Winter Flowering Bulbs – January to March Winter Bulbs

Winter Flowering Bulbs – January to March Winter Bulbs

I have arranged my selection of flowering bulbs into three main groups, according to their flowering time.

  1. Winter Flowering bulbs – January-March
  2. Spring blooming bulbs – April-June
  3. Summer blooming bulbs – June-September


To scroll down the page to the plant you want, click on the link in the following table of contents:.


winter flowering bulbs - anemone (windflower) At about this time we should be seeing the first of the anemones, Anemone blanda, which differs from the normal anemone by resembling a daisy. It is very vigorous, and if left in the ground (tubers can be planted as late as November) will increase rapidly. Given a sunny position, it can continue in flower until April.


winter flowering bulbs - Crocus Crocus chrysanthus is one of the earliest bulbs and perhaps the most colourful, for you find it in white, yellow, orange and mauve, and cross breeding has produced various shades in between. It is a strong grower and spreads rapidly. Not surprisingly, it is one of the hardiest of our spring flowering bulbs, and is especially recommended for rockeries and borders. Crocus biflorus is known as the Scotch crocus, because it was first found in Scotland. Its other claim to fame is that it is the biggest of the commonly grown varieties. It is a striking white one, with a yellow throat and purple stripes, and generally flowers from mid-February to March.

There are few finer sights in early spring than crocuses peeping up out of the lawn, and we know they are safe because it is not yet time to cut the grass. Unfortunately, without most of us realizing it, this is the worst possible place to have them, for we are condemning them to a rather short and miserable life, especially if we are proud of the lawn and keep it in first-class condition. Constant pounding by the mower (especially if it has a roller attached) and frequent hosing and sprinkling are marvellous for the turf but murder to the poor crocuses cowering beneath it all; and additionally they suffer from the rich fertilized soil. Have them in grass by all means, but make it one of the rougher, wilder areas if you can.

Eranthis hyemalis – Winter aconite

winter flowering bulbs - Eranthis hyemalis This is a long-established favourite, for it has been known for over 400 years. The tiny rhizomes produce a mass of buttercup-like flowers, which frequently – around Christmas. When they have finished flowering, their leaves provide ground cover until the spring sunshine brings out the later-awakening inhabitants of the garden. They can be left (they will multiply rapidly) but if possible plant them where they will be shaded in summer by shrubs or trees, so as to lessen the risk of the little rhizomes drying out.

Galanthus – Snowdrop

winter flowering bulbs - Galanthus (Snowdrop) These are obtainable in several varieties, the best known of which are Galanthus nivalis, the common snowdrop, which will provide you with an artificial snowfall and Galanthus elwesii, which prefers sun and has excellent blue-green foliage as a bonus. Snowdrops also spread rapidly and differ from most other bulbs in that if you have to lift them they should be replanted very quickly – in fact, they are one of the few that can even be lifted and replanted while still in bloom.


winter flowering bulbs - Iris So vast is the interest in this particular flower that there is not only a national society devoted to it, but there are international associations. The little I. reticulate, which appears in several varieties, will flower from January to March. In theory they need a warm sunny position, so how do they manage to flower so early in the year? Another of Nature’s miracles and puzzles, especially when you learn that it originated in what we now know as the Middle East oilfields! It is ideal for the rockery, never growing taller than 25cm ( 10in) and usually a good deal less. Colours are deep purple and gold, and they have a slight scent.

Another in this group, Iris bakeriana, possibly a little earlier to bloom, grows to only 15cm (6 in) and has main colours of mauve and lilac, with a stronger scent.

A third member of the group, Iris histrioides major, is another dwarf, mainly blue and scented. It is said to be capable of blooming in January, but I have never been so lucky.

Leucojum – Snowflake

winter flowering bulbs - Leucojum (Snowflake) This is another that, if transplanted, should be rehoused as soon as possible. The most widely grown is Leucojum vernum, the spring snowflake. Although there are autumn-flowering varieties, these are rather scarce and of comparatively minor importance, for the spring snowflakes are by far the most familiar to our gardeners. Graceful nodding blooms make a pretty sight, with the added advantage that they grow in most soils and most conditions.

23. November 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Bulbous Plants, Plants & Trees | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Winter Flowering Bulbs – January to March Winter Bulbs


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