Fall Bulbs 101
About Fall Bulbs
Bulbs are a delightful way to prepare for the spring weather before the springtime! There are many types of bulbs available and fall is the time to plant them for gorgeous blooms.
Bulbs are unique in that they store all their nutrients inside the stem base. Fall bulbs need a certain amount of time in the cold to form healthy roots in order to bloom during spring. For the Albuquerque area, plant September through January. In the mountains, plant September to October (before the ground freezes). How to plant bulbs
Dig a hole
After choosing a spot that gets the proper amount of light, dig to the appropriate depth, usually 4-8 inches. Check the directions for the specific bulb you are planting. Make sure that your soil has good drainage. You can also use potash, phosphorus, bone meal or bulb food to promote a healthy root system.
Place bulb with the pointed end upwards. For the most dramatic results, plant bulbs in groupings of 12 or more. Check chart for spacing requirements for varying bulbs. Bulbs can be planted in the ground or for container gardening.
Bury and water plant
Bury the bulb with the soil at the same height as the rest of the soil. Always water a plant after plant it to welcome it to it’s new home!
Other things to note
Bulbs generally like to be planted in full sun, but part shade could be okay depending on the variety of bulb. After their second season, you can divide your bulbs. This is usually done in fall.
Choosing Bulbs to Plant in Fall
An array of fall bulbs are available for all styles and uses. A healthy bulb will be firm without discolorations or soft spots.
Below is a general guide for planting bulbs. Be sure to follow the directions of you bulb package for specific varieties of bulbs.
Botanical Name - Common Name - Depth - Spacing - Bloom time
Allium | Oriental Onion | 2-3" | 12" | Late spring
Anemone | Grecian windflower | 2-3" | 3-5" | Early spring
Colchicum | Autumn Crocus | 3" | 4" | Fall
Chinodoxa | Glory of the snow | 3-5" | 3" | Early spring
Crocus | Crocus | 2-5" | 2-4" | Early spring
Fritillaria | Fritillary | 2-5" | 3-8" | Late spring
Galanthus | Snowdrop | 3-5" | 3-4" | Early spring
Hyacinth | Hyacinth | 6-8" | 6" | Early spring
Ipheion | Spring starflower | 3" - 2" | Mid spring
Iris | Dutch irises | 8" - 4" | Late spring
Leucojum - Snowflake, Summer snowflake - 4" - 6" - Late spring
Lillium | Lily | 6-8" | 8-12" | Late spring
Muscari | Grape hyacinth | 3-5" | 3-4" | Early spring
Narcissus | Daffodil | 8" | 4-6" | Early-mid spring
Sparaxis | Wandflower, Harlequin Flower | 2-3" | 3-4" | Late spring
Tulipa | Tulip | 4-8" | 3-6" | Early-late spring