Last Minute for Ordering Spring Bulbs

Don’t miss out on early spring bloom! Photo: landscapeontario.com

If you intend to plant bulbs for bloom next spring—tulips, daffodils, squills, hyacinths, crocuses, etc.—or autumn-flowering bulbs—autumn crocuses, colchicums, etc.—, it’s time to get a move on!

Wide range of dry flower bulbs showing different shapes, sizes, colors and textures.
Bulbs come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, textures and colors. Photo: sandovalmastergardeners.org

True enough, a certain choice of bulbs will show up in your local garden center in mid-September … but not necessarily the varieties you want. My local garden centers seem to offer mostly Triumph tulips, for example, yet they’re short-lived bulbs and I prefer perennial tulips (botanical tulips, viridifloras, Darwin hybrids, etc.). And they sell the same crocus varieties year after year, whereas I want ones I don’t already grow. Plus, they offer no rare bulbs at all, just run-of-the-mill varieties.

For a reasonable choice of bulbs, I have to order from a bulb specialist. And if you’re a serious bulb gardener, you’ll eventually find yourself in the same position.

Late August or very early September is really the last minute for ordering your bulbs. By the time the order is received and processed, then shipped to you, it will already be planting season. And the really choice and rare bulbs will be selling out soon, if that isn’t already the case.

For an eye-opening choice of bulbs, Canadian gardeners can try Fraser’s Thimble FarmsBotanusPhoenix Perennials or Veseys. Americans will find a wide range of choices at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs and Longfield Gardens. In Europe, think of De Jager and SonsAvon Bulbs or Rare Plants.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

4 comments on “Last Minute for Ordering Spring Bulbs

  1. Thanks for the names of these Canadian suppliers. Europe seems to have so many bulb specialists….

  2. We get ours later because if they go into the ground on time, they bloom too early in winter, and get slapped around by the rain.

  3. Oh , just what I need, more spring bulb porn. 😁 I have been unimpressed with garden center bulbs in recent years, so it may be time to switch to these kinds of sellers.

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