Everyone loves flowering bulbs (e.g., tulips, daffodils, gladiolas, etc.) but many may not know how to go about ordering and planting them. Timing is critical for spring flowering bulbs that need to have a cold period before they bloom. Thus, they need to be planted in the fall. Summer flowering bulbs (including tubers and rhizomes), that are typically not cold hardy, are planted in the spring. They need to be lifted and stored indoors as they won’t survive our New York winters. Some (like cannas and begonias) may benefit from being started indoors in the spring.
Planning is important for both types in order to determine how many bulbs to plant. Bulbs selection or fencing is key if you have a lot of wildlife. They should be planted at a depth that is triple their height. And don’t plant them in a row if you want them to look ‘natural’. Deadheading their stems (not their leaves) is key after flowering so that the bulbs focus on storing energy to rebloom the following year. Careful planning by placing them with other plants can help to screen the bulbs once they finish flowering.
Join Master Gardener Jean Thomas on this Nature Calls 101 podcast episode to gain confidence to successfully include bulbs in your garden landscape.
Host: Tim Kennelty
Guest: Jean Thomas
Production Support: Linda Aydlett, Teresa Golden, Annie Scibienski
Last updated August 25, 2023