They used to cost a fortune. Fortunately, everyone can afford flower bulbs today. You see these beautiful flowers produced by their underground bulbs emerging in the spring. People often remark on them: “They are so pretty, I want some, too!” But their enthusiasm is often dampened by questions that arise. “What is a flower bulb, actually?” “How do you plant flower bulbs?” “What kinds should I plant?” “When is the best time to plant them?” they wonder. Fortunately, planting flower bulbs is not difficult, and each question has an answer. Bulb.com is the flower bulb platform that provides the answers to these kinds of questions.
What is a flower bulb?
A flower bulb can best be described as an underground storage shed and a flower factory all in one. This is because a flower bulb contains everything that the plant needs to grow and bloom: the flower, the leaves and a food supply. If you’d like to see for yourself, slice a flower bulb in half from top to bottom.
The history of flower bulbs
Flower bulbs are cultivated in the Netherlands: products of the Dutch soil. The most well-known flower bulb is the tulip. Tulips were being cultivated and traded in Turkey as long ago as the Middle Ages. At that time, men there wore a turban, and this custom gave rise to the name given to this queen of the flower bulbs. The name ‘tulip’ (in Latin: Tulipa) means ‘the flower that looks like a turban’.
Planting flower bulbs
Because the flower is already tucked away inside the bulb, you don’t need green fingers to plant them. All it takes is five steps to guarantee success! Before you know it, you’ll be down on your knees admiring the first green leaf tips emerging from the soil. And that’s just the start of delightful things to come.
Kinds of flower bulbs
Some flower bulbs will produce flowers every year while some will not. This is why flower bulbs are subdivided into various kinds: flower bulbs for annual plantings, flower bulbs for perennialised flowering, and flower bulbs for naturalised plantings.
The difference between spring bulbs and summer bulbs
Flower bulbs can also be classified into two large groups: spring bulbs and summer bulbs. Spring bulbs flower in the spring and have to be planted in the autumn. Summer bulbs have to be planted in the spring to flower in the summer. And to make things even a bit more complicated, in addition to the spring and summer bulbs, there is another small group: the autumn bulbs. Autumn flowering bulbs have to be planted in July after which they will flower in the autumn.
For more information about flower bulbs, www.ibulb.org
Each Autumn iBulb donates 30.000 tulip bulbs to Tulp Festival Amsterdam. Skoolkids and volunteers plant the bulbs in November at the foot of the Vondel monument in Vondelpark.