Gardening is a pleasurable activity that is often put on hold when winter arrives – unless you have a greenhouse to shelter the plants. Gardeners welcome with joy and relief the arrival of spring as it allows them to resume activities in the garden. To decorate your garden with spring bulbs, you will have a wide choice of species that includes tulips, hyacinths, cyclamen, anemone, and amaryllis.

The spring-flowering bulbous plants produce the most decorative flowers, which is why they are widely present in pleasure gardens. Nonetheless, they can also be grown indoors, provided that they are placed in a sunny spot – a prerequisite for their proper development. Spring bulbs are suitable for various purposes: to create clumps (hyacinths, narcissus, daffodils and crocus), small flower beds (snowdrops, hellebores, primroses, lilies, iris bulbs, grecian windflower, etc.. ) or walls of greenery – for climbing species such as Tropaeolum tuberosum and Gloriosa. There are nearly a hundred varieties of which the height ranges from 4 inches (10 cm) to 4 feet (1.20 m). Bulbous plants can be combined with biannual perennial or aromatic plants. Of all these flowers, tulips bulbs are undoubtedly the most prized by gardeners, even if they require special care. So when and how should these precious spring bulbs be grown?

The required conditiions and planting methods of spring bulbs

First of all, know that bulbous plants like well-drained soils because their small roots rot very quickly in excessive moisture. To be ready on time, the ground must be prepared at least one month prior to planting . This preparation consists of superficial hoeing and the removal of stones, weeds and other debris found in the earth. Enrich the soil with a little compost and to add some sand if the need arises. Then, you have to respect the planting periods of spring bulbs. In general, they are planted in autumn until the end of November, but the flowering period varies depending on species. Grape hyacinths, for example, bloom in April or May while early hyacinths develop buds as early as the month of March. Tulips are also planted in autumn and bloom in the spring, but they must be replanted in pots and kept in the cool once their flowering is over. To plant the bulbs, dig a hole of which the depth is equal to three times the bulb’s height. Using one planting hole per bulb, make sure you space them out enough to allow the flowers to thrive. As an indication, it takes about 150 tulip bulbs to form a clump or flower bed that covers a surface area of 10.76 square feet (one square meter). Alternate species and colours to create impressive clumps. Afterwards, all that remains is only to water thoroughly and wait for flowering.

Preservation and maintenance of spring bulbs

To maintain spring bulbs, just water them regularly especially during hot weather. Once the flowers are formed, systematically cut off seed bags that may form because they are very fond of nutrients and can ultimately impair the plant’s health. When the flowers begin to fade, they will need to be removed daily to avoid making the plant heavier. At the end of flowering, uproot the bulb, clean it, cut off its aerial stems and keep the bulb sheltered from the air and sun. To do this, the bulbs must be wiped well after being washed, then thoroughly dried before being stored in airtight containers. This method allows you to preserve the nutrients contained in the bulbs, which will in turn stimulate regrowth the following spring. Notwithstanding, some bulbs may be left in the ground. Everything depends on the species and therefore seek all the necessary information at the time of purchase.

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Published in Flower bulbs by Alexander on 30 Aug 2011