Bulbs grow just as well in containers as they do in the ground. In decorative pots, bulbs are often treated as annuals; but grown Zone appropriately in the garden, bulbs multiply and return year after year, sometimes for decades, making them one of the best investments gardeners can make. And with a little planning, flowering bulbs will keep your garden and vases filled with beautiful, and often fragrant, blooms from late winter through fall.
Flowering bulbs are either spring flowering or summer flowering.
Spring-flowering bulbs are planted in fall. They require a long chilling period to bloom but should be planted early enough to become well rooted before the ground freezes. Chionodoxa, crocus, iris, scilla, galanthus (snowdrops), and eranthis (winter aconite) bloom in late winter to early spring. Hyacinth, muscari, and fritillaria follow in mid-spring. Bluebells, leucojum (spring snowflake), allium, and ranunculus round out the season in late spring. Depending on the variety, anemone, narcissus (daffodil) and tulips bloom anywhere from early to late spring.
Summer-flowering bulbs are planted is spring after all threat of frost has passed. Eremurus and camassia bloom in early summer. Gladiolus, liatris, begonia, calla lily, and crinum follow in midsummer. Canna lily, crocosmia, agapanthus, nerine, dahlia, and colchicum (autumn crocus) round out the season in late summer through fall. Depending on variety, iris, lilies, and gladiolus bloom from early summer to late summer.
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