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Seasonal Flowering Bulbs and Tulips

Spring flowering bulbs are an excellent way to add colour, texture and interest to your garden. This fall ask the experts at Greenbloom Landscape Design to design and plant your spring bulb display.

Spring Flowering Bulbs

  • What are Spring Flowering Bulbs?
    • The term bulb is often used to refer to both bulbs and corms.
    • Examples of bulbs are tulips and daffodils.
    • An example of a corm is a crocus.
    • They require a period of cold before they bloom.
    • They bloom from early spring to summer depending on the variety.
  • How Should I Landscape with Bulbs? When Do They Bloom?
    • Before planting, spend some time planning where you would like your bulbs, keeping in mind some flowering times will overlap.
    • The bulb’s flowering times and heights can be found on the packaging.
    • Very early spring: Snowdrops, crocus, winter aconite, glory-of-the-snow, and dwarf iris.
    • Early spring: Grecian Windflower, giant crocus, daffodils, hyacinths, early tulips
    • Mid spring; Tulips, daffodils, grape hyacinths
    • Late spring: Tulips, alliums, anemone
  • What Are Examples of Spring Bulbs?
    • Narcissus – Narcissus is the name of a group that includes daffodils, jonquils and paperwhites. It is often used for daffodils with smaller blooms. Can be planted with other bulbs to help deter squirrels.
      Example: Thalia
    • Daffodil – Most commonly found in yellow, white and orange however, due to hybridization, Daffodils are also available in shades of cream, pink and apricot. Can be planted with other bulbs to help deter squirrels.
      Example: Ice Follies
    • Jonquils – Small trumpet-shaped flowers. Narcissus, daffodil, and jonquil are used interchangeably, meaning something different by region. Can be planted with other bulbs to help deter squirrels.
    • Snowdrops – One of the earliest to bloom in the spring, often emerging through the snow.
    • Allium – These bulbs belong to the onion family. The blooms can be small oval shaped flower to giant round balls depending on the variety chosen.
    • Fritillaria – Snake’s Head Fritillaria are short plants with nodding bell-shaped flower which have a distinctive checkerboard pattern. Crown imperials can be 2-4 feet tall with large pendulous flowers topped by a crown of leaves. Fritillaria are squirrel, deer and rabbit resistant.


      Snake’s Head fritillaria

      What Are Examples of Spring Bulbs

      Crown imperial fritillaria

    • Crocus – Short plants that are available in many shades and bi-colours. They bloom early, often emerging through the snow, and can naturalize.
    • Siberian Squill Or Scilla – These small, nodding flowers are blue, and typically bloom in early spring. Alba, which belongs to the Scilla family, is a white variety.
      Siberian Squill Or Scilla
    • Muscari or Grape Hyacinth – These are small clusters of flowers, usually blue or purple. Hybridizers have developed varieties in pink, white and bi-colour.
      Muscari or Grape Hyacinth
    • Dwarf Iris – A short plant with grass like foliage, the blooms are usually shades of purple, however other colours are available.
      Dwarf Iris
    • Tulips – There are many varieties and colours of this spring favourite. We refer you to the following information.

Types of Tulips

The several varieties of tulips:

  • Single Tulips – Typically six-petaled, cupped flowers that can grow up to thirty inches. Late pink diamond and early Christmas dream are a few examples.
  • Double or Peony Tulips – Multi-petaled flowers are quite sensitive to rain and wind which is why you must plant them in a sheltered space. Late flowering Annelinde and early flowering Foxtrot are a few examples.
  • Fosteriana Tulips – Bowl-shaped flowers that are 5 inches wide with slender, striped leaves. Red Emperor is a common type.
  • Kaufmanniana Tulips – Available in a variety of contrasting colours. Resembling the shape of a star, they open when it is sunny, and grow between 6-12 inches in height. Usually bloom during early to mid-spring season. Heart’s Delight is a common example.
  • Darwin Hybrid Tulips – The result of cross-breeding and have strong stems and large petals. Daydream is a popular type.
  • Greigii Tulips – Grow up to 12 inches tall and bloom during early-mid spring. Have single bowl, star-shaped petals with spotted or striped leaves. Mary Ann is a common example.
    Greigii Tulips
  • Fringed Tulips – Result of a mutation and grow up to 30 inches in height. Their petals have fringed edges. Bell Song is a typical example.
    Fringed Tulips
  • Triumph Tulips – One of the largest of the tulip varieties and grows up to 16 inches tall. Attila is a common example.
  • Parrot Tulips – Unusually coloured flower has large petals with fringed edges that resemble a parrot’s feathers and grows up to 26 inches tall. The green buds bloom in late spring. Black Parrot is a common variety of this tulip.
  • Lily Flowered Tulips – Have thin stems and a slender shape. Grow best in sheltered areas. Mariette is a common example.
    Lily Flowered Tulips
  • Botanical Tulips – Bloom in early spring as soon as they emerge from the ground and stay low. Lilac Wonder is a common Botanical Tulip.
  • Viridiflora Tulips – Have petals that include some green colouring.  An example is the Flaming Spring Green.
  • Rembrandt Tulips – Although like Darwin Tulips they originally owed their striking blotched or mottled colours to a bulb virus, today’s selections are disease free. Flaming Flag is a common type.
    What Are Examples of Spring Bulbs

Fall Flowering Bulbs

These bulbs need to be planted in late summer or early fall, and bloom after planting.

  • What are Fall Flowering Bulbs?
    • They bloom during the fall, from September through November.
    • A few examples are Saffron Fall Blooming Crocus, Giant Colchicum, Waterlily Colchicum, and Autumn White Colchicum. These should be planted mid/late August through September.
    • They can naturalize and flower every year.
  • How Do You Plant Fall Flowering Bulbs?
    • Read the package instructions carefully.
    • Water well after planting the bulbs.
    • Sprinkle hen manure or blood meal to help deter squirrels from digging them up.
  • Facts About Fall Flowering Bulbs
    • Colchicum, which blooms in fall, is a member of the lily family. Leaves appear in spring while the flowers appear in the fall. It is toxic, making it critter-proof. Mixing them with spring bulbs will help keep pests away.
    • Much like the spring blooming varieties, fall crocus has narrow foliage similar to grass.
    • Fall flowering plants provide pollen and nectar late in the season for pollinators.

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