Photo by Melody

Outdoor Bulbs for Spring and Fall Planting in the South

By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchFSeptember 26, 2012
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You have trees and shrubs, you have annuals and perennials, and what else can you add to your garden to give it that little bit of color? Bulbs! Bulbs are easy to plant, simple to maintain, and great for giving surprise pops of color here and there in the garden. This is a simple listing of bulbs that can be planted in the southern part of the United States, about zones seven to nine, without problems.

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(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on June 10 2008.  Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions.)

Gladiolus

These can be planted in most areas between December and August of each year. Planting in two week intervals will give a long and lasting show. They make wonderful cut flowers so they are perfect for the cutting garden and they are very showy in the flower beds too.  Set the corns six to eight inches apart in groupings or in rows. By planting, starting at twelve inches and moving in small plantings above the others, you can have a wonderful foundation planting of gladiolus to bloom and showcase your garden. Gladiolus can be left in the soil for two years in this area without many issues, but if left in the soil they will bloom out. By lifting and replanting each year, you will have strong corns and flowers for many years to come. Thank you to scutler for the image.

ImageAmaryllis

This wonderful heirloom can be planted from October to March and can live in most areas, year in and year out, without much trouble. Many times in the south you can find these still marking the foundations of old homes. Just plant deep and give a good layer of manure after blooming. Thank you to gordo for the image.

ImageRanunculus

This can be planted from January to March most years. The wonderful little roots have finger-like prongs.  Plant them with the finger-like prongs pointing into the soil and give them a good soaking. Make sure they have morning sun and keep protected from frost. You will need to lift and replant in most areas. Thank you to mgarr for the image.

ImageAnemone

Anemone can be planted from October to February.  This is an herb that grows in a bulb-like mass. When you get your roots, soak them in water overnight smooth side down. Plant in warm soil with good sun and good drainage. Thank you to scutler for the image.

ImageSpider Lily

The red native variety can be planted from June to September. This is a true heirloom and when you can find the bulbs pick them up! It will not bloom until the fall rains, but the sight of the wonderful red blooms in a fall garden will perk up any yard and add excitement to the dull colors of fall. Thank you to Lophophora for the image.

ImageCrocus

Plant these wonderful flowers in the fall from October to December. Crocus is the herald of spring in most areas of the world. They are not always dependable bloomers in zones 8 and 9 so they might have to be planted year in and year out but they are well worth the effort. They are not costly and really spruce up the early spring garden. Thank you to Todd_Boland for the image.

ImageGrape Hyacinth

These are often found growing in wild drifts at the locations of old family gardens. They can be planted from October to December and are easy to grow in drifts in gardens, borders, or even in the yard. Try mixing blue and white types for the best show. Thank you to Jeff_Beck for the image.

ImageHyacinth

From October to January, you can plant this wonderful flower that is full of the pregnant smell of spring. It is wonderful in large masses, but this flower must be kept moist while growing. Cover with four to five inches of soil and wait for the first signs of spring. Thank you to Toxicodendron for the image.

ImageNarcissi

This whole family can be planted from September to December, even until the first days of spring. These wonderful flowers come in all tones of yellow, white, and even orange and pink. These are most wonderful planted in the small out of the way corners of the garden, along the fence lines, under delicious shrubs and trees, and in the little areas by garden paths. Their cheery colors give hope of the new gardening year to come. Thank you to hill5422 for the image.

ImageStar of Bethlehem

Plant from October to December, but it will stand to be moved most times of the year. These are thought by some to be a weed, but the wonderful white flowers that bloom in the full sun and heat our south offers them, are more than welcome in my garden! Thank you to Andrew60 for the image.

ImageTulips

These are poor bloomers in our area after the first year, and even that first year many times they need to be precooled. Planting six to eight inches deep in cool soil, at least getting into the ground by early December, and keeping wet you should see wonderful blooms in the spring. You can dig after the leaves brown and chill for next year, or you can start over fresh for each year.  They may bloom the second year if they received the right cool nights in the winter. Thank you to Todd_Boland for the image.


  About Mitch Fitzgerald  
Mitch FitzgeraldI am a pentecostal preacher, gardener,husband, and a father. I love natives, daylilies, iris, and roses. I love teaching others, be they children or adults, about the garden and plants.

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Discussion about this article:
SubjectTopic StarterRepliesViewsLast Post
Leucojum ival 1 20 Jun 17, 2008 12:26 AM
Gotta love them bulbs Aunt_A 2 33 Jun 16, 2008 11:21 PM
tomato blossom rot shortyward 1 15 Jun 12, 2008 4:25 PM
More please :)Great article Mitch Debbie2007 5 27 Jun 10, 2008 10:43 PM
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