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Bulbs you can plant right now!

Bulbs You Can Plant Right Now!

With the coming of fall weather, thoughts often turn to planting tulips for a stunning spring display. As you know, in Texas you can’t plant tulips until the ground temperature is around 55 degrees; usually in mid-December.  Did you know that there are many bulbs out there that you can plant right now and a couple that will actually bloom for you in a few weeks?

Colchicum 'Lilac Wonder'
Colchicum ‘Lilac Wonder.’ Image courtesy Stuifbergen Bloembollen.

Colchicum ‘Lilac Wonder’

Colchicum are heirloom bulbs (pre-1926) and are often referred to as ‘Autumn Crocus’ because they are autumn blooming with cup-shaped flowers on naked stems.  The flowers will appear first, with each bulb producing multiple stems of amethyst-colored flowers.  When spring arrives, the broad leaves emerge and will stay until summer arrives. Then the cycle starts again in the fall with the flowering. Well drained soil and afternoon shade works best for these beauties. Plant now!

Saffron crocus (Crocus sativa)
Saffron crocus (Crocus sativus)

‘Saffron crocus’ (Crocus Sativus)

Do you love beautiful flowers, saving money on expensive spices and cooking? All you need is the autumn-blooming Crocus sativus or ‘saffron crocus.’ Plant the bulbs now and by November, you should see up three flower stalks emerge from each bulb. Each flower contains three red-orange threads, or stigma, which is the highly prized spice used in paella and other dishes. Harvest the stigma and allow them to air dry in your kitchen for a few days before storing in a glass jar.  Plant in well-draining soil in sun to part sun conditions.

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