When you bought your bulbs, you were likely enticed by the photos of a mass of flowers and now you can't wait to find out how long it will take for them to bloom. The answer is complicated. Bulbs do not come into season all at the same time, even though they're all planted at the same time. In fact, they tend to be grouped into clusters, depending on when they commonly bloom. This article will outline bloom times based on these groups.
Snowdrops, crocus, daffodils and hyacinth are the first to bloom. These bulbs are planted in the fall, and can bloom as early as February in warm climates. As a rough estimate, plan to wait five months between planting and blooms for spring bulbs.
Grape hyacinth, tulips and bluebells all arrive in the later spring, between late March and April in most climates. These are the bulbs most associated with Easter celebrations, as they tend to be at their best during this time. Plan to wait six months after planting for blooms to appear.
Lilies, alliums, gladiolus, iris and dahlia are just a few bulbs that bloom in the summer. These plants force you to wait seven months or longer between planting and blooming, but the results can be spectacular as many of these flowers have a heady, intoxicating scent.
While you may be disappointed to discover that your bulbs won't bloom at the same time, take heart. By staggering their bloom times, the bulbs are doing you a significant favor. After all, these staggered times allow you to plant a bulb bed that will delight you during the entire spring and summer. Make sure to trim away faded blooms and wilting foliage to ensure that your fading plants don't obscure your view of the plants just arriving on the scene.