Bulb Bloomin' Crazy

Most bulbs love 65-degree spring days and lots of moisture, preceded by a cold winter dormancy. So how do gardeners in the Deep South get around those requirements?
gby1410_seg3_mixandmatchbulbs

gby1410_seg3_mixandmatchbulbs

Using a mixture of bulbs, including tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, extends the blooming season for continuous color.

Using a mixture of bulbs, including tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, extends the blooming season for continuous color.

By:
Related To:

Most bulbs love 65-degree spring days and lots of moisture, preceded by a cold winter dormancy, but gardners in the deep south don't have the same So how do gardeners in the Deep South get around those requirements?

gby1410_seg3_containerbulbs

gby1410_seg3_containerbulbs

A great way to enjoy spring bulbs is in container plantings, no matter where you live.

A great way to enjoy spring bulbs is in container plantings, no matter where you live.

Jimmy Turner of the Dallas Arboretum explains that we just have to change our way of thinking about the life span of a bulb. In Texas, he treats them as annuals. "Tulips just don’t perennialize in Texas. They won’t come back every year," he says. "So we just put them touching, bulb to bulb, and get as much color as quickly as possible." That way, for six to eight weeks in the spring, he gets a beautiful burst of color that is a real traffic stopper.

gby1410_seg3_plantingtulips

gby1410_seg3_plantingtulips

When planting bulbs, Jimmy digs a hole twice as deep as the bulb is high and just dumps in the entire bag of bulbs.

When planting bulbs, Jimmy digs a hole twice as deep as the bulb is high and just dumps in the entire bag of bulbs.

When planting bulbs, Jimmy chucks the standard rules. Rather than planting each bulb individually five to six inches apart as the rules recommend, Jimmy digs a hole twice as deep as the bulb is high and just dumps in the entire bag of bulbs. He does point the bulbs sprout-end up, but his bulbs are tucked in tight, touching right up against each other.

When does Jimmy usually plant spring bulbs? Even in Texas, bulbs are planted between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

gby1410_seg3_bulbsinbloom

gby1410_seg3_bulbsinbloom

Pansies, violas and snapdragons are all good companion plants for bulbs.

Pansies, violas and snapdragons are all good companion plants for bulbs.

This same planting procedure will also work for some of the minor bulbs like snowdrops, irises and anemones. And there are plenty of companion plants you can use to fill in the bed until the bulbs bloom, such as pansies, violas and snapdragons.

One final tip: If you’re storing bulbs in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, take the fruit out. Fruit like apples and oranges emit a gas that can damage the bulb's flower.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Party All the Time: Plan Ahead for Year-Round Bulbs

Choose the right bulbs to ensure your garden is always blooming.

How to Force Bulbs Indoors

Plantings of paperwhites can provide continuous indoor blooms.

Selecting and Planting Flower Bulbs

From the purchase to maintaining them throughout the season, this simple guide to bulbs will help ensure garden success.

Bright Ideas for Bulbs!

Good gardeners know that the best spring garden starts in the fall.

Growing Flower Bulbs

Regardless the size of your garden, there's always space for bulbs. They discreetly die down when not in bloom, and their compact size means they can easily be tucked in among other plants.

Grow Guide: Planting Bulbs

Gardening expert Felder Rushing offers tips on planting bulbs.

How to Plant Springtime Bulbs

Give your lawn and garden spaces new life with these colorful design tips for planting bulbs.

Fall-Blooming Bulbs

The down side of planting bulbs in the fall: having to wait till the following spring to see the flowers. With these plants, though, you get flowers in just 3 weeks.

Plant a Bed of Spring Bulbs

Harbingers of spring, bulbs transform sleeping gardens into oceans of color as the seasons turn.

How to Grow Bold and Beautiful Bulbs

To get your flower bulbs to bloom in the spring, start planting in the fall.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.