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Zone 5a Spring Bulbs - Newbie

Posted by whaas 5a (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 25, 09 at 12:35

I've never planted spring bulds before and now is the perfect time.

But I have no idea what to get! I can tell you I don't really like tulips, I like a more open flower.

I saw a massing of soft pink, lavendar/blue and yellow spring flowers @ the Chicago Botanical Gardens...they looked like Daffodils, but not sure. They were definitly a softer color than the Daffadils that come up in google images.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Zone 5a Spring Bulbs - Newbie

lilies are very pretty and so easy 2 grow flower maybe later 4 u but very prety

RE: Zone 5a Spring Bulbs - Newbie

Well I found this one...Tres Chic Lily Tulip. That covers the soft yellow.

How about this, between Lily, Daffodil, Crocus and Anemone, which one flowers the longest for zone 5?

The iris, crocus and tullips that the previous owner planted didn't spread (maybe the iris to about a 24" area)...they just planted UGLY colors that do not go with the house.

RE: Zone 5a Spring Bulbs - Newbietuber

Anemones have several blooms per tuber? so they would have longer bloom time. Lilies bloom after the spring bulbs and have several buds per stalk so their bloom period is extended.

Types of daffodils have multi blooms per stem but the most common are one bloom per stem (ie King Alfred) per bulb. If tempertures stay low that bloom may last more than a week (but not King Alfred's). If your daff bulb is a triple nosed bulb of good size it will have 3 stems. Which may extend their bloom time.

But if you take one flower from each type, it is probably a toss-up. I would guess crocus to have the least staying power and the lily flower the longest. Much depends upon the cultivar.

RE: Zone 5a Spring Bulbs - Newbie

Any particular cultivars you'd recommend from the lily, anemone or daffodil family?

I did some web searching, and I'm just lost...a first for my gardening enthusiasim.

RE: Zone 5a Spring Bulbs - Newbie

Since you were attracted to the color combo - pink, lav and yellow - I'm guessing you love pastels. Forget Me Nots may supply sky blue. Lavender is the difficult one. I have a gorgeous lavender hyacinth that never blooms with its compatriots. And my lavender bearded iris are too late.

I advise newbies to not buy en masse. Buy fewer to learn what really suits your site. An example: my friend had a clump of rich deep purple Dutch iris --- stunning!!! I bought that color and they looked like h___ in my garden. You will also learn which like what location, or not.

Longest lasting daffodil I've had: Chromacolor. Not the greatest blender in my pastel area but petal substance it has. The prettiest pastel and good laster has been Ice Follies. Shouldn't say prettiest but combines extemely well. Trumpet fades and still lovely. And multiplies - yikes! Catalogs will call this a naturalizer. The 3rd daff that lasts well is Tete a Tete. A short strong yellow - mini flowers. Blooms earlier. Hardly any fade. For a King Alfred substitute I use Carlton - slightly shorter trumpet but same bright yellow and lasts a few days longer.

Anemones - I've not seen a difference in lasting power. Have grown many different cultivars. There are different strains (De Caen, etc.) --- try a mix and dig out/pot up those that don't work for gifts.

Oriental lilies are to die for. They bloom after spring bulbs. My favorites are Muscadet and Tompouce. I haven't noticed a difference in lasting power. The popular Stargazer and Casablanca probably have more substance but don't have the aaah factor for me.

Asiatic lilies - (pink is my favorite) Marco Polo, Cote D'Azur, Lollypop and Vermeer. Lollypop has been the strongest multiplier and I didn't think I would like it from pictures. I do.

Bottom line is to buy what your heart loves. Prepare the soil well - dig in bulb food and bonemeal per pkg. instructions. The advantage bonemeal has is its slow release of phosphorus over future years. Don't locate spring-blooming bulbs in a bed that will be moist thruout summer! Damp soil + heat = rot. You are in for a treat. Oh, trading is a great way to try new daffs.

RE: Zone 5a Spring Bulbs - Newbie

In your zone, daffodils should be planted now, or they will freeze and turn to mush over the winter. Daffodils need to have a good root system established before the extreme, cold weather sets in. I am in a zone colder than you and would not risk planting daffs past about mid-October here. Hyacinths come in all the colours you mentioned, pink, blue/lavender and even pale yellow. They too, should be planted soon for the best spring flowering. I grow anemone blanda, both blue and white. They also come in pink. It is the hardiest of the spring anemones and comes back every year. It also spreads a bit over several years, and blooms quite a long time. The best thing for you to do is experiment a bit and try a few different kinds of bulbs. That way you will find out what you like and what bulbs like you (and your garden). Start small (because bulbs can be very expensive) and add to your bulb collection every year.

RE: Zone 5a Spring Bulbs - Newbie

I would recommend you look at a variety of lilies. You'll usually get color a little later in the spring, but they're showier than tulips.

If you haven't planted any yet, mind that we've already had some ground freezes and you made need to wait until next year to plant your bulbs.

Here's a page I like to use for bulb planting help:

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Plant Bulbs guide

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