Grown in a wide variety of colors, sizes and bloom shapes, flower bulbs provide a long-lasting display and once planted, spring up year after year to provide a constant source of color and texture to the garden. Many flower bulbs emerge in spring while others pop up in summer and fall to keep the garden in bloom throughout the year. Some flower petals on flower bulbs are fringed or ruffled to provide unusual textures to the landscape.
Peruvian daffodil (Hymenocallis narcissiflora) is an early summer-blooming flower bulb. They grow 1 to 3 feet tall and have a spread of 6 to 12 inches. The fragrant, curved petals are white and yellow and flank the daffodil-like cup. The leafless stems on the Peruvian daffodil reach a maximum height of 24 inches tall and the dark green basal leaves are long, arching and strap-shaped. Peruvian daffodils can be grown within the ground or tucked into a container. Peruvian daffodils grow best in part sun to shade and well-drained, moist soil. Plant in USDA zones 9 to 11.
Tulip (Tulipa) is a spring-blooming bulb that reaches a maximum height of 2 feet and a spread of 3/4 inch. Each tulip has six petal-like tepals that are often smooth but can be fringed or ruffled. The shape of tulip flowerheads is often cup-shaped with a teardrop form but also grow in bowl, star and goblet shapes. Some tulip flowers are single while others are double to create a layered display. Tulips grow in every color of the rainbow except true blue, making for a versatile flower bulb variety. The basal leaves on tulips are green to gray to blue and range from oval- to strap-shaped. They grow best in full sun and well-drained soil that is fertile. Plant tulips in USDA zones 3 to 8.
Siberian iris (Iris sibirica) is a late spring-blooming flower bulb that grows in upright clumps that reach heights between 1 and 3 feet tall. The flowerheads that sit atop the grasslike, 18-inch-long stems grow in a wide range of colors including rich purples, bright pinks and deep blues. Siberian iris flowers begin blooming in May and last into June. Often found growing along ponds and streams, they require medium to wet soil moisture and when planted in a flowerbed, require extra attention to ensure they are kept moist. Siberian iris grows best in full sun to part shade and heavy, acidic and clay soils. By lifting the clumps out of the bed in early fall, they can grow in other areas of the garden. Plant Siberian iris in USDA zones 3 to 9.