Planting bulbs in Houston, Texas, is different from planting bulbs in other regions of the country. Since Houston does not experience a deep freeze, some bulbs won’t flower if they are planted too early in the fall. Others require “chilling” hours, meaning you’ll need to put them in your refrigerator for a bit before planting them (Tulips, Crocus, Hyacinths, and Daffodils usually benefit from this.) One great way to think about planting bulbs is to do it by holiday – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day (you can sneak a few in on Valentine’s Day, too.) Remember that most bulbs require sunny planting spots – only Callas, Leucojum, and Scilla will blossom in partial or full shade. Below is a simple holiday calendar to guide you through when to plant your bulbs to enjoy their blossoms come spring.
Anemone. With blooms in colors that include red, white, salmon and orange, you can plant these bulbs in October in your Houston, Texas garden. The large, trumpet-shaped flowers will blossom from December all the way through spring.
Lycoris. Lycoris, which include Spider Lily, Naked Lady and Hurricane Lily bulbs, can all be planted in October in your Houston, Texas garden. They will bloom the following fall with pink, yellow and red flowers. Lycoris do best in full sun, but partial shade is all right, too.
Muscari. Also known as Grape Hyacinth, these pretty purple flowers, which look like clusters of grapes, are terrific for your Houston, Texas mixed borders. Plant them in October in full to partial sun.
Ranunculus. These lovely bulbs produce flowers that are four-inches across, blooming in colors that include red, pink, gold and white. Be sure to soak the bulbs for a few hours in water that is room-temperature before planting them in your Houston, Texas garden.
Scilla. Also known as Spanish Bluebells, Scilla have beautiful deep blue flowers. October is the perfect time of year for planting these beautiful bulbs in your Houston, Texas garden.
Paperwhites. These bulbs are a great choice for your Houston, Texas container garden. They have very beautiful, fragrant white flowers. Plant them in full sun in October in your garden.
October is a great time to plant these bulbs as well: Ixia, Leucojum, Calla Lily, Montbretia, Oxalis, Watsonia, and Zephyranthes.
Crocus. One of the first bulbs to bloom in the Houston, Texas spring, be sure to plant them two to three inches apart in your garden in November. These bulbs can also be planted in October if you choose to do an earlier planting.
Freesia. Pink, purple, white, and red are just a few of the colors these bulbs will bring to your Houston, Texas garden, and their fragrance will fill the air all spring. November is the best time of year to plant them, but you can also try them earlier in October.
Iris. Be sure to plant your Iris bulbs in full sun in your Houston, Texas garden, preferably in well-drained soil. They will bloom in colors that include blue, purple, yellow, and white. Iris make terrific cut flowers.
Watsonia. Also known as Bugle Lilies, these flowers will naturalize in your Houston, Texas garden. Plant them 3″ deep, and they will bloom in red, white and pink come spring.
Ornithogalum. Also known as the Star of Bethlehem, these bulbs will naturalize easily. The gorgeous white flowers, with black centers, will make a fragrant addition to your Houston, Texas garden.
November is also a good time for planting Amaryllis, Crocus, Homeria, Milla, Muscari, and Narcissus bulbs in your Houston, Texas garden.
Allium. You can actually plant Allium from September through March in your Houston, Texas garden, but planting them around Christmas will ensure you have beautiful blooms all spring and summer.
Hyacinth. Plant these bulbs 5″ deep in your Houston, Texas garden. These fragrant flowers will bloom in pink, blue, yellow, purple, red and white.
Sparaxis. These easy to grow flowers do best when planted in full sun and well-drained soil. They will bloom from spring through early summer, and make terrific cut flowers.
December is a great time for planting Amaryllis, Ixia, and Zephyranthes bulbs in your Houston, Texas garden as well.
Now is the time to plant your refrigerated tulips and other bulbs. If you have Tulip, Crocus, Hyacinth, or Daffodil bulbs chilling, January is the perfect time for planting them.
You can still plant refrigerated tulips in your Houston, Texas garden in February in time for spring blooms. Refrigerate at 50 degrees for 8 weeks before planting. Tulips will bloom in colors that include red, pink, purple, yellow and white.