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There is quite a wide range of bulbs that flower in the winter months - including a few of the tuberous types and Rhizomes.

Those winter bulbs that do flower in the winter are generally much hardier than is normally realised, also quite reliable in bringing a splash of colour to your winter garden - or container.

It is easy to extend your garden interest period with these winter flowering bulbs.

As with most bulbs and seasons, you will need to plan ahead and get your winter-flowering bulbs planted several months prior to winter actually starting. Alternatively, you may be able to buy winter flowering bulbs at your garden centre - in flower - in the winter.

Eranthis hyemalis - Winter Aconite in snow.The image to the left is of the Winter Aconite - or Eranthis hyemalis to give it its proper name. If you look carefully in the image, you will be able to spot another favourite winter bulbs which seems determined to get in on the act - The Snowdrop - Galanthus nivalis.

A listing of the bulb that flower in the winter months - by month. The flowering times can vary according to location and of course the prevailing winter conditions. we will start our winter in January - but it may well be that you experience winter conditions prior to that month.

 

  • January flowering bulbs.
    • Cyclamen coum Hybrids - dwarf tuberous perennial with colours generally tending to be in the reds, blues and vilolet shades, though white is also common.
    • Galanthus nivalis - snowdrops: Generally towards the end of the month, though earlier flowerings are possible.
  • February and March flowering Bulbs. These are the main months for a wide range of bulbs and corms to start putting in an appearance.
    • Snowpakes - Leucojum vernum will normally flower in late Feb or early March and is a good competitor to the snowdrops!
    • Chionodoxa is not known as 'Glory of the Snow' for nothing! One of the brightest of all winter bulbs
    • Crocus of many different colours will start to wake up in March - some in February.
    • Narcissus - Daffodils - with Narcissus February Gold aptly names.
    • Iris danfordiae and Iris reticulata look so delicate. Not so - almost certain to give pleasure late February of into March.
    • Scilla sibirica - the Siberian Scilla gives a clue to its hardiness and will certainly be pleased to show off in the middle of this season.
    • Trillium - a little unusual and will flower and create interest during March.

Winter Flowering Bulbs in Containers.

As with most bulbs grown in containers, there will need to be added protection to the container during the coldest months. Soil in containers tend to freeze right through in freezing weather, whilst the garden soil only normally freezes to a matter of a few inches.

One way to give containers of winter bulbs added winter protection is to group patio containers together - with just a small air circulation gap between them. However, in prolonged freezing periods, this can have a reverse effect in that any winter sun is often prevented from reaching all the pots. The larger the pots the least this will become a problem.

Be prepared to move pots about during long periods of freezing.

Freezing of compost for long periods is a particular problem with window boxes. Not so much with hanging baskets that have plenty of air circulating round the container.



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