plants that overwinter and multiply by means on fleshy stems
of leaves are called bulbs. The bulbs we grow in our gardens
today are native to temperate zones all over the world, the
woodlands, meadows and mountains of the Mediterranean,
Middle East, and North America. The Dutch have been
extremely successful over the centuries in collection and
hybridizing new species of bulbs and improving them for
reliable garden performance. Tulips in particular, once
played an important role in the Dutch economy.
no easier plant to cultivate than a bulb. Planted at the
right time, in a loose, well-draining soil, bulbs will bloom
punctually year after year and even spread (“naturalize”) if
conditions are to their liking.
planting a sequence of spring-, summer- and fall-flowering
bulbs at the appropriate time, you can enjoy their blooms
practically year ‘round.
Fall (late September through late
November) – Plant hardy, spring-flowering bulbs:
tulips, narcissus (includes all types of
daffodils), crocus, eranthis (winter aconites),
erythronium, fritillaria, hyacinths snowdrops, scilla, hardy
lilies. In California and milder
areas of the Southwest, also plant ranunculus, freesias, anemones and paperwhites outdoors. Store tulips,
crocus and hyacinths in refrigerator for 6-8
weeks before planting. In all regions, store potted bulbs in
refrigerator for forcing indoors.
Winter – In California, plant prechilled-
hardy bulbs outdoors. In all regions, remove sprouted bulbs
from refrigerator for indoor forcing.
Spring – Plant more tender,
summer-flowering bulbs: achimenes, gladioli, alliums, calla
ixia, crocosmia, dahlias, cannas.
Late Summer – Plant the late bloomers:
fall- and winter-blooming hardy cyclamen.
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