Fall Bulbs vs Spring Bulbs

Typically, spring flowering bulbs need to be planted in fall, while summer and fall flowering bulbs need to be planted in spring. There are a few exceptions to this general rule, for example: Red Spider Lily and Oxblood Lily bulbs are fall flowering bulbs that can be planted in spring or fall. The Southern Living® Plant Collection offers both spring and fall bulbs, and they are categorized according to the season in which they should be planted.

Fall Bulbs: The Southern Living® Plant Collection's Fall Bulbs are spring flowering bulbs that should be planted in fall (see "Red Spider Lily and Oxblood Lily Bulbs" for the exceptions). The fall bulbs' growing season is between fall and winter and then flowers appear early to late spring. After flowering, these bulbs enter a dormancy period in summer and then the growing cycle begins again in fall.

Spring Bulb Oxblood Lillys: The Southern Living® Plant Collection's Spring Bulbs are summer and fall flowering bulbs that should be planted in spring (see "Red Spider Lily and Red Spider Lily Bulbs" for the exceptions). Most spring bulbs begin growing in early spring, flower in summer through fall, and then become dormant in winter.

Red Spider Lily and Red Spider Lily BulbsThese bulbs flower in mid to late September and early October. Instead of their leaves growing before or with the flowers, they appear after flowering and remain through spring. As the leaves grow from winter to spring, they store necessary food and nutrients for summer dormancy and fall flowering. Red Spider Lily and Oxblood Lily bulbs can be planted in spring or fall, although it's usually best to plant in late spring and early summer to help them bloom the next fall.

Bulb Planting and Care Instructions: To plant bulbs, space holes 8 - 13 inches apart and dig  3 times deeper than the length of the bulb (except for crinums and amaryllis). Bury bulbs with the tip facing upwards and gently pat with soil. Most bulbs like to be dry during their dormancy period. The best thing about Southern Living® Plant Collection bulbs is that you do not have to dig them up and replant them each year. Simply add a layer of mulch to protect them from extreme weather conditions and temperature variations.

You can fertilize bulbs immediately before or at the beginning of flowering. Since bulbs multiply from the parent bulb over time, you will eventually need to dig up and replant areas that become over crowded as over-crowding causes poor ventilation, a decrease in flower size, and uneven growth. Plus, dividing bulbs is a great way to share them with friends!