Naturalizing Bulbs

Grape hyancinth

Spring bloomers:

  • Grape hyacinth (Muscari neglectum)
  • Narcissus ‘Delibes’
  • Narcissus ‘Erlicheer’
  • Summer snowflakes or Loddon lily (Leucojum aestivum)

From the producer’s garden:

  • Narcissus ‘Sweetness’
  • Narcissus ‘Gigantic Star’

Also, consider the species tulips, like Clusianas, plus Freesia laxa and Society garlic.

Fall bloomers:

  • Oxblood lily
  • Spider lily (Lycoris radiata)

Naturalizing bulbs multiply and return year after year. You can divide them in late spring after the foliage is brown but you can still see where they are.

Plant in sunny spots. It’s okay to plant under deciduous trees since bulbs will have plenty of light in winter.

Avoid over watering. If you lose bulbs, it could be that your irrigation system drowned them.

When planting: you can use bulb fertilizers, bone meal, or soft rock phosphate. William likes to spray with liquid seaweed and roll them in the fertilizer before planting.

Planting depth isn’t critical since the bulb will find it’s own center of gravity. We don’t experience frozen ground, so plant to cover with an inch or two of soil on top. It’s better not to go too deep, especially in heavy soils. Plant with the basal plate (you may see some tiny roots) on the bottom; pointed end on top. If you get them upside down, generally they’ll figure it out.

After flowering, let the foliage totally brown before you cut it off. Photosynthesis allows the bulb to gather nutrition for next year’s cycle.