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Growing Bulbs in Every Season

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Question:

I love the look and idea of bulbs, but the bulbs I have planted only last a few weeks. I see other gardens as I am driving through town that have bulb plants spring, summer and fall. I simply love it.
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What can I do to get these results? Are these specific bulbs I can purchase and plant?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Thank you,
Mindy from Redmond, Oregon

Answer:

Mindy,

There are long lasting bulbs (corms, tuberous-roots and rhizomes) for every season. The trick is planting them in succession (staggering plantings), planting them in large numbers (to make up for those that fail), and planting them at the appropriate time so that you have something blooming throughout the spring, summer and fall. Some bulbs are tender to your zone, meaning they have to be dug up, dried and over-wintered in above freezing temperatures. Other bulbs are winter hardy and can be left in the ground in the fall. Here are a few examples of bulbs for every season. Spring blooming bulbs are often planted in the fall, and summer and fall blooming bulbs are planted after danger of frost has passed in the spring. Unless otherwise stated, all are hardy to at least zone 5. Bulbs not hardy to zone 5 will need to be dug up and stored over winter.

Early Spring Blooms:

  • Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow)
  • Galanthus (Snowdrop)
  • Eranthis (Winter Aconite)

Mid-Spring Blooms:

  • Hyacinthus (Hyacinth)
  • Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)
  • Narcissus (Daffodil)
  • Tulip
  • Crocus (Crocus)
  • Anemone (Windflower)
  • Scilla (Bluebell)

Late Spring Blooms:

  • Allium (Allium)
  • Convallaria (Lily of the Valley)
  • Sparaxis (Harlequin Flower)-Hardy to Zone 9
  • Trillium (Wood Lily)

Early-to-Mid Summer Blooms:

  • Gladiolus (Sword Lily)-Hardy to Zone 7
  • Iris (Iris)
  • Dahlia (Dahlia)-Hardy to Zone 8
  • Hemerocallis (Daylily)
  • Lilium (Lily)
  • Ornithogalum (Star of Bethlehem)-Hardy to Zone 8
  • Acidanthera (Peacock Flower)-Hardy to Zone 7
  • Crocosmia (Montebretia)-Hardy to Zone 7
  • Ranunculus (Persian Buttercup)-Hardy to Zone 7

Late Summer Blooms:

  • Amaryllis (Belladonna Lily)-Hardy to Zone 7

Fall Blooms:

  • Colchicum (Meadow saffron)

Ellen

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Home and Garden Gardening BulbsJune 25, 2013
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