Fall is an exciting time in the garden. Yes, the fall season features many endings when it comes to the growing season, but it is also filled with new beginnings and exciting plans for next year’s blooms.
If you’ve ever admired the unique early bloomers of spring and wished you had them to look forward to after a long cold winter, you can make it happen in your own garden by planting fall bulbs. Check out our list of bulbs to plant in fall that will reward you with their intriguing textures and showy blooms each spring.
Add a bit of magic to your garden beds by planting allium bulbs. Allium comes in varying heights from five-inch bloomers to prominent five-foot wonders. They produce tantalizing globes of flowers that sway in the breeze on slender stems. Hardy in USDA zones 5-8, they enjoy full sun exposure and produce blooms of pink, yellow, purple, and white.
Crocuses tend to be the first sign of the arrival of spring, as they are the first flowers to peek out of the ground as winter comes to a close. These low-growing perennials form clusters of petite blooms in white, yellow, orange, pink, and violet. Crocus bulbs and easy to plant and crocuses are members of the iris family and grow to a height of about 5-6 inches in USDA Grow Zones 3-8.
Nothing adds more cheerfulness to garden beds than clusters of daffodils. They are easy to grow and add delightful, sunshiny, yellow hues to gardens year after year. Daffodil bulbs are readily available at garden centers and are very reasonably priced for the show that they display in gardens in USDA Grow Zones 4-11. They grow to heights of 12-14 inches and come in different variations of whites and yellows and even less commonly seen pink varieties.
Mix up the variety of your early spring blooming garden by planting some bunches of dutch irises. Grow them in full sun or partial shade in USDA Grow Zones 5-9. Irises can add visual intrigue to any fall garden landscape with muted colors of the rainbow or vibrant standouts like the ‘Royal Yellow’ or ‘Sapphire Beauty.’ Actually, the name iris is derived from the Greek word meaning rainbow, which adequately describes that wide range of color varieties of this early spring bloomer.
Grape hyacinths are delicate and petite bloomers that add a lovely texture and splash of color in the garden. They look like clusters of tiny blueish-purple bells and have a sweet scent. They look lovely when paired with, the also petite, lily of the valley.
Bring the luxurious scent and bright, cheerful blooms of hyacinth into your garden to greet you each spring. Choose from bulb varieties that flourish into yellow, white, pink, red, peach, blue, and purple spikes. Hardy in USDA Grow Zones 4-8, these bulbs are easy to grow in containers, in-ground, or transplanted from pot to ground. Hyacinths look fabulous when planted in clusters and paired with daffodils and tulips.
Often referred to as the jewel of the garden, the tulip flower puts on quite a show each spring. Consider planting several varieties of tulips that have different bloom times and color variation, so you can continually enjoy this spring beauty. Tulips come in a seemingly endless variety of vibrant colors, and their petals grow into a lovely cup-like shape with decorative stamens. They look lovely when paired with daffodils and hyacinths.
Lily of the Valley
Enjoy the fresh, clean look and scent of lily of the valley. These petite bulbs produce lovely variegated leaves and dainty white bells that hang from their stems. They grow best in shady garden spots and are perfect accents for fairy gardens.
Plant lily bulbs this fall for large, showy, spring blooms. These perennial delights add striking beauty and sophistication to the garden and produce blooms in both spring and midsummer. Their striated and colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers stand tall for all to see, and they come in a vast array of bright and beautiful hues. Lilies emit a scent that wafts through the air like no other flower in the garden, and the plant needs very little care as long as they have full sun.
Snowdrops not only resemble small drops of snow, but they also make such early spring arrivals that they peek their blooms up when snow is still on the ground in some areas. These quaint little beauties make their best showings when bulbs are planted in clumps or on the borders of garden beds.
Tips on How to Plant Fall Bulbs
All of these bulbs to plant in fall should be planted in late fall, a couple of weeks prior to a hard freeze. Select your desired bulbs while taking the level of sun exposure and proper drainage in your garden into advisement. Dig holes to the recommended depth and spacing as recommended for the variety. Place bulbs sprout side up in the hole.
You can usually determine the sprout end from the root end by its shape. The sprout end usually has a bit of a peak, while the root side is usually a bit flatterer where previous roots have been cut off. Cover the bulbs gently with soil so as not to overturn them and pat down to secure the soil in place.
By spring, you will be excited to see them sprouting up from the soil and greeting you with their vibrant blooms. It is important to note that once your bulbs have finished blooming, leave the leaves and stems to wither back on their own full before trimming them back. This allows the energy to push back into the bulb to be stored for next year’s showstopping blooms.