Planting spring flowering bulbs is a simple strategy to enjoy your garden next 12 months. This group of plants brings with it tremendous excitement and early color. Regional knowledge when selecting individual varieties on your garden is very essential for this category of plants. Unfortunately, plants that might not be the perfect selection for the Southeast are sometimes distributed and sold in our area anyway. The Southeast has its own unique growing conditions, and the bulbs don’t all the time respond the identical here as they do in other parts of the country. Most of us are in search of plants that we all know will thrive. This does not imply that you should not give untested plants a likelihood. Experimentation ought to be encouraged and could be small-scale fun. Nonetheless, the bulbs below have proven that they will grow well here. These are unique, less known bulbs and tuberous plants (geophytes) that bloom at different times of spring. Plant all of them to get more flowers from February to June.
Eranthis hyemalis, Zones 4–7
Flowering time: late winter to early spring
Winter aconite is a small tuber that’s planted in the autumn and is among the many earliest flowering plants within the Southeast. Depending in your exact location, flowering in February just isn’t unusual. This plant is more popular with northern gardeners; nonetheless, when planted in a shady forest garden, it will possibly thrive within the southeast. The pleated leaves are as attractive because the buttercup yellow flowers. I like to recommend using it as a shade filler where leafy herbaceous plants similar to hosta (Hosta spp. And cvs., Zones 3-8) can fill later within the season.
Narcissus ‘Casata’, Zones 3–9
Flowering time: middle of spring
One in all my favorite daffodils within the Southeast is “Cassata”. It’s an early-season daffodil that opens with an unfolded yellow cup on the white outer petals. It has an prolonged beauty season because the yellow petals mature to almost pure white. ‘Cassata’ also grows well in southeastern gardens and may be very long-lived. Overall, daffodils are extremely hardy plants. One note concerns over-irrigating beds with daffodils during dormant periods. This may result in rotting of the bulbs and reduced survival.
Tulipa orphanidea ‘Flava’, Zones 5–8
Flowering time: mid to late spring
I normally recommend species tulips relatively than southeast hybrid tulips as they usually tend to keep getting back from 12 months to 12 months. Tulip ‘Flava’, sometimes also generally known as the golden Anatolian tulip, is an excellent selection for those in search of a long-lasting plant. Yellow flowers with shades of green and orange blushes create a loose bouquet within the spring garden. Improving the soil to enhance drainage will increase the survival rate in our region.
Allium schubertii, Zones 4-8
Flowering time: from late spring to early summer
Allium, or ornamental onion, remains to be gaining in popularity. Of all of the early-flowering alliums, there are three that stick out like stars within the southeast garden. These are the Star of Persia (Allium christophii, Zones 4-8), black garlic (Allium nigrum, Zones 4-8), and reed onion. Tumbleweed Onion is my absolute favorite. This bulb is drastically different from the purple tennis balls on a stick you can imagine whenever you consider alliums. Cantaloupe-sized flowers sprout like spider fireworks from a central point. Whichever allium you select, all of them bring dramatic architecture to the garden. The three listed listed below are flowering in late spring. Most alliums enjoy full sun in well-drained soil and are wonderful pollinator attractors.
Once I put a light-weight bulb in the bottom in the autumn, I plant it excited about what’s to come back next 12 months. And after I see the bulbs I planted last 12 months within the spring come to life, I’m often excited that it worked. Planting bulbs which might be suitable on your climate increases the prospect of a spectacular spring show. For more information on growing bulbs within the Southeast, take a look at:
—Andy Pulte is a Fellow of the Department of Plant Sciences on the University of Tennessee.
All photos unless otherwise noted: Andy Pulte