In simple terms, bulb flowers are neatly bundled packages, uniquely programmed with all that they need to grow and bloom on their own – but which are our favs?
No matter where you live in Australia, it’s fair to say that most of us can feel that spring has arrived. With most of the frosts finally behind us, the days are starting to get longer – and warmer. For gardeners, this often signals that it’s time to get back into their veggie patches, flower beds and even dusting off their lawn mowers.
Of course, many of us associate springtime with new life, particularly when it comes to the many colourful blooms that break through the previous greys of winter. For the serious flower lovers looking to take a shortcut or two, knowing how to best work with bulb flowers can significantly cut down on the time, energy and resources required in order to get a plant to bloom at it’s best.
If you’re considering tackling bulb flowers as a means to encourage some new blooms for spring, make sure that you pay careful attention to the flowering guide. For some popular varieties, the ship has already sailed, as they would have needed to be added to the ground by autumn. For others, there is still time if you would like to add varieties of hyacinths or daffodils to your flower beds. Either way, getting organised and prepared is the best way to ensure that bulb flowers take hold in your garden, so what are a few of our classic, tried and true favourites?
The Best Bulb Flowers To Plant In Your Garden
In order to understand how bulb flowers work, it’s important to wrap your head around the basics. A bulb is created when a plant sends its energy and nutrients below ground at the end of the growing season, somewhat like charging a battery. It stores them over winter while the plant is naturally dormant. The following year, the energy in the bulb is ready and waiting for the plant to regrow and flower again, which is why bulb flowers are regarded as popular shortcuts for gardening enthusiasts looking to speed up the bloom process.
Most bulbs will prefer a sunny position with well drained soil, but some varieties will also require shade. Many bulbs are drought tolerant, and are able to be left with little attention for a surprising number of years. For most bulb flowers, planting them in the soil is as simple as having the pointed end of the bulb facing up towards the surface. There are a few exceptions to this rule though such as ranunculus bulbs, so always be sure to carefully read the instructions in order to avoid disappointment.
Of course, everyone has their own personal taste when it comes to flowers. For some people, it’s roses, while for others, it’s sunflowers. When it comes to our favourite bulb flowers to introduce to your garden, these are our top picks.
Tulips – Excellent for displaying in pots or massed for a bold spring display in beds, these divine specimens should be planted in April and May before the first frosts start to appear. Allow the foliage to die back naturally, then dig up the bulbs about six weeks after blooming. Discard any damaged or diseased ones and let them dry, before storing them in trays or nets in a dark, dry place. A great spot for storage is on a top shelf in the garden shed. The result? Another set of bulb flowers to replant for the next season.
Bearded Iris – Bearded iris bulb flowers come in both a tall and a dwarf variety, and with many hybrid species, gardeners won’t be short on colour choice when looking at their spectacular flowers. As one of the later bulb flowers to plant between May and September before blooming in early to mid summer, it’s a great choice for anyone looking to add some height diversity to their garden’s flower collection. Remember, certain species of iris are considered weeds in some states so make sure you check council guidelines for planting.
Dahlias – With their flamboyant flowers coming in a dazzling array of shapes and colours, dahlias make a great choice for those looking for blooms all through summer and autumn – not just for a couple of weeks. They’re also available in many different sizes, ranging from dwarf 40cm to 1.5 to 2 metre giants. Shapes vary from balls and pompoms to simple daisy and anemone, and should be planted later in the year from August to October.
Ranunculus – With their wide range of colours, heights and forms, ranunculus have a well earned reputation for being one of the most popular spring flowering bulbs. Great for mass plantings in beds, under trees that provide part shaded conditions or on grassy banks, ranunculus grow best when planted between March and May as an annual addition to the garden, but can be unreliable if left in the soil for a number of years.
Daffodils – Honestly, who doesn’t love the sight of a happy yellow daffodil swaying in a light breeze? Plant them between March and April in clumps or drifts, pots, garden beds and even in the lawn. Most daffodils tolerate a range of soils but grow best in full sun or part shade, with moderately fertile, well-drained soil that is kept moist during the growing season. Avoid planting them in an area with too much shade, or they simply won’t flower.
The Australian landscape and climate can be divided into roughly six categories – subtropical, wet and dry tropical, dry inland, temperate, the cool southern tableland, and Mediterranean. What grows best in one area may not necessarily translate to another, so doing your research when it comes to knowing which bulb flowers to plant – and when – certainly does pay off in the long run when it comes to giving your soon to arrive blooms the best possible shot at a healthy life cycle.
How To Give Your Bulb Flowers A Boost
Do your plants – and yourself – a favour, and give them a head start by optimising your soil prior to planting. By adding natural plant food like Biotic Booster, this will help your garden to:
- Provide essential nutrients and microbes
- Act as a liquid fertiliser to unlock your soil’s potential
- Drought proof your plants and lower water consumption
- Increase and speed up the germination process
- Assist in protecting your plants from pests and diseases
- Provide an organic solution that’s safe to use around your herbs, fruit and veggies
If you’re ready to take the leap into improving the health of your plants while minimising the use of chemical based fertilisers this Spring, then it may be time to try a plant food and plant probiotics. Our Ultimate Garden Health Pack includes our Biotic Booster, FP-60 Probiotic Spray and RE-250 Soil Energiser. In each concentrated bottle, millions of natural bacterias are waiting to find a new home in your garden.
Here at Bioweed, we specialise in environmentally friendly gardening products, including herbicides, plant food and garden probiotics, and natural alternatives to traditional gardening solutions. Should you have any questions about how to improve the sustainability of your garden or even what to plant in Spring, get in touch with us today.