The array of spring-flowering bulbs includes tulips, daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, snowdrops, and flowering onions. By planting a variety of spring-flowering bulbs, gardeners can enjoy blooming plants from late March to mid-June.
For best selection, visit your local garden center early. Select large, firm bulbs. Avoid soft or blemished bulbs. Store purchased bulbs in a cool, dry location until they can be planted in the fall. October is the ideal time to plant spring-flowering bulbs. To achieve the greatest visual impact, plant spring-flowering bulbs in clusters or drifts. When planting tulips or daffodils, plant 10 or more bulbs of the same variety in a cluster. Smaller growing bulbs, such as Siberian squill, should be planted in drifts of 50 or more. The flowering list provides planting depth and spacing of various spring-flowering bulbs.
|Allium spp. (Ornamental Onion)|
|large bulbs (A. giganteum and others)||6 inches||12 to 18 inches|
|small bulbs (A. moly, A. unifolium, etc.)||3 to 5 inches||6 to 8 inches|
|Camassia spp. (Quamash)||4 inches||4 inches|
|Chionodoxa luciliae (Glory-of-the-Snow)||3 to 4 inches||3 inches|
|Crocus spp. (Crocus)||3 to 4 inches||3 inches|
|Fritillaria spp. (Fritillaria)|
|Fritillaria imperialis (Crown Imperial)||6 to 8 inches||12 to 18 inches|
|F. meleagris other small flowering types||3 to 4 inches||4 inches|
|Galanthus nivalis (Common Snowdrop)||3 to 4 inches||3 inches|
|Hyacinthoides hispanica (Spanish Bluebell)||4 inches||4 to 6 inches|
|Hyacinthus orientalis (Hyacinth)||6 inches||6 to 8 inches|
|Leucojum vernum (Spring Snowflake)||3 to 4 inches||3 to 4 inches|
|Muscari armeniacum (Grape Hyacinth)||3 to 4 inches||3 to 4 inches|
|Narcissus spp. (Daffodil)|
|Trumpet, large-cupped, etc.||6 to 8 inches||6 to 8 inches|
|Miniature and other small bulbs||3 to 5 inches||4 to 6 inches|
|Puschkinia scilloides (Striped Squill)||3 to 4 inches||3 inches|
|Scilla siberica (Siberian Squill)||3 to 4 inches||3 inches|
|Tulipa spp. (Tulip)|
|Darwin hybrid tulips, triumph tulips, etc.||6 to 8 inches||4 to 6 inches|
|Species or botanical tulips||3 to 5 inches||3 to 4 inches|
* Planting depth is measured from the base of the bulb to the soil surface.
This article originally appeared in the September 13, 2002 issue, p. 118.