If you want to enjoy spring bulbs, here are the three ways of doing so, and much of it depends on timing.
If You Want To Plant Them In the Ground
Spring bulbs need something called ‘cold stratification’ in order to root down, grow, and bloom. Many spring bulbs need at least 6-8 weeks of cold temperatures underground. This triggers them to grow roots into the ground and then bloom in the spring. However, if you plant them in the spring, the bulbs will most likely sit there and not bloom until the following year. So plan ahead, and plant your spring bulbs in the fall. And then just let them
follow their own yearly cycle. Most will come back year after year for decades.
How to Deter Deer and Other Critters
Soak the bulbs in a liquid critter deterrent before planting to make them smell and taste bad from the ground up. You can also plant the bulbs with some gravel, so critters don’t enjoy chewing near the bulb. As the bulb grows and blooms, you can spritz the plant with deterrent to continue to make it unappealing to critters. Deer love tulips, but with a little deterrent, you can usually grow them anyways. Daffodils, Allium, Crocus, Camassia, Wild Tulips, Iris, Snowdrops, Hyacinths, Glory of the Snow, Squill, and Grecian Windflowers are deer and critter resistant, if you know that’s a battle you’re facing. Daffodils are actually poision to deer, and so they never eat them!
If You Want to Plant Them in Containers
The other route you could go would be to plant bulbs in a container. You could either plant them in a container during the fall, and leave the container in a cool and wind-protected area like your shed or garage, or you can buy bulbs in the spring that have been pre-rooted for you (i.e. the grower put them through a cold stratification process already). These bulbs will grow in your spring containers, and then, if you like, you can add them into the ground with your other bulbs, to be enjoyed for many years ahead.
If You Want to Force Bulbs Indoors
The third option is to plant the bulbs in containers, and then put them in your refrigerator for stratification. You can time this so they will bloom during any season you would like them to. Many people like to force bulbs to bloom in winter, so they can enjoy them as an indoor flowering plant. It’s not a perfect science and doesn’t always work, but it can be fun to try it out and see what happens.
Want Some Spring Bulbs Now?
Visit our Garden Store to shop for spring bulbs. Here are some of the spring bulbs we will have ready for you:
- Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)
- Glory of the Snow
- Grecian Windflowers, and more!
Maureen Workman/ 24 Mar 2021
Thank for giving us a variety of ways to enjoy spring bulbs any time of year!!
rgnursery/ 31 Mar 2021
You’re very welcome! So glad you enjoyed!