Hardy, spring-blooming bulbs - Pasquesi Home and Gardens
hardy spring bulbs

Hardy, spring-blooming bulbs

As the gardening season winds down, don’t forget to think about what spring-blooming bulbs you’ll want to plant this autumn. You might not see the urgency right now, but after six months of winter, you’ll be happy that you dug them in.

Daffodils are a good choice for all levels of gardeners, as they bloom early and multiply over the years. The incredible globes of allium flowers are the showstoppers of the onion family and they are also  critter resistant. Native, heirloom, and species tulip bulbs are all very hardy because they have adapted to our area over time.

With proper preparation during fall planting, you’ll be assured success from this list of easy-care bulbs.

 

DAFFODILS naturalize and multiply through the years…deer and squirrel resistant.

Dutch Master (18″ tall) (Top left) shows off large, golden trumpets with more flowers per bulb than most daffodils. Blooms early in March-April and ideal for forcing, borders, rock gardens, containers and naturalized areas. Perhaps the best known group of narcissus, the “trumpet” daffodils are known for their large flowers with the middle trumpet as long as or longer than the flower’s petals. These terrific bulbs multiply freely and have a long blooming season.

Mount Hood (14″ tall) features 5″ white flowers with ivory-yellow trumpets that change to pure white. Growing up to 14″ tall, Mount Hood is ideal for planting in borders, containers or flower beds. It’s impressive as a cut flower, too. Multiplying freely, these hardy bulbs have a long blooming season. Easy-to-grow, deer resistant, daffodil bulbs perform best when planted in well-drained soil and in full sun to partial shade. Blooms in April.

Narcissus Tete-a-Tete (6-8″ tall) has 2-3 flowers on each stem. Although miniature, this heirloom daffodil has just as much flower power as the big guys! The buttercup-yellow flowers are scented and mature into larger colonies as time goes on. Blooms from early March into April.

Mixed Daffodils Value Pack won’t disappoint! Can’t decide which bulbs to purchase? Why not try a pack with a mix of early-, mid- and late-spring bloomers that flower in many shapes, colors and heights. Daffodils are low maintenance plants once planted, (except the waiting for foliage to yellow and dry before removing it) and they will return and multiply every spring.

Large or Great Camas (Camassia leichtlinii) are bulbous perennials that are native to western North America. The bulbs are legendary because of a young Native American, Sacajawea, who fed cooked ‘camas’ to explorers, Lewis and Clark, when food was scarce during the expedition in the early 1800s. The 3-4′ spires of starry flowers are pollinator-friendly and available in white, cream, blue & purple. Hardy in zones 3-8, they tolerate damp soil, pond edges, and heavy clay soil.

Allium ‘Globemaster’ (30-36″ tall) (Top right) is simply spectacular. As the largest flowers in the Allium family, ‘Globemaster’ boasts 8″ spheres of lavender florets on top of sturdy, thick stems. Because of their onion-y scent, Allium foliage and flowers keep rabbits and deer away. Thrives in full sun to part-shade. Blooms in May – June. Attracts honeybees and butterflies.

Grecian Windflower (Anemone blanda) (Bottom left) has low-growing, daisy-like flowers with fern-y foliage… making it a beautiful spring groundcover for rock gardens and perennial beds. Heirloom flowers bloom in shades of hyacinth blue, pale pink and white with contrasting centers. The foliage dries and disappears after blooming. Full sun to part-shade. 4″ tall. Blooms April – May.

Species Tulips

(Tulipa bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’) (Bottom right) is a species tulip that is known to perennialize better than most tulips. ‘Lilac Wonder’ has pink/lilac-colored flowers with contrasting yellow centers… showy and long-lasting. Looking best in carefree drifts or rock gardens, these May bloomers mature up to 7″ tall.

(Tulipa praestans ‘Paradox’) is prized for its variegated two-tone foliage and orange-red flowers with yellow bases. These showy and long-lasting plants look superb in rock gardens, clusters, and drifts. 8 – 10″ tall. April flowers.

 

TIPS

Fertilize for better results… give your bulbs the edge!

Here’s a two-step, fertilizing regime to increase the size and number of blooms.

  1. In fall, when planting the bulbs, add a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or sprinkle a ‘bulb booster’ fertilizer on the top of the soil. Water well. Don’t add it to the hole first, where the direct contact might burn the bulbs.

       2. In spring, apply the same fertilizer when you see the green sprouts appear. Follow the directions for the correct amount of application.

 

NOTE: After blooming, allow the leaves to dry and turn brown before removing them. The energy will go back into the bulb and increase the size of next year’s flowers.

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