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Grow with KARE: Reliable spring bulbs

Some spring bulbs will look great the first year after planting but not so much in the years after. Bobby and Laura have some recommendations for reliable bloomers.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Some spring bulbs will look great the first year after planting but not so much in the years after. But there are varieties you can choose that are reliable spring bloomers year after year.

  • Daffodils, a classic spring favorite is all shades of yellow and white
  • Species or Fosteriana tulips, Bobby says to treat the Darwin tulips especially as annuals. Consider yourself lucky if you do get an extra year or two from Darwins.
  • Snowdrops, delicate white blooms that you can plant right in the yard because they're done blooming before you mow. But be aware, the leaves, stem and bulb are toxic to dogs.
  • Siberian squill, again this one can go right in the grass if you wish. But it's a controversial one. This is an aggressive spreader. While it's not on any Minnesota control list yet, it may be in the future.
  • Muscari, also known as grape hyacinth. Colonies of this provide great early pops of purple in the garden.
  • Crocus, a fan favorite that often blooms while there's still snow on the ground!
  • Chionodoxa, or Glory of the snow, will look wonderful and naturalize beneath a tree or shrub in early spring.

Mid-September through October is the best time for planting bulbs in Minnesota. Be sure to plant them to a depth that's three times the size of the bulb and give them a good watering.