Selection | Bulbs and More | Extension of the University of Illinois

Flower bulbs are important in all landscaping. The great variety of colors, flowering time, plant height and shape make bulbs a good choice for garden design.

The great variety of colors, flowering time, plant height and shape make bulbs a good choice for garden design.

Bulbs can be classified into spring flowering bulbs or summer flowering bulbs. Another way to classify bulbs for use in Illinois would be spring-blooming bulbs and tender summer bulbs.

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Summer flowering bulbs (soft bulbs) die when the temperature is low. They should be planted in the spring when there is no chance that the soil will freeze. They should be removed from the ground during the fall after the first frost that fades the foliage and should be stored during the winter.

Spring flowering bulbs (strong bulbs) such as tulips, crocus, need a cold period during the winter to bloom. These bulbs are planted and develop a root system in the fall and bloom during the spring. Illinois temperatures meet these cooling requirements as they are cool enough during the winter. For example, tulips need 12 weeks or more of cool temperatures. If the spring bulbs will be forced indoors, make sure they have been cooled beforehand, otherwise they will not give flower.

Flowering time

It is important to select good quality bulbs. The factors to consider are size and firmness. Larger bulbs produce larger flowers. Choose bulbs that are firm and show no sign of rot or any other sign of disease. Bulbs can be obtained basically from three sources: mail-order companies, local nurseries, and convenience stores. discount. In general, those who offer more variety are those who sell bulbs by catalog and then send them by mail. The disadvantage of mail order is that the buyer does not know how the bulb will look until it receives it. It is therefore advisable to buy from reputable companies that you or someone you know has used successfully.

Once you get the bulbs, either from a local source or by mail, you should plant them as soon as possible. If it is not possible to plant the bulbs immediately, keep them cold until you plant them. The storage temperature prior to planting should range from 50 ° F to 60 ° F. Do not store bulbs near ripe fruits as they may produce ethylene.

Where to buy bulbs: List of places to buy bulbs in the United States and Canada

Flowering Sequence

Mid-spring (weeks 4 to 8)

  • Checkers
  • Allium early (Allium tulip) (Leucojum aestivum)
  • Hyacinths >
  • Spring Narcissus (Narcissus spp.)

Spring Purposes (8-12 weeks)

Tulips spp. Late Allium spp. (Tulipa spp.) Allium spp. (Allium spp.) .