Springtime bulbs Houseplants of the Month

on Wednesday, 28 February 2018. Posted in News

The story of Springtime bulbs
Nothing cheers us up and creates a spring mood like potted bulb plants - and we certainly need that mood right now.


Five stars in the potted bulb category have been selected for March to celebrate the start of Spring. Well we can try! Narcissi, grape hyacinths (Muscari), tulips, hyacinths and fritillaries or Crown Imperials (Fritillaria) will flower quickly and radiantly in the warm conditions indoors, thanks to the growers who have already subjected the bulbs to a cold and warm period that is required to 'activate' them. In that way, Springtime bulbs produce flowers even though it’s really too early.

The Springtime bulbs have a variety of origins. Tulips originate from Turkey. Hyacinths come from the region east of the Mediterranean (Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq). Narcissi spread from south-west Europe across the entire continent, whilst fritillaries are native to Europe and Western Asia.


What to look for when buying Springtime bulbs

  • Larger bulbs are higher quality and offer the most abundant and largest flowers.
  • Always check that the plants are free of pests and diseases.
  • They must be well rooted and should not be loose in the pot.
  • Dried buds or leaf tips are a sign of too little moisture during cultivation; mould on the bulbs or the soil indicates too much moisture.
  • A well-developed bud that is already showing some colour has the best chance of emerging attractively.

Potted tulips are available in a range which extends from specialist botanical species which remain short and small through to fabulous cultivars with different flower shapes, such as single and double flowered, fringed (crispa) and parrot tulips. The flower can be single-coloured or multicoloured, flamed or striped.


Hyacinths are available in classic colours such as pink, white and blue, but also novel shades such as purple, salmon and pale yellow. The individual flowers on the stem are called ‘nails’. The more nails, the more richly the plant flowers.

Potted Narcissi are offered as both scented spray narcissi and classic trumpets, as well as varieties with double flowers. Most common colours are yellow and white, whilst bicoloured narcissi with salmon and orange in the flower are becoming more widespread.


Grape hyacinths derive their name from the grape-like flowers, which also come in white, lilac, purple and pink nowadays. The popular potted bulbs have a light musk fragrance, which is reflected in the scientific name Muscari.


Potted Fritillaria resembles a plover's egg (F. meleagris) with spotted flowers that hang on the stems like eggs. F. persica is taller and more substantial, with a host of purple flowers at the top. Crown Imperials (F. imperialis) have long stems crowned with strongly scented hanging flowers.

SB 17

Care tips
• The cooler the spot where the bulbs are placed indoors, the longer they will flower.
• Regular watering helps the bulb to bloom, but too much water will cause it to rot.
• There’s no need to feed - the nutrients are already in the bulb.


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