Thinking Ahead: Plant Fall Bulbs Now for Spring Color Later

As the vibrant colors begin to fade into the drab, muted colors of late fall, you may already be longing for spring to arrive with all of its newness and bursting colors.  This is the perfect time to begin planning, and planting, your fall bulbs that will bring your commercial landscape.

Why Some Bulbs Need to be Planted in the Spring and Others in the Fall

It’s all about their individual growing season.  Fall bulbs have a growing season that lasts through the fall and winter months.  After their blooms die off, they go dormant until the next fall.

Spring bulbs, on the other hand, have a growing season that lasts until they bloom in mid to late summer.   Then they go dormant until the next spring.

Why Are Some Flowers Planted From Bulbs and Others From Seeds?

Flowers contain the sex organs of the plant.  Pollination is the reproduction of the plant.  (It’s kind of the whole point of the flower.)  All seeds produced by flowers have the potential for recreating that flower but for some, the new flower is never quite as good as the original.  They simply do better when they are planted from a bulb.

Why?  Genetically, the flower that blooms from a bulb is genetically identical to the original flower.  Because seeds are created through pollination, there’s a big risk that there has been pollination with other plants and you’ll get a combination of the two.

If cared for, the flowers you get from your bulbs will bloom year after year, each as beautiful as the previous one.  Seeds, on the other hand, take much longer to mature and flower.  For example, tulips can take as long as 8 years to bloom when they’ve been planted from a seed.

What is a Bulb?

The bulb of a plant is a storage facility for nutrients.  It’s where the plant keeps its food safe when the plant loses its top and winter arrives.  It’s also where the plant starts to grow after dormancy.

Bulbs should be planted in the ground at the end of their dormant season, for fall bulbs, between 4-6 weeks before the ground freezes so be sure to make your plans early so your landscape company can get all the bulbs you want.

What Are the Best Bulbs to Plant in the Fall for Spring Blooms?

Fortunately, there are hundreds of varieties of flowers that come from fall bulbs that will bring you lots of spring color.

Tulips―Everyone loves tulips.  They come in an endless selection of colors, sizes, and shapes and are a stunning addition to any landscape.

Daffodils―Daffodils are one of the most popular bulbs to plant in the fall.  They arrive in pale and vibrant yellows and have a lovely floral bouquet.

Crocus―Crocuses are of the plants we look for to signify the arrival of spring.  They’re one of the first plants to emerge in the spring, often popping their little purple blooms through the last snows.

Alliums―These are actually ornamental onions which mean critters will most likely leave them alone.  They come in purples, blues, and whites and their round flower bunches look like something straight out of a Dr. Suess book.

Iris―Irises bloom in early summer.  Add blues, pinks, whites, yellows, and of course, purples with stunning irises.

Lily―Lilies won’t flower until late summer but their beautiful flowers are well worth the wait.


There’s nothing quite as thrilling as seeing your spring flowers peeking up through the newly thawed soil.  Over-exaggerations aside, a burst of spring color can be a welcoming sight after a long, cold winter.

At Bluegrass, can give your commercial landscape bursts of color in any season.  We know the importance of maintaining your flower and plant beds by offering a maintenance program that includes preparing the soil, weeding, feeding, and planting new bulbs so that each season brings new beauty to your commercial landscape.  We have hundreds of plants and flowers to choose from for all seasons to fit your landscape’s style and your budget.  Call Bluegrass at (314)770-2828 and get your landscape ready for a colorful spring in the fall today!