of the planting season. This is a great time to pick up your flower bulbs as long as you're ready to plant them right away.
- After purchasing flower bulbs, they should be planted as soon as possible. Since they are actually little contained plants themselves, they need water and soil to stay healthy and to eventually bloom into flowers. If you must store flower bulbs, keep them in a cool, dry place. You can plant them indoors in pots as well, using sandy soil that is kept nice and moist.