Are you a gardener who vows to try something new each season? Then why not plant some of these bulbs this spring? They will add color to your yard and can be tucked in among your perennials too. These are also great to grow in containers and can be used as cut flowers in your floral arrangements.
Here is a list of spring planting bulbs that we have compiled to help you get started:
Cape Lily – Don’t let this pretty Lily fool you. It may appear to be delicate, but it is actually one tough customer. It is available in two different colors, pink and white. It has large fragrant trumpet-like flowers that grow 4 inches long. It will grow 3 to 4 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. It starts blooming late in the summer and throughout the fall when most plants have already finished their blooming cycle. It is cold-hardy, but that does not mean it can’t take the heat. This plant is also called Swamp Lily and it is very popular in the southeastern/gulf states where it is considered a perennial. It thrives in all types of soils and once the plant is established it tolerates moist soils and drought equally. It is hardy to garden zone 7, but if you grow it in a container and live in a colder climate be sure to take it indoors. This flower attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. It is also deer and rabbit resistant.
Chinese Ground Orchid – This plant is also known as Hyacinth Orchid. It is native to Southeast Asia and is often found growing in clumps alongside grassy slopes. British gardeners started growing these plants in the 1990s and soon after they arrived in the United States. This flower blooms in the spring and these hardy plants are found in shades of white, pink, purple and red. These plants are very easy to grow from rhizomes which need to be planted in partly sunny locations in hardiness zones 6-9. The soil should drain well and the flowers deadheaded so the energy is directed to the roots for next year’s blooms.
Crocosmia – These summer-blooming plants have bright colored flowers on the top of long stems. The flowers will open one-by-one starting from the bottom and moving up. The flowers come in yellow and orange. Hummingbirds love these flowers. The foliage on the plant is sword-like, similar to that of a Gladiolus which is one of its relatives. These bulbs should be planted in the spring. In most climates (hardiness zones 6 – 10); this plant is considered a perennial and will bloom year after year. Crocosmia performs best in well-drained soil and needs a location that gets plenty of sunshine. After the plant blooms don’t cut back the foliage. The leaves gather sunlight and provide nourishment for next year's show. Continue to water as needed.
Eucomis Comosa – This plant is more commonly known as Pineapple Lily and is native to South Africa. This tropical flower needs full sun to bloom. When it blooms in the summer it will have several flower stems that send up spikes of star-shaped blossoms. The flowers on this plant bloom from the bottom to top over a long 6-8 week period. The plant prefers to be grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained soil in full sun. The plant is not winter hardy, so if you try growing them in containers be sure to bring them inside in the fall and store in a cool, dry location.
Liatris Spicata - Liatris, also known as Gayflower, is a perennial wildflower native to the prairies of the Midwest. It is also called Blazing Star and blooms in late summer with fuzzy wands of violet-pink or white flowers. The nectar of the flower attracts butterflies. Its flowers are unusual in that they flower from the top of the bud down rather than the other way around. Its wand-like blooms stand 2 to 5 feet above its grassy leaves and may require support if planted in a windy location. It grows best in soils that drain well in a sunny location and during the winter it requires some mulch to protect its roots from being pushed out of the ground by cycles of freezing and thawing.
Starflower – This plant is a member of the Primrose family. Starflower is a spring wildflower that is often found in the eastern part of North America. This bulb has been planted in gardens for nearly 200 years but it has gone through so many name changes it isn’t utilized as frequently as it should be. It is easy to grow and comes in shades of blue and white. Starflower grows 6 to 12 inches high and is hardy in garden zones 5 through 9. While it tolerates sunny conditions its preference is for partial shade. Its foliage appears early in the spring and is then followed by its star-shaped blooms from late spring into the early summer. They are a good companion plant around Daffodils, Tulips, and Hyacinths and once established will be a mainstay in your flower border for years to come.
Summer Hyacinth – This plant is native to South Africa. It has beautiful spikes of white flowers with dark green foliage. Its bell-shaped flowers appear late in the summer and grow on tall spikes (3 – 4 feet) and are quite fragrant. Bees find this flower very attractive as do other pollinators and it is also deer resistant. Summer Hyacinth performs best when planted in moist, well-drained soil in a sunny spot where other plants will not shade them. If you live in a colder climate grow them as an annual plant or bring the bulbs inside to overwinter in a cool, dark spot.
Watsonia Orange – Also known as Orange Bugle Lily this flower is native to South Africa and blooms in late spring with tall spikes of orange flowers that attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. Its blooms are 3 inches long and last several weeks, making them a great candidate for a cut flower garden. The foliage on the plants is about 18 inches long and is sword-like. This plant prefers warm climates and is hardy for zones 8-10. Plant these bulbs in moist soil in full sun.
Let us know if you give any of these flowers a try.