Celebrate spring with colorful flowerbulbs

Planting flowerbulbs is one of my favorite fall gardening tasks. I like to do this on crisp, sunny autumn days, knowing that in a few months crocuses, tulips and daffodils will brighten winter-weary spirits.

If you plan carefully, the show can last from late winter to June. The beauty of spring-flowering bulbs is their incredible variety, in size and shape, color and bloom time.

In fall when the garden is still full of foliage from summer’s perennials, it’s hard to recall how stark the beds can look in early spring. So be sure to plant abundantly so your spring show has impact.

flowerbulbs - daffodil

Daffodils and scilla both naturalize well

Spring color with tulips, daffodils and hyacinths


If there’s one bulb that seems to personify spring, it has to be tulips. These bulbs are the ultimate visual spring tonic, and there are scores of wonderful tulip varieties to choose from. You can even go for the drama of ‘black’ tulips.

Next to tulips, daffodils are amongst the best-loved spring bulbs, and unlike tulips, their flowers are deer and squirrel-proof.

Beloved for their spring fragrance, modern hyacinths come in showy colors, and are easy to force for indoor display.

More attractive and wildlife-proof flowerbulbs

Tulips may be the most popular spring flowers, but there are many lovely, easy-to-grow, lesser-known bulbs: windflowers (Anemone blanda), wild hyacinth (Camassia), guinea-hen flower (Fritillaria meleagris), Persian fritillaria, (Fritillaria Persica) and Bulgarian ornamental onion (Nectaroscordum siculum).

Fortunately, most of them are unappealing to deer and squirrels. If you’re looking for easy-care gardening, many of these lesser known, unusual spring bulbs naturalize. That means they come back year after year, spreading if they’re happy.

Unusual spring bulbs

Nectaroscordum siculum

More must-grow spring bulbs:

Crocus: Must-have bulbs for very early spring color

Snowdrops: Delicate, but tough harbingers of spring

Muscari: Cute violet-blue flowers

Alliums (ornamental onions): Add a touch of whimsy to gardens

Flowerbulbs that spread: How to naturalize with spring bulbs

flowerbulbs - crocus

Spring crocuses
Photo: © Y.Cunnington

More Spring Bulb Tips

When in fall to plant bulbs? Hint: not too early

Bulb planting: How and where to plant, squirrel solutions

Designing with spring bulbs: How to get more bang from your buck

Forcing hyacinths: How to grow these bulbs for indoor display

Bulb leaves: What to do about daffodil and tulip leaves after

Summer-flowering bulbs

What if you Didn’t plant bulbs last fall?

You can pop container bulb plants into your garden. Try bulb plants in spring

If you bought bulbs but forgot to plant them, here’s what you can do.

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