Perennial flowers are those that return to bloom year after year. Perennial flowers die back to the ground during dormancy, which can create anxiety in the new gardener. Then, they reappear at the appointed time, and all is well in the garden. Perennial flowering bulbs offer certain advantages over annual flowers. One of the most significant advantages is that they do away with the need to shop for and purchase new flowers every season. There are late-season and early-season perennial flower bulbs, allowing you to go from spring to winter with a garden in full bloom, at all times.
Perennial Bulbs That Bloom in Spring
Spring bulbs need to be planted in the fall before the first freeze but not until the soil has cooled to below 60 degrees F. This will enable your bulbs to begin root growth prior to going dormant in the winter. Plant your bulbs far enough into the soil that they are protected from surface frost. Different bulbs require different planting depths, so check the instructions that came with your bulbs for how deep to plant. For early springtime flowers, plant snow glories (Chionodoxa) or scilla. Crocus, tulips and star hyacinth will come up next, and English bluebells and some varieties of daffodils will take you right into summer.
Perennial Bulbs That Bloom in Summer
Summer-blooming perennial bulbs are usually removed from the ground in the winter and then replanted in the garden in the spring, as soon as the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to at least 60 degrees F. Perennial flower bulbs that will bloom in early summer include Asiatic lilies, Dutch iris, hardy gladiolus and anemone. Dahlia, begonia and canna will make an appearance in midsummer and take you through the fall.
Perennial Bulbs That Bloom in Autumn
Just when the summer flower show is coming to an end, your garden can burst back into an encore bloom by planting bulbs that love the autumn weather. Autumn crocus (C. autumnale is a widely available species) will bloom from September to late October, if you plant them in early September. C. hederifolium, a hardy cyclamen, will go dormant in the summer, appearing to completely die. Then, it will return in the fall and bloom. Several varieties of lycoris (such as L. elsiae) will bloom in autumn in milder regions of the country.
Perennial Bulbs That Bloom in Winter
Flowers, in winter? Indeed, there are bulbs that will bloom in the winter. Cyclamen, such as C. cilicium, with pink or white flowers, and C. coum with white, pink or red flowers, will bloom in December, depending upon climate. Galanthus nivalis species of snowdrop will bloom just after Christmas while winter aconite will flower as early as late January. This is an especially hardy plant that will push through the snow to bloom.