Spring bulbs are worth a try
Feb. 22, 2023
Arriving in the store this March is a selection of spring bulbs that we are really excited about! From ruffled ranunculus to gorgeous gladioli to dramatic dahlias, we know you’re going to love growing these bulbs for spring or summer blooms this year.
Unlike fall bulbs which are cold hardy and require fall planting to enjoy flowers in the following spring (think tulips, daffodils, crocus, etc.), spring bulbs must be dug out each fall and stored inside over the winter. They need potting up each spring and bloom that same year, adding wonderful colour and unique flower shapes to your flower beds and cutting gardens. It’s a little extra work, but when you see those spikes of bright gladiolus or huge dinnerplate dahlia flowers in your garden, you will be hooked!
If you are not familiar with spring bulbs, here’s a quick rundown on why they are worth growing.
These pretty flowers love the cool weather and a great choice for the late spring. The full, ruffled blooms of ranunculus look like romantic, old-fashioned roses and are great as a cut flower. Pot these up in late winter or very early spring for May & June flowers. They are great in a container which could be brought into a cool, dark place for winter storage as the bulbs don’t like being disturbed. So pretty, you won’t be able to resist!
The flowers on these plants are insignificant – it’s the foliage that really shines! Caladiums are a perfect focal point in a shade container in combination with other colourful annuals like impatiens or begonias. Their large, billowy leaves are painted in shades of white, pink or red which looks fresh all season. They can be overwintered as a houseplant or allowed to go dormant. You’ll fall in love with their graceful beauty.
Nothing beats a canna for adding a tropical flair to a container or garden. Their large leaves and bright flowers provide a dramatic focus all summer and they are so easygoing too, requiring only lots of sun and moderate water. Pot them up in a sunny window in late winter for a show-stopping display throughout the summer months, then dig up the bulbs and overwinter in a cool dark place. As a bonus, they are easy to divide and share with your family and friends! Who wouldn’t want a look of the tropics in their yard?
Perhaps one of the best known of all the spring bulbs, dahlias have beautiful fluffy flowers and bloom continuously until frost once they get going. They come in all sizes and shapes from tiny pompoms to showy, dinnerplate daisy-styles and in so many colours you could grow a whole rainbow. Like the other spring bulbs, you will want to pot these up indoors in late winter or early spring to get earlier blooms. Additionally, dahlias tubers can be divided in the spring when you are replanting them. Once you start growing these, you will be a fan!
A frequent sight at farmers markets and farm stands in August, the bright spikes of gladiolus flowers are so easy to grow. The corms can be planted straight into a sunny part of your garden in mid-May once the frost risk is over, rewarding you with tall, flamboyant spikes of colour that can be enjoyed in your garden or in a vase. The corms are easy to pull out and save over the winter for a repeat show the next summer. So easy and so pretty, what’s not to love?
Asiatic and Oriental Lilies
These lilies are actually perennials and can be left in the ground all year round. They can also be grown in containers but would need a bit of protection in winter. Bulbs can be planted in the ground as soon as it is thawed and the mud has dried out somewhat. Prefering full sun and a well-drained location, their flowers appear in mid-summer and are large and showy. As an added bonus, the oriental varieties are usually highly fragrant. What more could you want?
Visit us in March to try some of these spring bulbs for yourself, plus we'll have pots and soil to get them started. We’re certain you will become a fan!