Bulbs are the first signs of spring and always make me smile when I see them popping up around my town and in my garden. They provide that hope of spring and warm days ahead as they bloom in the overcast skies of late winter/early spring. They are truly the easiest ‘gift’ you can give yourself in the winter. Plant them now (no other care needed) and then wait for them to surprise you in the spring. The best part is that they will come up year after year! I actually have some bulbs that still come up years after my Grandma gave them to me (my Grandma passed away 9 years ago). I love seeing my Grandma's bulbs pop up because they are a wonderful reminder of her.
There are so many different kinds of spring bulbs but I have listed my favorites and the easiest ones to grow in Zone 9 below. One thing that is important to note when choosing your bulbs is to take into consideration their bloom times. These bulbs all have early, mid, and late blooming varieties. Selecting a mix of blooming times will give you a longer time to enjoy these "joyful" flowers.
Daffodils are the classic, most well known bulb there is. The daffodil flowers tend to be the first to bloom which in my area means they are often blooming in February. The pops of yellow, orange and white just add happiness to wherever they were planted. These classic flowers are great to plant in large groupings so they can make a much bigger impact. A large swath of yellow daffodils will be sure to turn heads in the spring.
Who doesn't love a bouquet full of colorful tulips. It is amazing how many colors tulips come in. From a deep red to an almost black colored tulip, there is a tulip color for everyone. There are varieties that are multi-colored, ruffled, short, and tall. Tulips are usually the last of the bulbs to come up but they are well worth the wait. These showy flowers are truly a joy to see popping up and make great cut flowers.
These puffy flowers (or rather a bunch of small flowers combined to make one large flower) don't maybe come in as many colors as tulips do but they are incredibly fragrant and can make your garden smell oh so sweet. Hyacinths are only usually 6-12" tall but because there are so many flowers on one plant, each individual plant makes a big impact. For reference, these flowers usually bloom before tulips but after crocuses.
These low growing plants in the iris family have delicate cuplike blooms. Crocus' are usually purple but there are yellow and white varieties as well These are small and dainty flowers and look especially good planted around rocks giving an area a meadow feeling.
Mid Oct./early Nov. is the time to plant spring bulbs in Zone 9.
Plant 5-6” deep with the point facing up.
After bloom, let the leaves dry out before cutting back. The leaves give energy to the bulb so it can bloom the following year.
Now go have fun and scatter joy by planting bulbs anywhere in your yard. They will for sure give you a smile in spring when they bloom.