Most of us think of bulbs as being a springtime thing with blooms happening as soon as the weather begins to warm. There are, however, several varieties that bloom in the fall as well. These popular garden fillers are some of the most beautiful as well! Fall flowering bulbs are definitely a favorite for keeping the garden in bloom all season long.
Planting Fall Flowering Bulbs
As with all bulbs, your fall bloomers should be kept in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to plant. This is critical as fall bulbs will sprout very quickly and grow rapidly – often going from being planted to full bloom in only 3 or 4 weeks! So plant accordingly.
The soil should be rich and receive full sun so the bulbs will bloom quickly. Many gardeners remove their summer bulbs and replace them with fall blooming bulbs in order to keep the garden in color. Your time line is the same as with all other bulbs, just adjusted to meet the fall deadline. Plant as required for the species, water often, and fertilize once blooms appear.
Fall Flowering Bulb Varieties
Some popular fall flowering bulbs include:
Related to the onion, these lovely flowers are also a spring bloomer, but you can also plant them for a fall season if you wish. When you plant will determine their growth and bloom times. Planting in the fall produces spring blooms and planting in the late spring produces fall flowers.
Begonias are great shade flowers that do well in less than full sun. They come in single and double varieties (referring to their flowers). They are popular and easy to care for.
Also known as elephant ears or angel wings, caladiums are planted more for their leaves than flowers, these are very popular garden plants as they add a lot of color that lasts for quite a while.
A relatively large flower, this excellent variety is some of the most colorful you can have in your fall garden. These are members of the lily family and have large green leaves to keep the landscape vibrant as well.
Similar to the spring flowering bulb of the same name, fall crocuses bloom in September-October with beautiful flowers that brighten any fall garden space. A popular variety is the “showy crocus” and is easy to grow and has a sweet scent.
With a rainbow of colors possible, dahlias are some of the most popular flowers for fall gardens. Dwarf varieties are popular edgers while large varieties such as pompom and water lilies are often planted to emphasize a space. These should be planted in a sunny location as soon as the weather warms and the frost is gone. They are relatively slow growers, so the early spring planting produces early fall blooms.
Want to learn more about fall flowering bulbs?
Check out these resources:
University of Illinois – Bulbs Planting and Care
Clemson University – Summer and Fall Flowering Bulbs