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Early Flowering Bulbs

Early Flowering Bulbs

Anyone who is now impatiently looking forward to the spring should definitely plant a few early flowering bulbs.

   
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Alpine Squill

Scilla bifolia

£4.90 *

Alpine Squill 'Alba'

Scilla bifolia 'Alba'

£4.90 *

Alpine Squill 'Rosea'

Scilla bifolia 'Rosea'

£5.40 *

Botanical Crocus 'Ard Schenk'

Crocus chrysanthus 'Ard Schenk'

From £4.40 *

Botanical Crocus 'Spring Beauty'

Crocus minimus 'Spring Beauty'

£5.90 *

Botanical Crocus 'Tricolor'

Crocus sieberi subsp. sublimis 'Tricolor'

£3.20 *

Hoop Petticoat Daffodil 'Arctic Bells'

Narcissus bulbocodium 'Arctic Bells'

£3.90 *

Hoop Petticoat Daffodil 'Oxford Gold'®

Narcissus bulbocodium 'Oxford Gold'®

£4.90 *

Misczenko Squill

Scilla mischtschenkoana

£3.90 *

Mixture of Hoop Petticoat Daffodils

Narcissus bulbocodium mix

£16.90 *

Siberian Squill

Scilla siberica

£3.70 *

   
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More useful information about Early Flowering Bulbs

These small flower bulbs grow incredibly fast and they bloom directly after the snow melts. In particular, crocuses as well as snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) and winter aconites (Eranthis hiemalis and E. cilicica) are very early. But some wild tulips and the many varieties of Scilla flower amazingly early too and delight the gardener's heart early in February and March. They all naturalise in the lawn, but as beautiful as they can be in the garden, the early little ones are also suitable for growing in pots and flower boxes on a balcony, and they show their marvellous display there at the end of winter and the beginning of spring with their delicate and yet, very robust little flowers.
 

Early Flowering Bulbs – Crocus

As soon as the snow melts, the very first wild crocuses from the still wet, cold ground will be waiting. They are among the very first early flowering bulbs. The botanical or wild crocuses are the archetypes, some of which have been further developed in breeding. But they still have the graceful flowers of the wild forms, and they bloom like this especially early in the year. Crocus 'Snowbunting' is a hybrid of Crocus chrysanthus with slightly larger flowers. It has very fine blue lines on the outside of its white flowers, and is about 7 centimetres high and 5 centiemeters wide.  Crocus minimus 'Spring Beauty' has a striking pink colour and strong violet pen drawings on the outside of the petals. This wild crocus looks especially beautiful in a container on a garden table, where you can study its beauty in peace. Crocus 'Tricolor' fascinates with its play of colours. This botanical crocus has a blue colour with white shimmer and yellow base. It is an extremely attractive selection of Crocus minimus with slightly larger flowers than the wild form.

Early Flowering Bulbs

Early Flowering Bulbs – Winter Aconites and Snowdrops

Winter aconites and snowdrops are just as early as the first crocuses. These two spring flowers can also be combined. The winter aconites are very early buttercup plants that thrive on rhizomes. These rhizomes are about 1 centimetre thick and have several segments. This means that they can easily be cut into pieces for multiplication. The flowers of winter aconite poke out of each of a low stem from the ground. Later, two leaves are formed, and then the winter aconites disappear in the ground. It is not necessary to cut back these extremely easy to care for early flowering plants because they like re-seed themselves. If you just let them do what they wish, they will form pretty flower patches over the years. They do not disturb other plants and shrubs because the roots do not grow deep and they do not need food in the summer. Even snowdrops are modest plants when it comes to their demands. However, they want to be able to calm down their foliage after flowering. So, if they are naturalised in the lawn, do not mow there until the snowdrops have completely retreated. Otherwise, the snowdrops need no care and they will reliably come back every year in February and early March.

Early Flowering Bulbs – Spring Snowflakes and Early Tulips

As soon as March is around the corner, the somewhat larger spring snowflakes (Leucojum vernum) spring up from the ground. They are related to snowdrops, and at first glance look quite similar. However, they are a lot bigger and their leaves are a bit stronger. Spring snowflakes are similar to snowdrops regarding their care. They are planted and then left alone. And like the other bulbous flowers, they have to let their foliage die back in peace. And at this time the first tulips are already waiting. One of the earliest flowering tulips is Tulipa turkestanica. This special tulip presents up to 12 star-shaped flowers on the individual shoots, which hang like bunches on the hairy stems. A strange phenomenon! The flowers are white and yellow, and slightly greenish on the outside. Although they are pretty to look with the human eye, they deceive the nose with a rather unpleasant odour. So you should not plant these flower bulbs directly next to any seating. They bloom in early and mid-spring and are popular with bees and other insects; the smell does not seem to be unpleasant for them.

Early Flowering Bulbs – Scilla

Over the years, the early flowering bulb Scilla forms whole meadows full of blue and sometimes white flowers. They show up as soon as the snow has melted. When it comes to care, you do not have to worry about: Scillas can just be planted and then leave alone. Nothing should be cut back. These grateful little bulbs then self-assimilate and multiply as they please. But you do not have to be scared that they are getting out of hand; this is because their bulbs and roots are so small that they do not take over space or food for the other plants. They are simply a bonus to the fading winter in any garden and should be enjoyed before they disappear into the ground by themselves.

Early Flowering Bulbs – Daffodils

One of the most striking early flowering bulbs in early spring is certainly the bright yellow daffodils 'February Gold'. These cyclamen-flowered daffodils with the teasing small flowers on low stems are among the classics of early flowering bulb varieties. They are also often used for floristic spring arrangements and for balconies. This variety is extremely robust and tolerates some frost in early spring. Also, very early in the daffodils selection, are the varieties of Narcissus bulbocodium. The variety 'Oxford Gold' flowers in bright yellow, the variety 'Arctic Bells' blooms in creamy white. With their funnel-shaped, skirt-like flowers, these daffodils are a special eye-catcher in the garden and on a balcony. As special as they look, these funny daffodils grow in normal garden soil and are easy to care for. The bulbs are planted in the garden or on the balcony in autumn, ideally in September, and then bloom early in the spring.

The Best Location for Early Flowering Bulbs

The best location for early flowering bulbs in the garden is on the wayside or in the foreground of perennial beds, where you can see the little ones in the still bare earth best. In addition, they are ideal for wild natural displays on the lawn. All early flowering bulbs need sun during flowering. But they can grow well in the foreground of shrub borders, where the shrubs cast shadows with their foliage in the summer. It is only important that the early-flowering bulbs get as much sun as possible during their flowering period in February and March. As far as soil requirements are concerned, every normal garden soil is sufficient; they do not need any special soil. On the other hand, if the site is wet, some sand and gravel should first be worked into the existing soil as drainage. This is because waterlogging is not good for spring flowering bulbs.

How to Plant Early Flowering Bulbs

These bulbs are planted like all other flower bulbs in autumn, preferably in September. In mild locations, they can be planted in the garden or on the balcony until November. These bulbs are quite small. That's why you have to handle them a little differently than larger flower bulbs. Especially with the almost hazelnut-sized flower bulbs of the wild crocuses, you have to take a good look and check which side is the top and which is the bottom for planting. The shoot tip should always point up! Otherwise, the shoots must laboriously turn around, or grow up around half the bulb. They certainly do that when a bulb is planted upside down, but it costs the plant unnecessary power. Therefore, it is worthwhile when planting early-flowering bulbs, to proceed with great care and put each one individually with the shoot tip up in the ground. With the flower bulbs of wild tulips, which are not very large, as well as in the also small snowdrop bulbs it is easy to tell which is the top of the bulbs. With the Scilla one must also make sure that the shoot tip points upwards. These small bulbs, which look like a miniature of the popular large hyacinth bulbs, clearly show where the root is and where the shoot tip will grow out of the bulb. As far as plant bulbs are concerned, the same applies to all flower bulbs: twice as deep as the bulbs are. So this is only about six centimetres for the early-flowering bulbs. The distance should be as irregular as possible because it looks more natural. The best way is to throw the bulbs on the ground and plant them exactly where they fall. Then it looks as if they have found this amazing spot themselves!

Early Flowering Bulbs in Pots and Boxes

These rather small flower bulbs are ideal for planting in pots and boxes in the autumn. They can then also be started in a greenhouse so that they already bloom in the winter. Even in a not too warm, but bright stairwell, the pursuit of different varieties of early flowering bulbs can succeed well from September. Small pots and even shallow bowls are enough because they do not need more than ten centimetres of soil to thrive. In pots, they are planted a little bit closer together than in the garden. The varieties can be mixed according to your mood. As a rule of thumb, just pack in so many bulbs, side by side, with a small space in between. The outermost should be a few centimetres from the edge of the pots so that they are surrounded by soil. When the bulbs are all nicely spread on the soil, cover with a few centimetres more of soil. Again, it may be a little less than in the garden. So that the whole thing looks pretty, put moss on it. To force them, place the pots first in a dark place, and then bring them out at the beginning of the year, so that the bulbs already think that it is spring. Before the bulbs sprout, put some more fresh moss on top. That looks especially pretty in the spring when the tender leaves pierce through the moss.

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