How-To Plant Fall Bulbs for Spring Color

WHAT ARE FALL BULBS?

Fall bulbs are an easy way to get ahead on your spring gardening. Plant your bulbs now and they will bloom in spring. Spring-flowering bulbs are called “dormant perennials.” They need the cool, moist autumn soil and the chill of the winter to help force the blooms in time for the spring season.

planting bulbs

The best time to plant fall bulbs is when the soil temperature is between 40-50 degrees or about 6 weeks before the first hard frost. While the weather begins to cool down, proper storage and pre-chilling is key for your bulbs. Store them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, away from apples and other fruits. These fruits give off ethylene gas which can damage or kill the flower inside the bulb. You can also store your bulbs in an unheated, well-ventilated garage.

Fall bulbs are wonderful for beginner gardeners. They need minimal care, are easy to plant, and will help feed pollinators in the spring.

 

IMPORTANT TIPS FOR PLANTING FALL BULBS

  • Bulbs need a well-draining soil to thrive. Soggy or clay-filled soils can lead to rot. It is important to loosen the native soil and remove any debris. Till top layer of existing soil with 3 inches of Calloway’s Premium Flowerbed Garden Soil.

calloway's premium flowerbed garden soil

  • When planting your fall bulbs, mix in Espoma® Organic® Bulb-tone® Bulb & Flower Food as directed. It is rich in bone meal and organic matter, perfect for all bulbs like Tulips, Daffodils, and Hyacinths. This product provides long-lasting, slow-release feeding with our exclusive Bio-tone Microbes. It has 100% natural & organic ingredients with no fillers or sludge.

bulb-tone flower food

 

HOW-TO PLANT FALL BULBS FOR SPRING COLOR

planting fall bulbs

1: TULIP BULBS

tulip bulbs

Tulips are a classic favorite to many gardeners and other flower-fanatics. They originated from Central Asia and came in shades of red and yellow. Today, tulips come in a wide range of colors to make any garden vibrant and beautiful. Plus, they make for beautiful cut flowers. Explore all the different varieties of Tulips like Her Majesty’s Blend, Catherina, and more!

tulips

TULIP PLANTING TIPS:

  • Plant in mid-autumn to early winter for mid-spring blooms.
  • Pick a sunny location with good drainage.
  • Dig a hole 3 times as deep as the bulb is tall and plant in groups of 10 for borders.
  • Place the bulb in the hole and cover with Calloway’s Premium Flowerbed Garden Soil.
  • Space each bulb a couple of inches apart with the pointy end up so the flower can grow.
  • Water in thoroughly and protect with a layer of mulch.

 

2: HYACINTH BULBS

hyacinth bulbs

Hyacinths are the earliest spring-flowering bulbs. They bloom in early spring before Tulips. Hyacinths must be planted in the fall so the bulb can experience the cool winter temperatures and come out of dormancy. Hyacinths are most well-known for their lovely fragrance. In France, these beautiful blooms are a favorite for perfumes and are iconic to Persian New Year’s celebrations. Explore all the varieties of Hyacinth bulbs at a local Calloway’s or Cornelius near you!

hyacinth

HYACINTH PLANTING TIPS:

  • Plant in the fall before the first hard frost.
  • Pick a sunny location to plant, but Hyacinth bulbs will also produce blooms in partial shade. Make sure they receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.
  • Avoid planting in water-logged soil. Tilling, drainage, and organic matter is essential for thriving Hyacinths.
  • Dig a hole 3 times as deep as the bulb is tall.
  • Place the bulb in the hole and cover with Calloway’s Premium Flowerbed Garden Soil.
  • Space each bulb a couple of inches apart with the pointy end up so the flower can grow.
  • Hyacinths need minimal care. Water after planting if no rain is expected and protect with a layer of mulch.
  • After blooms are spent, cut off the flower stalk, leaving the foliage. This will allow the plant to store energy for next year’s growth.

 

3: MUSCARI BULBS

muscari bulbs

Muscari blooms are also known as Grape Hyacinth because their tiny flowers resemble grapes. Native to Europe and Asia, these strong-willed flowers have livened up early spring gardens for years with little maintenance. Muscari plants display the rare blue color coveted by many gardeners. These spring bloomers also resemble bluebonnets because they produce dense populations with violet blue flower spikes, but they are quite small. They need the cool winter temperatures to force their lovely blooms in the mid-spring.

muscari flowers

MUSCARI PLANTING TIPS:

  • Plant in the fall and forget about them until they emerge in the spring.
  • Pick a sunny location with well-draining soil. Muscari can tolerate partial shade during the day.
  • Dig a hole 3 inches deep. Place the bulb in the hole and cover with Calloway’s Premium Flowerbed Garden Soil.
  • Space each bulb 3 inches apart with the pointy end up so the flower can grow. Protect with mulch.
  • Water after planting, but when it is not in bloom, allow the soil to dry before watering again. Water often in the spring.
  • Once finished blooming, they will produce green seed pods that will last well into the summer. Remove these pods when flowers are spent to save energy for new blooms next year.
  • Muscari will produce grass-like foliage late in the summer or early the following fall. Keep this foliage in place as it helps nourish the plant. Keep until the plant is finished blooming and has reached summer dormancy.

 

4: NARCISSUS BULBS

narcissus bulbs

Commonly known as Daffodils, Narcissus is a hardy and easy-to-grow perennial that thrives in most regions of North America. It is good choice for planting between shrubs or in borders. They also make great cut flowers! Over time, Narcissus plants produce “daughter bulbs” that are attached to the main bulb to create clusters of blooms in your garden. At your community Calloway’s and Cornelius, we have many treasured varieties of Narcissus like Come As You Are, Mount Hood, Jersey Lace, and more!

planting daffodil bulbs

NARCISSUS PLANTING TIPS:

  • Plant in the fall and enjoy the blooms in mid to late spring.
  • Pick a sunny location with well-draining soil. Narcissus can tolerate partial shade during the day.
  • Dig a hole 3 times as deep as the bulb is tall. Place the bulb in the hole and cover with Calloway’s Premium Flowerbed Garden Soil.
  • Space each bulb 3-6 inches apart with the pointy end up so the flower can grow.
  • Water in after planting and protect with mulch.
  • When blooms are spent, deadhead plants and allow the leaves to remain. Allow the plant to grow until it dies off before cutting down. This will give the plant more time to store energy for next year’s blooms.

daffodils

 

SHOP FOR PLANTS WITH EASE

To better serve you, at your community Calloway’s and Cornelius, we have convenient ways to shop for fall bulbs and all your gardening supplies! Shop our open-air stores or shop online for Curbside Pickup or Delivery!

spring garden ideas

Stop by today and explore our entire selection of bulbs for spring color, indoor color, and more! Have questions? Ask our Texas Certified Nursery Professionals; they are here to help!

 

 

 

 

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