Documents: Special Interest: Seeds, Bulbs & Such:

There are so many kinds of flower bulbs!
by iBulb
March 16, 2014

There are so many kinds of flower bulbs!

Why not make a voyage of discovery through flower bulb country? The many kinds you will find there – besides tulips, daffodils and hyacinths – is simply amazing.

What makes these other kinds special is that they are classified as ‘naturalising bulbs’ and will emerge year after year. Think of them as your garden’s little gifts! Once planted, they will produce more and more flowers every year. And even nicer: there will be more and more of these bulbs as time goes on! They produce their own new bulblets, and many of these varieties spread by seed.

Here are just a few examples of the many kinds of special bulbs. How delightful it will be to see these appearing in the garden next spring!

Crocus

The effect crocuses produce is very pretty when they are planted in large numbers. Plant 100 to 150 corms to achieve a grand effect. Their chalice-shaped flowers open when the sun shines or whenever there is plenty of light; they close up during cloudy weather and at night. Crocuses are beautiful in the grass and in combination with perennials in the border. They should be planted at a depth of 12½ cm and will bloom in February/March.

Nodding star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum nutans)

Since ornis means ‘bird’ and gala means ‘milk’, a translation of the name for this bulb could be ‘bird’s milk’. The source of the name probably comes from the white colour of the flowers and the elegant way they dangle in a cluster from the stem. They should be planted at a depth of 10 cm. and will bloom in March/April.

Striped squill (Puschkinia)

To create an impressive effect, plant these bulbs in large quantities beneath trees and shrubs. They can be used for naturalising since they are completely hardy. Plant them at a depth of 10 cm. Their flowering period is February/April.

Snowdrop (Galanthus)

The flowers of snowdrops can actually break through a covering of snow to announce that spring has arrived! They can remain undisturbed for years and will easily increase in number. Snowdrops can create beautiful clusters of plants but will also be lovely in a lawn. They should be planted at a depth of 10 cm and will bloom in February/March. Snowdrops can also be planted in a pot or container. Plant them in fresh potting compost and put a layer of gravel or expanded clay granules in the bottom of the pot.

Glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa)

Glory-of-the snow is a plant that ushers in the first days of spring. Glory-of-the-snow requires no special care, can easily increase in number, and will also grow in grass. Plant them at a depth of 10 cm. They will produce flowers in February/March.

Siberian squill (Scilla siberica)

Siberian squills are the most popular flower bulbs for naturalising. Plant Siberian squills in clusters of at least 15 bulbs, or distribute around 25 to 50 – or even more – of these flower bulbs evenly over the border or a flower bed. The Siberian squill will also thrive in a pot or a balcony container. They should be planted at a depth of 10 cm and will flower in March/April.

Dwarf iris (Iris reticulata)

Dwarf irises are perfect for use in rock gardens and will flower very early in the season. When these little bulbs are well established in their location, they will reappear for several years. They should be planted at a depth of 10 cm and will bloom in February/March.

Chequered fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)

The bell-shaped flowers of the Chequered fritillary have a unique pattern on their petals. Plant them at a depth of 10 cm. They will flower in April/May. After flowering, the Chequered fritillary produces decorative seedpods.

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