10 Best Bulbs to Plant in the Fall

Plant these bulbs now to enjoy their gorgeous blooms next spring!

Keukenhof Gardens
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There’s something to be said for delayed gratification. Plant these bulbs in mid to late fall before the ground freezes, and the flowers will appear next spring—just when you’re craving color after a long winter! Best of all, most bulbs come back year after year. A few tips: First, make sure a plant is suited for your USDA Hardiness Zone. Then plant bulbs with the pointy ends facing up, and read the label to learn how deep they need to go. Place a few in each hole; flowering bulbs look better in a grouping. After blooms fade, don’t remove foliage until it turns yellow; the plant needs the leaves to make food for next year’s blooms.

Now start digging! These are the best bulbs to plant in the fall:

1 Daffodil
Spring Season Arrives In Toronto
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Daffodils, also called narcissus, are some of the most dependable bulbs with varieties that bloom from early to late spring. Squirrels and other rodents leave them alone due to poisonous crystals in the leaves and bulbs. Although you may think of them only as yellow trumpet-shaped flowers, they also come in pure white, pale pinks, and varieties with double or ruffled petals.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9

Varieties to try: Tete a Tete, Apricot Whirl

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2 Crocus
Crocus, Crocus cultivar.
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Crocuses are some of the earliest bulbs to push through the earth, often appearing when there’s still snow on the ground. Plant them en masse for a beautiful swath of color. And don’t be surprised if you find them popping up in other places in your yard. Squirrels and chipmunks like to dig them up and rebury them elsewhere!

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8

Varieties to try: Blue Pearl, Tricolor

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3 Snowdrop
Location Flowers Shoot
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As the name suggests, these dainty white beauties with droopy heads appear in late winter. They grow just 4 to 6 inches tall, so place them along pathways or in rock gardens where you can see them. They make an adorable cut flower in a tiny vase.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 2 to 9

Varieties to try: Early Snowdrop, Double Snowdrop

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4 Allium
Allium.
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Beautiful globes of purple, deep pink or reddish-purple dance on top of long, graceful stems in late-spring. They’re also known as ornamental onions, which means rodents and deer don’t like the taste. Plant in clumps or borders layered behind shorter flowers.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9

Varieties to try: Gladiator, Drumsticks

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5 Tulip
Assorted Location And Nature Shoots
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Unlike most other fall-planted bulbs, tulips usually don’t come back. They’re also delectable to squirrels and chipmunks. Try to protect them by planting within a cage of chicken wire, or layer them in a pot with other less tasty bulbs, such as daffodils, on top. Despite the extra work, their stunning beauty makes them absolutely worth planting to enjoy for a season.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8

Varieties to try: La Belle Epoque, Black Parrot

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6 Hyacinth
Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis Jan Bos)...
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The sweet scent of hyacinth, which comes in white, blue, purple, and shades of pink, is distinctive in early spring. Rodents and deer don’t like them. The sturdy, bright blooms last for many weeks and come back reliably year after year.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8

Varieties to try: Peter Stuyvesent, Jan Bos

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7 Grape Hyacinth
Common Grape Hyacinth, Liguria
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Consider these tiny bulbs the baby brothers of regular-sized hyacinth. They have a slight grape-y scent and clusters of flowers in early to mid-spring. They come in shades of blue, purple, white, and ombre-patterned. The bulbs multiply quickly season after season.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8

Varieties to try: Latifolium, White Magic

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8 Fritallaria
Reverse tulips in Turkey's Van province
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For something eye-catching in your mid-spring garden, these charming plants offer two to three-foot tall upright stems with dangling bell-shaped flowers. The colors range from pale green to bright orange to muted purples. Unlike many other types of bulbs, they’ll tolerate part shade.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 8

Varieties to try: Green Dreams, Aurora Orange

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9 Scilla
Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica)...
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Darling porcelain blue or blue-white star-shaped flowers appear in early spring. Scilla, also called squill, are beautiful planted in groups under trees, in rock gardens, or as a groundcover where you can’t get grass to grow.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9
Varieties to try:
Siberian, Striped

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10 Dutch Iris
Iris x hollandica Blue Magic...
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These delicate orchid-like flowers range from pale blue to lemony yellow, rose and gold. While other types of iris (such as bearded iris) grow from thickened roots called rhizomes, these are small tear-dropped shaped bulbs. They bloom from late spring to early summer and make great long-lasting cut flowers.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

Varieties to try: Discovery, Miss Saigon

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