Crocuses, Photo by Bigstock

Baby spring bulbs, and they’ll magically reappear

The first garden blooms are a welcome sign that spring is on the horizon. Daffodils are by far the most common, but a wide array of bulbs planted in the fall bloom in the spring. How you take care of them can determine how well they come back from year to year.

While some bulbs live longer than others, all bulbs benefit from several weeks of growing time once flowering is over. This green-growth period helps bulbs regenerate blooms for next season. Use a complete fertilizer when you see the flower stalk emerging. Cut back foliage 6 to 8 weeks following the bloom.

While you can’t plant spring blooming bulbs now, you can take note of what you like and plan for fall planting.

(Flowering Onions)
Late seasonLarge globe-shaped flowers on upright stems. Very showy. Mature height will
vary by variety. From 18 inches to 5 feet tall. Colors — pink, purple, red and white.
Onion-scented foliage makes them deer-resistant. Interesting seed pods after
bloom. Expensive bulbs.
CrocusesEarly seasonLow growing.
Colors — yellow, white and purple.
Long-lived. Multiplies easily. Deer-resistant.
DaffodilsEarly to late seasonHundreds of species, with a wide variety
of sizes, height, color and time of bloom. Colors — traditional yellow to white, orange,
red and bi-color; doubles and singles.
Long-lived. Easily naturalized. With
proper selection you can have early, mid- and late season varieties to extend
blooms. Deer-resistant.
Grape HyacinthsMid-seasonSmall clusters of grape-like blooms. Colors — shades of blue and purple.Foliage appears in the fall and can look
tattered when blooms top the leaves in the spring. Easily naturalized.
HyacinthsMid-seasonLarge, fragrant flowers.
Colors — pink, red, yellow and blue.
Most fragrant of all spring bulbs. Flower size can diminish in future years if not fertilized following bloom.
SnowdropsEarly seasonWhite flower with three longer outer
petals, and a short bell-shaped center
bloom with green dots.
Long-lived, but slow to get established. Deer-resistant.
Summer SnowflakesMid- to late seasonWhite flower. Has six petals of the same
length. Green dots on tips.
Long-lived, spread easily. Deer-resistant.
TulipsMid- to late seasonWide variety of colors and sizes. Very showy spring blooming bulbs. Most varieties do not rebloom consecutive years well. Many treat as an annual and replant each year.Not deer-resistant.