Plant Bulbs in Fall for the Next Growing Season’s Flower Garden

Last Updated on August 21, 2020 by Kimberly Crawford

In the fall, nurseries offer a great selection of bulbs. Gardeners should plant some bulbs before winter for an easy flower garden in spring and summer.

Many gardeners plant bulbs in fall for the next growing season’s flower garden. Fall is the best time to do this – before the snow when the ground is still soft.

These sleeping beauties enjoy their first winter in the cold soil. And they’ll make the gardener’s heart sing when April and May come around.

Most nurseries have a great selection in stock in late summer and fall, but for future years, gardeners could consider ordering some more unusual bulbs online or through nursery catalogs.

Persian Fritillary

persian fritillary

Persian Fritillary, Fritillaria persica, has deep purple flowers and will grow to almost 3 feet in height This is a splendid plant, showing itself in early spring.

Plant them at least 5 weeks before the first expected frost to give them a bit of start below the soil. Plant 8 inches below the surface in well-drained soil and 10 to 12 inches apart. Use stakes to support them and deadhead after they’ve flowered. Persian Fritillary is hardy to zone 4.

Blue Star Windflower Anemone

Anemone blanda

Blue Star Windflower Anemone blanda “Blue Star” is low-growing with daisy-like flowers. It grows to 12 inches tall, blooming in early spring.

They are happy in sun or in partly sunny locations. These are tuberous and the tubers need to be soaked overnight before planting. With tubers, it’s not easy to know which end is up, so plant sideways 2 inches below the surface. They are hardy to zone 5.

Early Daffodils

early daffodils

Daffodils are always cheery in a spring flower garden. Gardeners can buy packages with 5, 10 or even 20 bulbs and at reasonable prices. Daffodils are great for naturalizing.

Toss them into the lawn and plant them where they fall. In spring they will come up through the grass and by the time the gardener needs to cut the lawn the daffodils will be finished for the year.

She can just mow over them and they’ll come back year after year. Plant bulbs to a depth twice the size of the bulb itself. Daffodils are hardy to zone 3.

Scilla Makes a Stunning Display

spanish bluebell

Scilla, also known as Spanish bluebells, Hyacinthoides hispanica, has bell-shaped flowers and grows to approximately 8 to 16 inches.

While the blues are the most common found poking up through the spring thaw, there are white and pink shades as well. Scilla makes a stunning display when large groups are planted in drifts under trees.

Plant bulbs 2″ below the surface to make that job easier. Soil should be well-drained. Spanish bluebells are hardy to zone 3.

Alliums in the Flower Garden

allium flower

Alliums are available in many sizes, colors and varieties. Some grow to 3 feet. There is an allium to suit every gardener’s taste. Allium will attract bees and butterflies to the flower garden.

They repel aphids, so they make good companions for roses and other plants aphids like. Plant bulbs 6″ deep. They are hardy to zone 4.

Large Groups for the Best Show

For the best spring bulb show in the flower garden, plant bulbs in large groups rather than one or two here and there. This will offer a blast of color soon after the snow melts, but they are essentially space-fillers.

Consider carefully where they should be planted for best effect. Perennials will emerge just as the spring bulb plants are finishing, so you still want to think about height, color and balance in the garden.

Choose early spring bulbs for naturalizing in lawns, offering color after the long winter. Some bulbs need about six weeks in the ground before it freezes solid, so plant accordingly without leaving it too late.

grow bulbs in fall