Flowering Bulbs for Fall Planting


The quintessential spring bulb, tulips come in just about every color known to gardeners. Tulips need a long period of winter chill to bloom well so gardeners in warmer climates will need to refrigerate their bulbs for 8 to 10 weeks before planting in fall. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8 (to 10 if chilled)


Blooms appear in very early spring or late winter in vibrant shades of yellow, white, purple or striped. Plant corms 4 inches apart and 3 inches deep in gritty, well-drained soil. Give crocus full sun; if planting under deciduous trees, choose those that are slow to leaf out. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8 for several species

Grape Hyacinth

A staple in most early spring gardens due to its intoxicating fragrance and tendency to self sow. The flower spikes can grow from 4 to 12 inches tall, depending on the species, and can be found in pink, white, blue, violet and fuschia. Plant the bulbs 3 to 4 inches deep from late summer to fall. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 8

Summer Snowflake

This dependable white bloom prefers moist, rich soil in full sun or partial shade. Use a slow-release fertilizer when planting. Summer snowflake blooms in spring, except in Zone 9, where it flowers in late fall or winter. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9


This typically blue flower appears in early spring. Due to the plant’s smaller size, group bulbs together to create a presence in the garden. Use in rock gardens or woodland gardens where it’s free to naturalize. Another good location: under flowering shrubs like azaleas and rhododendrons. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10, depending on species


This cheerful garden addition symbolizes spring. Popular shades include bright yellow and white, but a variety of colors and flower forms are available. Species daffodils have a sweet fragrance. Select a well-drained soil in a sunny location. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10, depending on species

Bearded Iris

This fragrant, old-fashioned spring bloomer is available in most colors. Bearded iris requires half a day of full sun and is very drought tolerant. Plant rhizome in neutral to slightly acidic soil, just above ground level, in late summer or early fall. USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 10 (Pictured: ‘Grapesicle’)

Asiatic Lily

One of the most popular summer-blooming garden lilies due to their ease of growing and high bloom count. Available in a host of colors and varying heights. Plant bulbs in clusters of 3 to 5 in full sun with soil rich in organic matter. May also be planted in spring. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9 (Pictured: ‘Brunello’)

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