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Friday, Apr. 24th, 2015

The Best Bulbs to Plant in Spring

In order to get that gorgeous, colorful summer garden of your dreams, it’ll take a little planning. Spring is the time when you need to start thinking ahead and planting the bulbs you’d like to see bloom in the summer. These bulbs, tubers and corms will go a long way to brighten up your landscape with very little effort.

To see which of these flowers will bloom beautifully in your plant hardiness zone, double check your zone here at the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

Dahlia

Dahlia

The Dahlia comes in a wide variety; from the Cactus Dahlia to the Water Lily Dahlia. If you can’t decide which will look best in your garden, Dahlias are generally inexpensive, so you should still be able to grab a few different types and stay within your gardening budget.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zone: 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

BegoniaBegonia

Another beautiful flower that comes in a variety of gorgeous colors and sizes is the Begonia. This flower loves an extra dose of fertilizer and doesn’t require any deadheading; it’s of the “self-cleaning” variety.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zone: 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GladiolusGladiolas

Also sometimes known as the “Sword Lily”, the Gladiolus is a great bulb for a smaller garden; it takes up very little space and can have up to 40 blooms on one stem. They also make for gorgeous bouquets, so if you do have the space, plant a plethora of them for cutting later.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zones: 8 – 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

AsiaticLilyAsiatic Lily

One of the most popular flowers gardeners plant is the Asiatic Lily. Not only are they one of the easiest flowers to grow, they’ll last a long time in a vase. Give them a spot with full sun and don’t forget to keep the soil well-drained, but still moist.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zones: 3 – 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

TuberoseTuberose

If planting a garden is all about fragrance for you, the Tuberose is the perfect flower. With a strong scent and gorgeous blooms, this night-blooming flower native to Mexico, does well with a good dose of sun and a heavy helping of fertilizer.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zones: 8 – 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

ElephantEarElephant Ear

If you want to give your garden a bit of tropical flare, the Elephant Ear is a great touch. They look amazing either on their own, or as a backdrop to your colorful array of flowers. They’ll soak up the hot sun and moist soil to give your garden a dramatic effect.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zones: 7 – 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

BeardedIrisBearded Iris

This wonderfully fragrant flower is a real show-stopper with its long-ruffled petals and attractive foliage. It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, but be sure to promptly remove the faded flowers and keep it consistently watered once it blooms in the summer.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zones: 3 – 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

LiatrisLiatris

To add a little height to your garden, the Liatris is a great addition. These flowers, nicknamed the “Blazing Star” can grow anywhere from 1-5 feet. This unique flower blooms from top to bottom and once well watered in the first few weeks of planting, needs very little moving forward, so make sure the soil has a chance to dry before watering again.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zones: 5 – 9

 

 

 

 

 

CaladiumCaladium

A vibrantly colored plant, the Caladium can add a touch of color to the shadier areas of your garden. This two-foot plant needs well-drained, rich soil and it will last for months.

Best for Plant Hardiness Zones: 9 – 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulb Planting Tips

If you’ve never planted a bulb, corm or tuber, here are some general guidelines to ensure your garden blooms just the way you’ve envisioned.

Start with the Best

When choosing bulbs at the local garden center, pick ones that are big, firm and plump. These will provide the best blooms. Stay away from ones that are covered in mold, or are mushy.

The Right Spot

Once you’ve picked out the perfect locale for your garden, place your bulbs on top of the soil in whatever patterns you choose, so you can see how the layout will look once they bloom. Unless you plan to move the flowers to a pot, you’ll want to space them evenly, making sure they aren’t too close together.

Deep Down

When deciding on how far down to plant your bulbs, a general rule of thumb is to plant the bulb at a depth three times the height of the bulb.

Tip Toward the Sun

When placing the bulb in the soil, be sure the pointy tip of the bulb is facing upward. This is where the flower will sprout from. With corms, the pointed side is less prominent, but there’ll be a smaller tip that should be planted with that side pointed up. Tubers should be planted with the hollow side facing upward. 

If you’re looking for even more time to spend in your garden, have a TaskEasy contractor take over your lawn care duties so you can spend your Saturday amongst the flowers.

 

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The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not always reflect the view of TaskEasy.

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