Dahlias with ornamental grasses and KniphofiaDahlias with ornamental grasses and Kniphofia

Spring-Planted Bulbs: First Year Flowers For New Perennial Beds

Our waterwise perennials and pre-planned gardens are perfect for filling your yard with long-lasting beauty. Yet, some patience in required, as perennials typically take a year or two to reach mature size and fill out their planting bed. For those of us who might be a little impatient for colorful flowers, spring-planted bulbs can be an ideal solution. Dahlias, Gladiolus, and other unique varieties grow to full size in the first season they're planted. These bulbs can be inter-planted into your new garden, or into an established garden, to add layers of colorful flowers and foliage.

An Easy Transition For That Second Growing Season

Many spring-planted bulbs are not cold-hardy, so they can be used as annuals and grown for one season. Or, the bulbs can be dug and stored for re-planting in a new location in spring. Some gardeners will plant them in containers so they're easy to move indoors over the winter. 

Treating spring-planted bulbs as annuals and removing them at the end of the season (or letting them die over winter) gives your perennials plenty of room to fill out the following spring. 

Spring Bulbs That Can Be Used as Annuals

Gladiolus and HummingbirdGladiolus and Hummingbird
Gladiolus and Hummingbird
Tiger Flowers, or Mexican Shell Flowers (Tigridia)Tiger Flowers, or Mexican Shell Flowers (Tigridia)
Tiger Flowers, or Mexican Shell Flowers (Tigridia)
  • Dahlias - famous for picture-perfect blooms. Hardy in zones 8-10.
  • Gladiolus - stunning flower spikes. Hardy in zones 8-10. (Hardy Gladiolus are more cold-hardy, to zone 5, and can be a great addition to perennial gardens.)
  • Callas and Cannas - great for adding a tropical flair, and great for containers. Callas are hardy in zones 9-10, Cannas are hardy in zones 8-10.
  • Discover our selection of unique spring-planted bulbs!

Shop Our Spring-Planted Bulb Selection