Bulb Gardening Ideas

True bulb plants have a compressed stem and a growing point with fleshy scales that are called bulb scales. While these are "true" bulb plants, there are other bulbous plants that have other underground storage organs such as corms, rhizomes or tubers. Whether a true bulb or bulbous plant, both these types of plants can have wonderful results in the garden. If you are interested in growing a bulb garden, there are some better known ones to get you started. These include amaryllis, blood lily, calla, kaffir lily, walking iris and tuberose.


The amaryllis, or Hippeastrum spp., will bloom during the spring. It requires partial shade. Colors for amaryllis can be white to deep red. Plant Hippeastrum spp. during September to January at a depth so that the tip of the bulb is at the soil line. Amend the soil with organic matter to richen it. Bulbs may be left in the ground for many years before digging up and resetting.

Blood Lily

The blood lily, or Haemanthus multiflorus, will bloom in red hues during the summer. It requires partial shade. Plant Haemanthus multiflorus during the spring with a depth of the tip being just above the soil line. Keep the soil dry and do not use fertilizer.


Calla, or Zantedeschia spp., will bloom during the spring with white, yellow, or pink hues . It requires full sun or partial shade. Plant Zantedeschia spp. during September to January with a depth of 3 to 4 inches in the soil. Soil should be moist.

Kaffir Lily

The kaffir lily, or Clivia minata, will bloom during the spring with flowers in the orange to scarlet hue. It requires partial shade. Plant Clivia minata any time of the year with a depth of just below the soil surface, 18 to 24 inches apart. If roots stay confined it will bloom more freely.

Walking Iris

The walking iris, or Neomarica gracilis, will bloom during the spring and summer. It will require partial shade. Flowers will be white with blue and yellow. Plant Neomarica gracilis any time of the year with the rhizome just below the soil surface, 12 inches apart. Well drained soil is recommended.


The tuberose, or Polianthes tuberosa, will bloom with white flowers in summer and in fall. It will require full sun. Plant Polianthes tuberosa from January to March, 2 inches deep, 12 inches apart. Keep soil moist.

Keywords: true bulb, bulbous plant, plant

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.