4 Types of Flower Bulbs That Gardeners Should Grow
A bulb isn't always just a bulb. Learn about the plants that grow from the types of flower bulbs, including tubers, rhizomes, corms and more.
You’ll find several types of flower bulbs sold under the general term “bulb,” and they’re all a little bit different. Here’s what gardeners need to know.
A bulb is the swollen fleshy stem of a plant, used to store food during dormant months. True bulbs (in other words,they are not rhizomes, corms or tubers) contain a plant’s budstem and leaves inside a compact unit with layers that resemble the inside of an onion.Tulips, daffodils and hyacinth are bulbs, as are alliums.
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Rhizomes grow laterally underground, putting out new shoots along the way. Some invasive plants and weeds spread out via rhizomes to quickly dominate a landscape. Examples of plants that grow from rhizomes include canna lily, mint and iris.
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Corms are similar to bulbs and function in the same way. They resemble true bulbs, but are a solid unit of tissueunlike a bulb’s layers of developing leaves.New corms often grow on top of spent ones.They are often smaller and more bumpy in appearance, almost like rocks.
Gladiolus, crocus and freesia are all grown from corms.
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A tuber is basically a thickened rhizome. Tubers are underground stems and can bud from multiple spots. They can be divided to grow more.In some cases, like potatoes, we use them as food. Flowering tubers include begonias, dahlias and peonies.
Ready to add some new types of flower bulbs to your garden? We’ve rounded up the best websites for buying flower bulbs. Plus, make sure to check out the ultimate bulb planting guide to learn everything you need to know about growing these blooming plants.