Fall Bulbs : It’s Times to Plant!

Fall Bulbs

Fall bulbs are finally here…or should we say spring flowering bulbs? No matter what you call them, now is the time to start improving your spring garden by planting a few fall bulbs now.  Read on to learn about the different type of fall bulbs, how to plant them and how to protect them for pesky pests!

There are many types and species of fall bulbs. There are different colours, heights and flowering times. So the first question to ask yourself is what colour do you prefer? When do you want the flowers to be blooming? Where do you want the flowers to go – are they at the front of a garden or behind other plants? Is there a particular flower shape that appeals to you? All of these considerations will help you create the look you want using fall bulbs.

First, there are a few different types/species of fall bulbs available: Tulips, Daffodils/Narcissus, Crocus (spring flowering), Allium and Hyacinths are the main types. As always there are some minor fall bulbs as well: Scilla (bluebells), Leucojum (summer snowflake), Eremurus (foxtail lily), Anemone, Muscari (grape hyacinth) and Fritillari (just to name a few). All of these flower different colours, times and heights, so planning your design before you plant is helpful.

 

Tulips

Within the Tulipa genus there are many varieties, colours (ranging from white to pink, yellow and even blue), heights and even flowering times. The most common tulips for mass plantings normally are Triumph, Darwin Hybrid, Single Early and Landscape types. The other types of Tulips (Doubles, Botanical, Kaufmanniana, Parrot, etc.) are usually novelty or special interest types.

fall bulb bulip types

Tulip Types

 

Tulips: Flowering Times and Heights

Mid-Spring Flowering

(April – May)

Height cm (“) Late-Spring Flowering

(May)

Height cm (“)
Landscape 50-70   (20″- 28″) Lily Flowering 40-60   (16″-22″)
Single Early 30-50   (12″-20″) Single Late 50-70   (20″-28″)
Double Early 25-30   (10″-12″) Giant Single Late 70-75   (28″-30″)
Triumph 20-60   (8″-22″) Double Peony 45-60   (16″-24″)
Botanical 10-25   (4″-10″) Parrot 35-70   (14″-28″)
Kaufmanniana 20-25   (8″-10″) Darwin Hybrid 45-70   (18″-28″)
Greigii 20-50   (8″-20″) Fringed 45-70   (18″-28″)
Multiflowering 35-50   (12″-20″)    
Fosteriana 35-45   (14″-18″)    

 

Daffodils and Narcissus

Daffodils and narcissus are a bright cheerful welcome of warmer weather. They come in hues of yellow, white and even pinks. These types usually flower at about the same time, typically in mid-spring (April-May). The difference between the types is height and colour combinations.

fall bulbs narcissus

Narcissus Types

 

Daffodil/Narcissus: Heights

Type of Daffodil/Narcissus Height cm (“)

 

Trumpet 35-50 (14″-20″)
Double 35-40 (14″-16″)
Cupped 35-45 (14″-18″)
Split Corona 35-50 (14″-20″)
Poetaz 35-40 (14″-16″)
Rock Garden 20-40 (8″-16″)
Dwarf 15-25 (6″-10″)
Miniature 10-25 (4″-10″)
Novelty 40-45 (16″-18″)

 

Spring Flowering Crocus

Spring flowering crocus is always one of the first signs of spring as they mostly flower early spring, sometimes even through the snow.  Spring flowering crocus/snow crocus come in colours from white to purple, yellow and mixtures of those.  They are fairly small in size, not normally reaching more than 4″ tall.  They are also great for naturalizing, which means spreading or multiplying on their own.  They are quite stunning when they are planted in a lawn area.

fall bulbs crocus

Crocus Types

 

Alliums 

Most Allium flower later on, in the summer months, making it a great way to extend the season of colour. They vary in size from 10-120 centmetres tall (4″-48″) and can have very large flowering heads. They range in colour from white to purple, even blue. Alliums are great at the back of the garden for the taller types, planting in containers and to be used for cutflowers.

fall bulbs allium

Allium Varieties

 

Hyacinth

Hyacinths flower in the mid-spring which is April-May. They are normally about the same height around 25 centimetres tall (10″).   Hyacinths also come in a variety of colours ranging from white, purple and pink and even apricot hues. Hyacinths are also very fragrant making them a great cutflower and are very effective for forcing indoors.

fall bulbs hyacinths

Hyacinth Varieties

 

How To Plant Bulbs

Now is a perfect time to be planting fall bulbs, not to mention the great selection as they have just arrived. At Canadale Nurseries we always have a great selection of bulbs to choose from. Planting bulbs is a very easy thing to do as long as a few steps are followed. The first step is to make sure the area that you are planting the bulbs is well-drained as bulbs cannot stand in water. Second, when you plant the bulbs, dig a hole (using a bulb planter for ease) about 2-3 times the height of the bulb itself deep, sprinkle a little bulb fertilizer (superphosphate) or bone meal in the hole. Plant the bulb firmly with the pointed side facing up either singly or in groups of 3-5 for a bolder effect.

fall bulb planting

Planting Fall Bulbs

 

Backfill with soil and rake over smoothly. Fall bulbs do not need to be watered in like other plantings, because they are dormant and they will be until warmer weather comes along. It can be just as easy as that.

fall bulbs planting depths

Fall Bulb Planting Depth

 

How To Keep the Squirrels Away

Squirrels, as cute as they are, can be a bit of a pest concerning fall bulbs, especially with Tulips. If you’ve ever noticed in the spring that some tulips seem to be missing or relocated it was probably a squirrel. The best thing to do in this situation is to use a repellent like blood meal to deter the squirrels. Bloodmeal is a scent based repellent and has proven to be effective. There is also a mix of bone and blood meal that is available, making it possible to fertilize and deter pests all at once. However, Daffodils, Crocus and Hyacinths seem to remain undesired and untouched by squirrels.