Flower bulbs are the only way to get some of the most beloved blooms. They give us tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths in spring, gladioli and canna in the summer. Bulbs are easy to plant, and with proper care, they will thrive and multiply in the years to come.
You’ll find a few different types of plants sold under the general umbrella “flower bulb.”
- Bulb: A bulb is the swollen fleshy stem of a plant, used to store food during dormant months. Tulips, daffodils, and amaryllis are bulbs, as are onions.
- Corm: Corms are similar to bulbs and function in the same way. They are often smaller and more bumpy in appearance, almost like rocks. Gladioli and freesia are both grown from corms.
- Rhizome: Rhizomes grow laterally underground, putting out new shoots along the way. Examples include canna and iris.
- Tuber: A tuber is basically a thickened rhizome. In some cases, like potatoes, we use them as food. Flowering tubers include dahlias and peonies.
Ready to add some new bulbs to your garden? We’ve rounded up the best websites for buying flower bulbs below. Plus, check out the ultimate bulb planting guide here to learn everything you need to know about these blooming beauties.
Though it started as a wildflower seed company, American Meadows also offers an exceptional variety of healthy, well-chosen flower bulbs. Their website allows you to narrow your choices by those that will thrive in your gardening zone, and provides plenty of information on planting and caring for your bulbs.
Photos by American Meadows
Schreiner's Iris Gardens
Iris growers will find just about everything they need at Schreiner’s. This company has been around for decades, and is dedicated to providing the best iris rhizomes available. They continue to create their own bearded iris varieties, with fantastic new blooms available each year. Schreiner’s ships in summer, just in time for the planting season, but you can browse their site and build your wish list year-round.
Photos by Schreiner’s Iris Gardens
Michigan Bulb Co.
Along with a wide selection of flower bulbs, Michigan Bulb also offers bare-root and potted flowers, vines, and trees. Their website shows you exactly what you’ll receive when you place your order, and they offer a money-back guarantee on everything they sell. Try their pre-planned gardens for an easy way to fill your yard with color.
Photos by Michigan Bulb Co.
Longfield Gardens sells bulbs for outdoor and indoor planting. Amaryllis growers will find a wide selection available in fall and early winter. Other unique offerings include crinum lilies and fritillarias. Their website also has detailed information on growing all types of flowering bulbs.
Photos by Longfield Gardens
Though they bill themselves as “the seediest place on Earth,” Eden Brothers carries a very respectable range of flower bulbs too. This is a terrific place to buy begonia tubers, and they sell quite an array of caladiums too. As advertised, their seed selections are wide-ranging, so you can get a lot of your shopping done all in one place.
Photos by Eden Brothers
Holland Bulb Farms
If flower bulbs are new to you, Holland Bulb Farms is ready to help. Their site offers extensive planting and care information, including answering the all important question for all bulbs: “Which end is up?” Weekly deals and a big assortment of bulbs for all seasons make this site worth checking out.
Photos by Holland Bulb Farms
K. Van Bourgondien & Sons
The Van Bourgondien family started growing tulips in Holland almost 200 years ago. Since then, seven generations of the family have developed a business providing quality bulbs and plants to the public. They also sell a variety of bare-root perennials that make lovely companions for flowering bulbs.
Photos by K. Van Bourgondien & Sons
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