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Flowering Bulbs Year-Round

Dahlias
Dahlias

Seasonally, bulbs are usually divided into two main groups–the first being generally termed “fall bulbs” which means those that are dormant and should be planted in late summer and fall; and the second being called “spring bulbs,” meaning those that are dormant over the winter and must be planted in early spring.

Fall bulbs include the likes of tulips and narcissus while the spring group includes gladiolus, dahlias, and the like.

There is another important division of bulbs as a whole–those that are “hardy” and those that are “tender”. When a bulb-like any other plant–is spoken of as being hardy, it means that it will survive the usual winter weather experienced in temperate zones; tender bulbs will not do this and must not be allowed to freeze either in the ground or out of it.

Fall bulbs are hardy and can remain in the ground during winter. Spring (and summer) bulbs are tender and must come out of the ground in fall and be placed in frost-free storage during the winter.

Here’s our list of flowering bulbs season-by-season. Click on the red botanical names to get how–to-grow tips.

Flowering Bulbs for Early Spring Bloom

These bulbs are hardy. They are planted in late summer or fall and can remain in the ground through winter.

Snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis
Snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis
Common NameBotanical NameZones
CrocusCrocus spp.3-8
Daffodils, early typesNarcissus spp.3-9
RanunculusRanunculus asiaticus7-10
SnowdropsGalanthus nivalis3-7
SquillScilla spp.2-8 

Flowering Bulbs for Midspring Bloom

These bulbs are hardy. They are planted in late summer or fall and can remain in the ground through winter.

Freesia
Freesia
Common NameBotanical NameZones
Daffodil, mid and lateNarcissus spp.3-9
FreesiaFreesia spp.8-11
Fritillary, checkered lilyFritillaria meleagris3-8
Grape hyacinthMuscari spp.3-8
Tulip, midseason typesTulipa spp.3-7
WindflowerAnemone spp.Varies

Flowering Bulbs for Late-Spring Bloom

These bulbs are hardy. They are planted in late summer or fall and can remain in the ground through winter.

 Gladiolus
Gladiolus
Common NameBotanical NameZones
Fritillary; crown imperialFritillaria imperialis5-8
GladiolusGladiolus hybrids8-11
HyacinthHyacinthus orientalis3-11
IrisIris spp.Varies
Lily-of-the-valleyConvallaria majalis3-7
Tulip, lateTulipa spp.3-7

Flowering Bulbs for Early-Summer Bloom

These bulbs are tender. They are planted in early spring. They must be lifted in autumn and stored in a frost-free place through the winter.

 Zantedeschia aethiopica
Zantedeschia aethiopica
Common NameBotanical NameZones
Calla lilyZantedeschia aethiopica8-11
Cyclamen, hardyCyclamen hederifolium7-9
GladiolusGladiolus hybrids8-11
Lily, AsiaticLilium spp.3-9
Society garlicTulbaghia violacea8-11

Flowering Bulbs for Mid- to Late-Summer Bloom

These bulbs are tender. They are planted in early spring. They must be lifted in autumn and stored in a frost-free place through the winter.

Crocosmia
Crocosmia
Common NameBotanical NameZones
Begonia, tuberousBegonia x tuberhybrida9-11
CaladiumCaladium bicolor8-11
CannaCanna hybrids7-11
CrocosmiaCrocosmia x crocomiiflora5-10
DahliaDahlia spp.8-11
GladiolusGladiolus hybrids8-11
Gladiolus, AbyssinianGladiolus callianthus7-11
Lilies, Oriental and EasterLilium spp.3-9
Naked ladiesLycoris squamigera5-8

Flowering Bulbs for Autumn Bloom

These bulbs are tender. They are planted in early spring. They must be lifted in autumn and stored in a frost-free place through the winter.

Caladium
Caladium
Common NameBotanical NameZones
Begonia, tuberousBegonia x tuberhybrida9-11
CaladiumCaladium bicolor8-11
CannaCanna hybrids7-11
Crocus, AutumnColchicum autumnale5-9
DahliaDahlia spp.8-11
GladiolusGladiolus hybrids8-11

More about flowering bulbs:

Designing with Flower Bulbs

Planting Bulbs

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