Flower bulbs are a mainstay of northern gardening, where the first daffodil or tulip shoots often mark the beginning of spring. Flower bulbs, which are usually planted in fall and require some winter cold for best results, are an easy way to bring perennial color to your garden. Most bulbs, including daffodils, lilies and tulips, will spread if left undisturbed, so one planting can last for years. Most bulbs are easy to care for once planted, and will put on a colorful show in spring or summer.
Daffodils (Narcissus) are hardy, spring-flowering bulbs that may be planted once and bring years of flowers. Daffodils, which traditionally have bright yellow blooms, are hardy to -30 degrees F, and will multiply if left undisturbed. The blooms usually face the sun, and you should plant with that in mind. They may be used as borders plants, under trees or in rock gardens.
Daffodil bulbs should be planted in mid-fall, are relatively pest resistant and thrive in full to part sun. They require regular water during the growing season.
Available in many varieties, ranging from orange-and-black tiger lilies to white, trumpet-shaped Easter lilies, these bulbs are considered the most stately bulb plants for their usually large, showy flowers. Lilies (Lilium) are hardy in most climates and require a certain amount of winter cold to be perennial. Most varieties will spread and some may become invasive. Lilies are somewhat fussy about where they live-most will only thrive where the soil drains well, there is ample water year round and the roots are shaded. In general, lilies may be planted in full sun or filtered shade and roots should be shaded and consistently moist.
Tulips (Tulipa) are among the most colorful and whimsical bulb flowers. The most popular bulb in the world, according to Flower-Garden-Bulbs.com, tulips produce cup-shaped blooms in a rainbow of colors, including blues, purples, reds and yellows, as well as some bicolor varieties. Tulips should be planted in the fall and will bloom between March and May in most climates. The bulbs will spread and last for years. Tulips may be planted in any climate, but fare best where there is winter chill and may only be annual in the warmest areas. Tulips should be planted in full sun and require regular water during the growing season.