A Look at Fall Flower Bulbs

Most people would think of fall as a season when trees are changing colors and dying. For many, the autumn leaves are our last dance with color before the dark, gray winter sets in. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Fall flowers can offer a splash of rebirth and color in a season otherwise known for falling leaves.

Bulbs are living plants and contain their own storage of food. They are quite self-sufficient and will strive to bloom, no matter when or where they are planted. Fall flower bulbs are planted in the spring or summer and flower in the early fall. Some examples are lilacs, colchicums, and saffron crocuses. The colchicums are extremely unusual in that they will bloom without being planted, though they do need soil to develop roots.

When selecting fall flower bulbs, you should look for bulbs that are firm and free of visible defects. If you desire large flowers, buy large bulbs. Small bulbs will produce smaller flowers.

Most fall flower bulbs cannot survive the winter. These have to be dug up each fall and stored until planting time. Bulbs should be stored in a cool, dry place. A dry basement is ideal. If you do not have a basement, a dark, unheated closet or utility room will also work.

For individual planting directions, use your package. Most bulbs grow best in well-drained, loose soil. Standing water or excessively moist soil will cause bulbs to rot. Do not plant bulbs at the bottom of a hill.

Bulbs should be planted six to eight inches in the soil. Cover and pack firmly. After planting, water your bulbs thoroughly. Water them occasionally, and they should bloom in early autumn.