Plant in Winter for Spring Color!

December 9, 2019 | By Roundtree Landscaping

Understandably, the holidays take over many of our lives this time of year and gardening and landscape tasks often fall by the wayside. That said, if you are dreaming of beautiful spring garden color, then now is the time to take action!

Spring blooming bulbs such as tulips, hyacinth and daffodils are a big blooming bonus to any landscape. The cheerful, early blooms usher in spring like no other flower. Plus, bulbs help you make the most of your garden real estate, because you layer them with your other perennials and annuals. Here in DFW, we need to plant most of these bulbs now (December), for them to bloom properly next spring. 

Bonus: bulbs make great cut flowers. 

Annual bulbs

Tulips and hyacinth are treated as annuals in our climate; our winter soil temperatures are typically too warm to trigger these bulbs to make flowers. That means we must purchase pre-chilled bulbs that have already been cooled at the right temperatures for the right amount of time, to produce flowers.

After pre-chilling, tulips and hyacinth must be planted only after soil temperatures reach 50 F or cooler. If planted too early, when soil temperatures are still too warm, bulbs can ‘wake-up’ too quickly and bloom prematurely – or get their early flower buds zapped by a freeze. Ideally, tulips and hyacinth are planted in DFW from about mid-December through New Year’s Day (a great way to get in some holiday exercise!).

Pro-tip: Plant tulips (8-12”) deep and in clumps to achieve the best spring show.

In our area, tulips and hyacinth will need to be pulled and replanted anew each year. 

Perennial bulbs

Other favorite bulbs, such as daffodils, crocus, grape hyacinth (muscari) and iris, are perennial in our climate. This means they continue growing in our gardens year after year and rebloom without any extra help. In fact, many of these perennial bulbs will multiply easily and are great to plant in areas where they can naturalize to fill in empty spots.

Perennial bulbs have a longer planting season and are not quite as picky. You can start planting perennial bulbs in the fall - October through January. Each type of bulb has a preferred planting depth, so make sure to research your choices.

Pro-tip: Mix perennial bulbs with your tulips for a longer & more colorful bloom season.

If you just don’t have the time to get your bulbs in the ground – give us a call. We’d be happy to put together a bulb design & do all the heavy digging.


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