Fall Bulb Planting
Bulbs that are planted in the fall will emerge with a burst of colour in the spring. Bulbs are some of the first flowers to grow after the snow has melted and they are a welcome sign of spring! Planting a variety of bulbs is a great way to keep a transition of colour throughout your garden until other flowers are in bloom. Remember that bulbs that are called fall bulbs are planted in the fall and will flower in the spring. Here are some of the most popular fall bulbs:
Tulips are one of the most popular spring flowers. They are cup-shaped, elegant flowers with a smooth, green stem. There are literally thousands of varieties of tulips and new ones are cultivated every year. Red is the most popular colour, but the other colour choices are endless. Visit your local garden centre to see what new and exciting varieties are available in your area.
Irises have fan-like foliage and showy flowers. They are versatile plants that flower dependably and are easy to grow. Irises like to grow in the sun. If you purchase an iris as a rhizome it should be planted in the fall. You can often purchase iris in the spring, but these are sold as already established plants.
Crocuses are cup-shaped flowers with grass-like leaves. They are often the first flowers to emerge and sometimes grow when there is still snow left on the ground. Crocuses come in varying colours, but the most common are white, mauve, and yellow. Try planting crocuses in your lawn to add interest- they will usually be finished blooming by the time you need to cut the grass. If you choose to do this, the leaves must be left until they die back naturally to replenish the bulb’s nutrients.
Hyacinths are highly fragrant flowers that bloom in dense clusters. The grape hyacinth has flowers that are tight bulbs and grow in clusters resembling grapes. They come in a variety of blue and purple colours. Grape hyacinth will grow outdoors in our Manitoba climate.
The common hyacinth has flowers that open fully and look like stars. Common hyacinths have a much wider range of colours including white, oranges, yellows, pinks, reds, purples, and blues. Hyacinths are a popular choice for forcing indoors because they will not grow outdoors in our Manitoba climate. For more information on how to do this see our Forcing Bulbs Indoors section.
These are just a few of the most popular fall bulbs. Be sure to visit our garden store to learn about more varieties that are available. It’s fun to experiment with new bulbs every year to have a variety of flowers to look forward to in the spring!
For tips, tricks, and information on the best way to plant bulbs see the section on Bulbs 101.