Flowering bulbs may steal the show in spring, but autumn is when it all begins. For a breathtaking floral display from September onwards, it’s essential to start planning now to get your bulbs in the ground before winter.
Read on for a few tips on getting the most from these seasonal stunners.
Bulb Life Cycle
A bulb is essentially an underground stem that undergoes a period of dormancy each year. During this time, they can be removed from the ground and stored for the next planting season. For spring-flowering bulbs, that season is autumn. At Garden Express, we dispatch our spring bulbs from late summer, leaving you with plenty of time to get them in the ground.
See our Spring Bulb Growing Guide to learn about the lifecycle of a bulb. The guide also has a month-by-month breakdown of how to look after your bulbs over the course of the year.
Best Bulbs to Plant in Autumn
Daffodils and jonquils are firm favourites, cheerfully leading the way into spring. These are some of the first bulbs you’ll want to get in the ground. They’re great under deciduous trees, where they can benefit from a kick of late winter/early spring sun before enjoying the shade as spring progresses and the trees regain their leaves.
It wouldn’t be spring without heavenly floral fragrances in the garden, and freesias offer that together with gorgeous looks. They do well in a wide range of climates and aren’t too fussy about soil type, making them one of the easiest bulbs to grow.
For variety in form and colour, you can’t go past tulips. From classic to ruffled parrot to frothy double varieties, these iconic flowers are a true marvel. Tulip bulbs can be put in the crisper of your fridge for 4-6 weeks to build up their strength before planting.
Want masses of lush spring colour without breaking the bank? Ranunculi are a cost-effective choice as they’re highly prolific, with one corm giving up to twenty flowers and a long flowering season. New ‘F1’ hybrids feature blooms that remain as doubles throughout the entire season.
It’s important to keep in mind that most spring bulbs originate in parts of the world with colder winters than many areas of Australia. If you live in a warmer zone, there are few things you can do to maximise your chances of happy bulbs – read our tips here.
Ready to Plant?
When it comes to planting bulbs, planning ahead is your ticket to springtime success. If you’ve already got your bulbs, it’s time to mark planting time in your calendar, dig out your gloves, and get ready to get your hands dirty.