Guide to Growing Bulbs in Your Garden

Pink lily flowers in bloom

Lilies blooming in summer.

Bulbs, rhizomes, corms, and tubers (usually commonly grouped together as “bulbs”) make wonderful additions to the garden.

About Bulbs

Bulbs are generally categorized as hardy vs. tender:

  • Hardy Bulbs: These bulbs respond to winter’s chill to produce flowers in spring or summer.
  • Tender Bulbs: These bulbs generally don’t like freezing weather and are dug up and stored indoors over the winter or (if they’re hardy in your area) grown outdoors year-round.

As with other garden plants, you can push the limits of your hardiness zone by protecting your bulb beds with a thick layer of mulch. If winter hardiness is a concern, look for cultivars specifically bred to be cold tolerant. The zones below serve as a general guide, but new varieties are constantly being developed that bend the rules!

Daffodils blooming

Spring daffodils putting on a show.

Bulb Growing Guide

Here’s a handy guide to the winter hardiness, planting season, and bloom season for some common landscape bulbs.

Bulb Name Grow Zone Bulb Type When Plant When Bloom
Allium 5 Bulb Fall Spring/Summer
Amaryllis 9 Bulb Fall Spring
Anemone 4 Tuber Fall Spring
Belladonna Lily 7 Bulb Spring Late Summer
Caladium 9 Tuber Spring Summer
Calla 7 Rhizome Spring Summer
Canna 8 Rhizome Spring Summer
Colchicum 5 Corm Summer Fall
Corn Lily (Ixia) 6 Corm Fall Spring
Crocosmia 7 Corm Fall Summer
Crocus 7 Corm Fall Spring
Crown Imperial 3 Bulb Fall Spring
Cyclamen 5 Tuber Fall Spring/Summer
Daffodil, Narcissus 4 Bulb Fall Spring
Dahlia 8 Tuberous Root Spring Summer/Fall
Dutch Iris 5 Bulb Fall Early Summer
Elephant Ear 9 Corm Spring Summer
Freesia 9 Corm Fall Indoors-Spring
Gladiolus 8 Corm Spring Summer
Glory of the Snow 3 Bulb Fall Early Spring
Grape Hyacinth 4 Bulb Fall Summer
Harlequin Flower 9 Corm Spring Summer
Hyacinth 3 Bulb Fall Spring
Iris 4 Rhizome Fall Summer
Lily 4 Bulb Fall Summer
Magic Lily 5 Bulb Summer Fall
Peacock Flower 8 Corm Fall Spring/Summer
Ranunculus 7 Tuberous Root Spring Summer
Siberian Squill 3 Bulb Fall Spring
Snowdrop 3 Bulb Fall Early Spring
Snowflake 4 Bulb Fall Spring
Star of Bethlehem 4 Bulb Fall Spring
Trillium 4 Rhizome Fall Late Spring
Tuberous Begonia 10 Tuber Spring Summer/Fall
Tulip 3 Bulb Fall Spring
Winter Aconite 4 Tuber Fall Early Spring

Printable Bulb Guide

Further Information


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Guide to Growing Bulbs in Your Garden