Plant Family Guides: Crocus Guides
Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocus: these are the spring bloomers everyone knows. But there are hundreds of other, lesser-known beauties to plant in fall. Some are small and delicate, others tall and ungainly. All are fabulous. Wait till you see them!
Flower bulbs look appealing when planted under garden trees. However, planting any bulbs beneath trees is not always successful because of the dense shade cast by the trees, the competition with their roots and the lack of moisture under these trees. If a tree competes with bulbs for light, water or nutrients, the tree always wins.
Naturalizing bulbs is a terrific way to brighten up lawns. A surprisingly large number of perennial bulbs do well in grass, such as snowdrops (Galanthus), crocuses (Crocus), squills (Scilla), checkered lilies (Fritillaria meleagris) and plenty others charming bulbs. Left undisturbed in the ground, they will emerge again every spring, but will also gently multiply as long as they receive the right light conditions and are planted in soil with the proper drainage.
Rock gardens offer the perfect home for an extensive array of plants including evergreens, deciduous shrubs, perennials, annuals, and flowering bulbs. A surprisingly large number of perennial bulbs do well in rock gardens, such as snowdrops (Galanthus), crocuses (Crocus), wild tulips (Tulipa), miniature daffodils (Narcissus) and plenty others charming bulbs. The following list of perennial bulbs thrive in rock garden conditions and you will be delighted to see them every spring or fall.
When the crocuses pop up, winter is on the way out! Very few early-flowering bulbous, tuberous and cormous plants are as extensively planted as the Crocus. Indispensable for each and every garden, they join snowdrops, winter aconites and glory-of-the-snow as the very first heralds of spring.
Blooming well before the fat Dutch Crocus (Crocus vernus), Crocus chrysanthus (Snow Crocus) pokes through the bare earth or snow to cheer gardeners and capture their heart. Native from Greece to Bulgaria and Turkey, this crocus produces smaller flowers than those of the familiar 'Dutch crocuses' but in greater numbers.
Vigorous, Crocus sieberi is a late winter-flowering crocus producing its charming flowers as the snow melts. Regarded by some as one of the most attractive crocuses, it is very hardy and ridiculously easy to grow, making long-lived clumps. Easily established, this crocus increases nicely over time, providing attractive splashes of color, like scattered gemstones sparkling on the ground!
Among the earliest to flower, this species has elegant blossoms of pale lavender to red-purple with a silvery reverse. The profuse flowering and spontaneous self-propagation make this crocus a very good choice for naturalizing. Blooming from late winter to early spring, the calyx-shaped flowers open when the sun shines or when there is a lot of light; they close up in rainy weather and at night.
To achieve optimum flowering results, it is important to plant the bulbs at the right time.
A sampling of top-performing bulbs that can be counted upon to perennialize -- and, if happy where you plant them, will most likely naturalize, too, to come back to bloom for years.
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