Grading flower bulbs

Some flower bulbs will produce flowers every year while some will not. And some flower bulbs even increase from 10 bulbs to 100! So which of the various kinds of flower bulbs will do what? In short, flower bulbs can be subdivided into three different kinds: flower bulbs for annual plantings, flower bulbs for perennialised flowering, and flower bulbs for naturalised plantings.

What are flower bulbs for annual plantings?

The first group of flower bulb varieties – the ones for annual planting – will flower once. After flowering, not just the foliage but also the flower bulb itself will die. Flower bulbs for annual planting are known for their bright colours and for this reason are often used for creating massive colour effects. Good examples of this are flower beds planted with large groups of crocuses and tulips, seas of grape hyacinths in borders, or long ribbons of large-cupped daffodils in the grass.

What are flower bulbs for perennialised flowering?

The second group of flower bulb varieties are the flower bulbs that will produce flowers several years in succession. These flower bulbs have to be planted only once. After they flower, these flower bulb varieties can remain undisturbed in the ground so that the foliage (the stem and leaves) have plenty of time to die back and the flower bulbs underground can prepare themselves for the next growing season. Flower bulbs for perennialised flowering thus follow the same growth cycle as herbaceous perennials. These flower bulbs for perennialised flowering include certain daffodil, tulip and hyacinth cultivars as well as some of the minor bulbs.

What are flower bulbs for naturalised plantings?

The third group of flower bulb varieties – the ones used for naturalised plantings – are similar to the flower bulbs for perennialised flowering but have yet another advantage. Like the flower bulbs for perennialising, they need to be planted only once. Flower bulbs for naturalised plantings also remain undisturbed in the ground and will emerge again every year. But, as a bonus, they also increase in number. A cluster of 10 flower bulbs for naturalised plantings can become a larger cluster of 100. This also means that the area they cover can gradually change. Flower bulbs for naturalising in lawns such as snowdrops and crocuses can develop into individual plantings that add great beauty to the garden. Daffodils, Siberian squills and spring snowflakes are perfect for adding to an existing planting or for planting beneath trees and shrubs.