Bulbs, Corms and Tubers That Can Be Planted in Spring
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Most spring flowering bulbs, tubers and corms are planted in the fall. The major bulbs planted in fall for spring color are tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils. Some of these are perennial and tulips (excluding the species tulips) bloom beautifully the first year, but may not display dramatic flowers again the next year.
There are some flowers that can be planted from bulbs and other underground stem structures such as corms and tubers in late winter and early spring. These plants will produce flowers the following spring and summer. These bulbs, tubers and corms include some of our favorite gardening plants.
Anemone – this plant will grow in poor soils and in shade. There are not too many flowers that can do that. The plant has a great foliage throughout the summer then blooms pink or white in August through September.
Caladium – this plant is grown for its exceptionally colored elephant ear shaped leaves. The foliage comes in pinks, white, red and green. The plants will grow in the deepest shade. White varieties really stand out in shade. We typically treat these plants as annuals.
Asiatic lilies – Asiatic lilies and Oriental lilies are not the same. Asiatic lilies bloom in spring and mature plants can grow to as much as six feet tall. The plants will rapidly multiply and come in many different colors such as pastels and vibrant bolder colors. The plant is fragrance free.
Oriental lilies – Planting both Asiatic and Oriental lilies near one another give gardens an extended floral season. Asiatic lilies start to fade as Oriental lilies start to bloom giving gardeners lilies from spring to fall. Oriental lilies flowers are larger and the plants taller than Asiatic lilies. Unlike Asiatic lilies, Oriental lilies are very fragrant.
Calla Lilies – This plant thrives in sunny gardens but is not winter hardy generally. The plant has pitcher-like flowers and adds a dash of brilliance to any garden.
Canna Lilies – These large foliage plants with spectacular flowers should be planted where they will not block views. Cannas like water so either plant them in a moist area or be prepared to water them during period of drought for best performance.
Crocosmia – Growing from corms, much like gladioli. Crocosmia is acold hardy perennial. Three foot tall blade-like leaves form a grassy mound. Long and arching flower stems that bloom from the bottom up emerge from the mass of leaves producing beautiful flowers. Plant in partial shade to full sun.
Dahlias – This tuberous plant is some people’s favorite. With flowers from fist-sized to dinner plate-sized, the multitudinous varieties, shapes and colors of dahlias creates manic collectors. Dahlias are not cold hardy so tubers should be dug up each year and stored.
Elephant Ears – Grown as a foliage plant, elephant ears has huge leaves up to three feet in length. The plant is cold hardy locally. It requires water so planting it near a water source will benefit it greatly.
Gladiolus – The sword lily is one of the best summer bouquet flowers. This non-cold hardy plant is a gardening favorite. The two to four foot tall flower spikes is adorned with flowers that bloom from the bottom to the top.
Hardy Begonia – With heart-shaped green leaves and clusters of dangling pink or white flowers, hardy begonias is one of the few shade flowers available to us.
Rain Lily – Another one of our few shade flowers, rain lily is no more than a foot tall and has flowers that open up flat. These may bloom repeatedly through the summer especially after rains.
Ranunculus – Locally grown as an annual since it is not cold hardy, ranunculus is longtime favorite of florists. The flower looks like a cross between a rose and a peony.
False Shamrock – Also known as Oxalis, is a perennial plant that can be grown as a houseplant or outdoors