Planting bulbs in the Fall is one of the greatest investments you can make for your future happiness. When early Spring weather is grey and miserable and being outside is the last thing on your mind, nothing beats looking out of your window to a fresh display of your favorite colors. Bulb selection is best in September and October, so take time now to gift your water-logged, weary Spring-self something special.
Crocuses start the show in February, followed by Dwarf Irises, Narcissus and Daffodils, and Fragrant and Grape Hyacinth, with Allium and Tulips arriving in April and May. Spring flowering bulbs don’t last forever, but that is the perfect reason to create something wonderful without the pressure to match your garden’s color or planting scheme.
Tips for Selecting Bulbs
When selecting bulbs, the best approach is to choose colors and characteristics that speak to your individual style. Longing for fragrant bouquets to grace your rooms next Spring? Lean heavily on Narcissus and Hyacinths. Looking for a way to energize grey days? Embrace coral, orange, and yellow Narcissus and Tulips. Ultimately, there is no better way to select your Spring bulbs than to fill your garden with the colors that you like best. Here are some helpful ways to think about color:
- Color palettes don’t have to tie into the rest of your landscape—go with your gut and select the colors and styles that most speak to you this season.
- Monochromatic schemes read as sophisticated and current, and one accent color can really elevate the whole planting.
- White is chic and timeless and has the added bonus of being the last color visible in the landscape, so you can enjoy the view longer than any other color.
- If you’re after vibrant drama, pick two colors close to each other on the color wheel for a fresh, energetic display.
- If you’re transitioning a color palette away from previously planted bulbs, don’t worry about planting the new bulbs close by or pulling out the old. As soon as the old colors emerge, pick them right away for a cheery bouquet to gift to a friend or neighbor!
Tips for Planting Bulbs
Bulbs emerge when trees are bare and the soil is still too cold to introduce fresh Spring color beyond the usual suspects of Pansies, Violas, and Primroses. Short of being planted under dense evergreens, shade/sun conditions do not matter much to a bulb, so the constraints that normally dictate where and how you introduce flowers into your garden are less important, making your options significantly broader—bulbs can be planted now into existing perennial borders, vacant spaces around trees, or layered into pots below winter annuals or soon-to-be dormant perennials.
- While it’s usually best practice to follow planting depths on packages, bulbs will pull themselves deeper down into the soil via their contractile roots, so work them in as deep as you can for now and let nature do the rest.
- Amend the soil with bone meal when planting—the phosphorous in the bone meal will ensure extra strong stems so the blooms don’t take a nose dive in the rains.
- Planting in pots allows for high-impact display that you can bring front and center when it’s at its best. By planting multiple types of bulbs in layers, you can extend the display over several months. When the bulbs go over, plant fresh summer annuals or winter-dormant perennials over the top and leave the bottom layers intact.
- When planting bulbs into existing beds of summer flowers, there is nothing wrong with using a hori hori knife to shoehorn plants into tight spaces. Bulbs play well with others, so plant them right next to perennials that take a long time to emerge like Agastache, Echinacea, and Hostas.
- To create a mass planting, select a portion of a bed that is otherwise blank and quiet, dig a trough, and lay the bulbs in so they are close but not touching.
- Plant bulbs in your lawn! Crocus will come up and finish before the first mowing and bring an unexpected whimsy to a normal lawn. You can also plant Crocuses or early species Tulips to soften the edges of a foot path or entryway.
- For a natural look, toss and roll bulbs with a similar color scheme and staggered bloom times into place before planting. The random pattern will be organic and beautiful, come Spring.
Fall bulbs come in a multitude of shapes, styles, and colors and bring unparalleled life into the early garden. Whether you prefer sophisticated, muted tones, or are looking for ways to electrify your pots, our garden centers are well-stocked with the highest quality bulbs to set you up for success next Spring.