Bulbs overview

Bulbs can be classified as tender or hardy. Hardy bulbs will tolerate, and often require, periods of cold temperature to produce reliable flowers. Tender bulbs will not tolerate cold temperatures and need to be lifted and stored before cold weather damages them.
When peple hear the word bulb, they immediately think about spring blooming bulbs like narcissus and tulips. However, a wide variety of bulbs produce a display in the garden from very early spring until late fall. Bulbs generally bloom in a predictable sequence, although a cool spring may delay bloom for two or more weeks; likewise, an unusually warm spring may induce early flowering.

Hardy bulbs

Flower Name Color Height Season Pests Uses Propagation
Allium giganteum
Giant Allium
blue 48" spring few background, border, cut offsets
Produces large showy blooms on long stems. Bulbs tend to decline after three or more years and the display is reduced. Check our Allium page.
 
Allium molly
Lily Leek
yellow 12-14" spring, early summer few border offsets, seed
Bulbs will increase quickly. New plants produced from seeds will bloom next year. Check our Allium page.
 
Allium sphaerocephalum
Drumstick Allium
purple 14-18" early summer few borde, cut offsets, seed
Green flower buds turn purple and produce an attractive two tone effect. Declines after a few years. Excellent cut flower. Check our Allium page.
 
Anemone blanda
Greek anemone
white, pink, blue 4-6" spring few bedding, edging tuber, seed
Produces flowering carpets that will last up to three weeks. Does very well also under trees.
 
Camassia sp.
Camassia
blue 18-24" late spring few bedding, naturalised division
Prefers moist, sunny or light shade location.
 
Chinodoxa lucilliae
Glory of the Snow
blue w. white eye 6-8" early spring few border, bedding, container offsets, seed
Produces large showy blooms on long stems. Bulbs tend to decline after three or more years and the display is reduced.
 
Colchicum autumnale
Fall Crocus
lavender 6-8" late summer, fall few border offsets. seed
Corms produce foliage in the spring. In early summer foliage dies back. Flower appear from the bare ground.
 
Convallaria majalis
Lily of the Valley
white 8-10" spring few border, ground cover division after flowering
In dry areas foliage dies after the bloom.
 
Crocus
Crocus
white, yellow, blue, bicolor 3-5" early spring or fall few border offsets
Very good for naturalisation in the lawn. Some species (ex. C. sativus) bloom in fall.
 
Endymion hispanicus
Spanish Bluebells
white, pink, blue 12-15" spring few border offsets
Increases readily. Good for naturalisation under decidious trees.
 
Endymion non-scriptus
Bluebells
blue 8-12" spring few mass planting offsets
Very good for naturalisation under shrubs and trees. Best displayed in large numbers.
 
Erythronium albidum
White Fawn-lily
white 4-6" spring few mass planting offsets
Very good for naturalisation under shrubs and trees. Best displayed in large numbers.
 
Erythronium dens-canis
Dog Tooth
violet, rose, white 6-8" spring few border offsets
Very good for naturalisation under shrubs and trees.
 
Eranthis hyemalis
Winter Aconite
yellow 3-5" early spring few border division, seed
Attractive naturalised in large number. New plants require a couple of years to bloom.
 
Fritillaria imperialis
Crown Imperial
orange, yellow 24-36" spring few border offsets
Bulbs may recline in few years.
 
Galanthus nivalis
Snowdrop
white 6-8" spring few border offsets
Best naturalised in large numbers
 
Hyacinthus orientalis
Hyacinth
white, pink, blue, yellow 10-14" spring few border, container offsets
Bulbs decline in a few years. Blooms are fragnant and my require staking.
 
Iris x hybrida
Bearded Iris
various 24-18" late spring iris borer border division
Silvery sword like folliage adds interest to the border after the bloom has ceased.
 
Iris kaempferi
Japanese Iris
various 24-36" early summer few border, cut division
Many cultivars available. Prefers full sun or partial shade.
 
Iris reticulata
Netted Iris
blue 4-6" early spring few border offsets
Can be naturalised in the lawn.
 
Iris sibirica
Siberian Iris
white, blue 18-24" spring few border division
Can tolerate wet conditions.
 
Leucojum vernum
Snowflake
white 4-6" spring few border offsets
Useful for rock gardens.
 
Lilium sp.
Lily
various 2-6' summer few border, cut offsets
Many species and hybrids availbale. Check our lily page.
 
Lycoris squamigera
Magic Lily
pink 24-36" late summer, early fall few border, cut offsets
Foliage appears in spring and then dies back.
 
Muscari armeniacum
Grape Hyacinth
white, blue 4-8" spring few border, cut offsets
Foliage appears in fall and persist through the winter.
 
Narcissus
Narcissus, Daffodil
yellow, white, pink 3-18" spring few border, cut, container offsets
Foliage should be allowed to remain undisturbed until it dies down naturally.
 
Puschkinia scilloides
Striped Squill
blue 4-6" early spring few mass offsets
For best appearance plant in large numbers.
 
Scilla siberica
Siberian Scilla
white, blue 4" spring few border, cut offsets, seed
Very cold hardy.
 
Tulipa
Tulip
various 8-36" spring few border, cut, container offsets
Many species and hybrids availbale. Check our tulips page