A Guide to Fall Planting Bulbs Part 1

We are almost halfway through October, and that means this is the time to get your fall planting bulbs into the ground. Today we are going to do part 1 of a two part series on the top 10 fall planting bulbs in the United States.

Beautiful Fall Planting Bulbs 1 – Alliums

fall planting bulbs

These are one of the most carefree plants that you will plant. You don’t have to remove their spent blooms, you rarely need to divide them and they’re not a plant that deer like. The one thing that you should do is make sure they’re in moist soil during blooming season. They generally bloom in the months of May and June, sometimes remaining in bloom for 4-5 weeks. They have tall varieties that can reach 4 feet with flowers that are 6-8” balls. There are also tiny varieties and medium varieties.

There’re just two drawbacks when you grow them. The first thing is that they are pretty expensive. So if you want to grow a lot of them, it’s going to cost you quite a bit of money. The other problem is that some of the varieties, like Purple Sensation, its foliage starts to degrade prior to flowers blooming. So it’s a good idea to plant the bulbs among plants with good looking foliage.

  • Growing Zones: 5-8
  • Colors: Pink, purple, white and yellow
  • Sun Requirements: Full Sun
  • Soil Requirements: Average, well-draining, slightly acidic

Beautiful Fall Planting Bulbs 2 – Autumn Crocus

These flowers are really unique. They are planted in the fall. But they don’t flower until the next fall. Not only that, but the first thing to appear are the flowers. Once they die after blooming 2-3 weeks, long leaves sprout the next spring. They disappear during the heat of the summer. The plant then will remain dormant during the summer. Then in the early part of the fall, there are flowers. They are similar to crocus, though they’re somewhat larger. They measure 4” across, and each of the plants will bloom in clusters of as many as four blooms.

Since they bloom in the fall, you shouldn’t wait long for planting bulbs. Late summer is better than late autumn. If they’re planted early enough, you might get flowers. If you are able to find a spot that will only get sun in the afternoon, you’ll have a better abundance. You should divide your bulbs every 4 years. This is going to help with keeping your clumps healthy.

  • Growing Zones: 5-9
  • Colors: Lavender, pink, & white
  • Sun requirements: full sun – partial shade
  • Soil requirements: rocky, well-draining or sandy loam

Beautiful Fall Planting Bulbs 3 – Bluebells

English Bluebells on the left, Spanish Bluebell on the right

There’s a lot of plants that use this name. however, there are only two that are great to plant in the fall: English bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) and Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica), both members of the family of hyacinths. They’re also called wood hyacinth. These plants naturalize and spread, which will produce lots of flowers. Make sure that you are careful when you plant these flowers in the smaller borders. It’s a better idea to plant them in your grass close to a tree or near woodlands.

English bluebells’ scent is fragrant and they’re great for cutting. They’re more sensitive to heat and they should be planted in areas with partial shade or regularly watered. Their flowers will only bloom on one of the stalk’s sides, which causes the stalks to eventually bend beneath their weight.

The Spanish variety is a tougher plant and they’re able to take some more sun than the English bluebells. Their flower stalks are held upright amid leaves that are swordlike. Even though they are gorgeous, they aren’t fragrant like the English variety.

Both of these types are going to bloom from the middle of spring to the early part of summer.

  • Growing Zones: 4-9
  • Colors: Blue, pink, and white
  • Sun Requirements: Partial Shade
  • Soil Requirements: Moist, rich, well-draining

Beautiful Fall Planting Bulbs 4 – Daffodils

Spring wouldn’t be spring without some beautiful daffodils. This is one of the most recognized flowers that bloom in the spring and they’re really easy to grow. They’re low maintenance and long-lived. Simply make sure the soil they’re growing in remains moist without being soggy, since this can lead to rot.

Although most people think of yellow flowers when it comes to daffodils, they come in a variety of colors, even pink. If you order them through the mail, they are often more expensive. However, they also can be bigger, meaning larger and more blooms.

  • Growing Zones: 4-11
  • Colors: Pink, Yellow, and white
  • Sun Requirements: Full Sun
  • Soil Requirements: Moist, rich, well-draining

Beautiful Fall Planting Bulbs 5 – Dutch Iris

These are delicate plants that have blooms that are similar to orchids in many colors, and their bulbs are surprisingly small. They need great soil drainage, otherwise these bulbs can rot. They shouldn’t be planted too deeply: 3-4” at most. Otherwise, they are easily grown and low maintenance.

The biggest complaint with these plants is they will only bloom for around two weeks during late spring or early summer. So you want to plant a large amount so that you can really enjoy the blooms while they’re there. They also can be used in cut flower bouquets, although they will only last as long as 5 days once they are cut.

  • Growing Zones: 5-9
  • Colors: Maroon, blue, white, violet, and yellow
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun – partial shade
  • Soil Requirements: Moderately moist, rich, well-draining

These are just five of the beautiful flowers that you can plant now for spring blooming. If you would like some help with your fall planting bulbs or you are interested in any of our other services, feel free to contact us here. Pleaes stay tuned on Wednesday for part 2 of our top 10 fall planting bulbs.

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