Timing - The Bulb Blogs

Garden & Lanscaping

There seems to be quite a bit of confusion when it comes to planting flower bulbs? Truth is, it really depends on the particular bulb and generally you want to work backwards from when they are going to flower. On the bulb blogs we previously spoke about choosing the right bulbs and where to buy them from. Here we are getting the whole dilemma of when to plant them sorted.

Spring Flowering

Spring flowering refers to bulbs that provide you with flowers in the Spring months between late April and early June. These need to be planted in the fall, ideally early October before the frost comes rolling in. What is so great about this variety is that they are strong little fellas, as long as they get some time to develop roots before winter, they will perennialize well moving forward. You can expect them to come back year after year. Some of our favorites are:

Allium: globe like purple flower that can grow quite tall on a slim stem.

Galanthas: also referred to as Snowdrops, one of Nancy’s favourites for filling in under large trees or shrubs. It offers a small white flower and arrives in the early Spring.

Crocus: a very popular choice for its different colour varieties. Often the first two come up amongst or just after the snow melts.

Summer Flowering

This is where things can sometimes get confusing, the summer flowering bulbs are planted in the spring. Tucked between perennials as the weather warms in April and May, these beauties will come bursting out from late July through August. Also great for in planters as a pop of colour at the front door or along the edge of your pool. We like to plant extra to be sure there are enough to trim and enjoy inside the house. Some of our favorites are:

Dahlia: dome shaped flower, comes in a variety of colours.

Calla Lilly: known for their elegant trumpet shaped blooms, they are low-growing with speckled leaves.

Begonia: most commonly used in pots and planters. A fragile bloom that requires shade, substantial water and rich soil.

Fall Flowering

Adding beauty to your late-season gardens requires planning but is much appreciated as the weather changes. These fall flowering bulbs provide green foliage through the spring and summer and surprise everyone with blooms come the fall. A dependable perennial that comes back to life year after year. Some of our favorites are:

Colchicum: multiple stalks with smaller flowers, has large floppy leaves outside of blooming. With the ability to tolerate cooler temperatures.

Cyclamen: smaller singular flowers with circular leaves, great for rock garden settings. Avoid the tropical types that are meant as houseplants.


Looking for more information on bulbs? Keep up with the Bulb Blogs. Nancy Robertson, partner at Robertson Kadwell, is our resident gardener and landscape expert. 

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