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Longfield Gardens Blog

Bloom Time Chart for Spring and Summer Bulbs

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Mar 3, 2016


Flower bulbs are an easy way to boost the amount of color in your yard and garden. By choosing bulbs that flower at different times during the growing season, you can be sure to always have something beautiful coming into bloom.

Our new bloom time chart (shown below) lets you see at a glance when each type of flower bulb comes into bloom. To get a continuous parade of color, you can simply plant a few bulbs from each bloom time.

What’s the proper time for planting bulbs? It all depends on when the bulb blooms. Spring-flowering bulbs such as crocuses, daffodils, tulips and alliums are planted in the fall. Bulbs that bloom from early summer to fall, such as dahlias, tuberous begonias and canna lilies are planted in spring. Fall-blooming crocuses and colchicums are planted in late summer.

Want to know more about growing flower bulbs? Our article called Types of Bulbs shows you the differences between tubers, corms, true bulbs and rhizomes. For more tips, read: How to Plan a Spring Bulb Garden and Know Your Growing Zone or watch the video Why Flower Bulbs Are So Easy To Grow.

To download or print a copy of our bloom time chart, just click on the graphic at the bottom of this page.




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Topics: Garden Design Inspiration Spring Blooming Bulbs Summer Blooming Bulbs

Kathleen LaLiberte has been writing about gardening for more than 30 years from her home in northern Vermont, where she tends a half acre of flowers, vegetables and fruit. She has been working with Longfield Gardens since 2011.

21 Replies to “Bloom Time Chart for Spring and Summer Bulbs”

  1. This was a really nice and informative site.. exactly what I was searching – to find what could be planted to create continued flowering. I have one question remaining and that is how close these bulbs can be planted to one another so the blooming is in the same area, without harming or stunting the blooms..

    1. Hi Kathy, the spacing is a little different for each type of bulb. You’ll find the spacing listed on every product page — just scroll down to the box marked “plant information”. Also — all our bulbs come in packages with basic information about planting depth and spacing. When we send out a bulb order, we include a planting guide that specifies how many bulbs to plant per square foot. If you contact our customer service department by email, I’m sure they would email you a copy.

  2. I’m very new to planting blooms, so I’m finding it hard to quantify the times for myself correctly. I’m in zone 7a, north Mississippi. Is mid May considered late spring or early summer? Thank you so much for the clarification!
    Trying to plant a variety of blooms for a mid-May garden wedding, so that no cut flowers are used, what is my best bet?

    1. Hi Violet — Two of the many tricky things about gardening: 1. it’s local and 2. every year’s weather is a little different! You are also asking about MAY, which in your zone is always the transition point between spring and summer. Here is what I suggest. Connect with a local garden center or even a landscaper and ask them what trees, shrubs and perennials are typically in bloom in mid-May. You might also consider tapping into MSU’s Master Gardener network. Ask to connect with someone with ornamental horticulture experience. This will help you get oriented on the bloom-time chart by matching an approximate date to some of the plants. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Clare — You can expect tulips to bloom in the same sequence as shown on the bloom time chart. As for when the earliest types will start blooming, it should be around the same time as daffodils begin opening. Exactly when this occurs will vary depending on the location and spring weather conditions. That holds true no matter where you live!

  3. Kath , this chart is amazing. i couldnt thank you enough. i have two 16×6 Ft beds on each side of my front doors. how do I plant bulbs so i’d get a flowering bed from spring to fall . for example do i plant every kind of bulbs together in groups or do i mix them and scatter them all around the bed . thanks again

    1. Hi Ahmed. With garden design, it is hard to make blanket statements, but here three general recommendations.

      1. In Massachusetts, spring bulbs will bloom in April and May, then there will be a lag before the summer bulbs begin blooming. To make sure you have flowers during June and early July, your garden should include perennials as well as spring and summer bulbs.

      2. Most bulbs look best planted in groups. Plant small bulbs (scilla, crocus, muscari) in groups of 20+, mid-size bulbs in groups of 10+ (tulips, daffodils, medium-size alliums), larger bulbs (dahlias, cannas, lilies, large alliums) in groups of 3 or more. These groups can then be located in various places in your garden beds.

      3. When placing the bulbs, you’ll want to think about how tall they get. Tallest plants should be in the back — or in the middle of a bed if it’s the type that can be viewed from all sides. Shortest bulbs should be in the front so you can see them easily.

      Hope this helps. It takes time to learn how each type of plant grows and how your plant choices work together. Have fun! You may also be interested in reading this article:

    1. Hi Carla,
      Spring-blooming bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are planted in the fall (September-November). That’s the only time of year those bulbs are available. During winter, when the bulbs are in the ground, they are finishing their growth cycle so they are ready to bloom in spring.

  4. Great chart, just what I was looking for. Just one question, is this zone dependent, I am in Zone 5, will this chart be accurate for my zone?

    1. Hi Ray, Yes, we used general terms rather than specific months for exactly that reason. The chart begins in “early spring” — whenever that happens in your area. In zones 7 and 8 it’s probably March. In zone 5 it may be early April. From that point forward, the bloom times will just roll along through the season.

  5. Hello Kath! I’ve never planted bulbs before, so I have a question about the way they are emerging right now. I’m in Atlanta, Georgia, and I planted about eight daffodil bulbs in the fall. I am seeing three shoots. Does this mean that the rest of them are duds, or is it normal for them to emerge at different rates? Thanks

    1. Hi Kesavi! If you planted daffodil bulbs that were all the same variety, they should come up within a few days of each other. If you planted a mix, you may have early, mid and late-season bloomers, in which case they could come up a few weeks apart. This first year after planting, bloom times may be a bit irregular. In future years, bulbs that are all the same variety will bloom at the same time.

      I would give your new bulbs another couple weeks. If you’re curious, you can use a garden fork to gently lift the soil and check on the bulbs. If it looks like a bulb problem and you them purchased from us, please contact our customer service department so we can replace them this fall.

      I hope your daffodils bloom brightly and give you lots of joy!

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