May 7, 2010

Bloom Time Line: Spring Bulbs

When do plants bloom? That's always an important question when designing a garden. By noting bloom times, it is easier to match up companions for the future.

When selecting bulbs to bloom in mid-April, I shopped for bloom times in May or June—based on zone 5 bulb sellers.

All of my bulbs were planted in late autumn for spring bloom. The bulbs that have been in my garden for several years bloomed a few days earlier than new bulbs. Bloom time was also earlier for bulbs in all day full sun— versus bulbs in sun for half of the day.

Below is a recap of the dates for spring blooming bulbs in my zone 7b garden in North Carolina. Of course, warmer zones will have earlier blooms and cooler zones will have later blooms. Bloom times also differ by variety, so I'm not including daffodils in my recap.

April 15 - Dutch iris (iris x hollandica)
Blooms finished on most varieties by May 7.

April 15 - Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica)
Blooms ended around April 30.

April 15 - allium aflatunenense 'Purple Sensation'
Blooms were fading by May 7, but the green orbs will be interesting for another week.

April 22 - Star of Persia (allium christophii)
Still in bloom on May 7 and the green orbs will be left for interest.

Every bulb included has proven to be deer resistant. The Dutch iris foliage was nibbled by rabbits early on. The irises recovered so I consider all of these blooms to be rabbit resistant. Your results with wildlife may be different.

These perennial bulbs multiply every year, so it's important to mark the location in the spring if you need to divide the bulbs in the fall.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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