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Spring Bulbs

Some of the most glamorous annuals and perennials you can plant in containers or in the garden are from bulbs planted in the spring. Spring bulbs are so easy to grow and so rewarding! Here are a few of our top picks:
Sauromatum venosum – Voodoo Lily

This relative of Jack-in-the-pulpit and the gargantuan titan arum seen at the Muttart Conservatory is a real conversation piece for a container. Start indoors in February or March and it will bloom before the tropical foliage appears. The Gothic looking flowers are truly something different, but beware the smell! In the summer, the lush foliage adds interest to your patio (place the pot in a shady spot).


Acidanthera bicolor var. murielae – Peacock Gladiolus

Related to old-fashioned Gladiolus, this plant features sprays of large white flowers with a black throat in summer. These, combined with the graceful, arching, grass-like foliage, look stunning when the bulbs are grouped together in containers or in a sunny part of the garden. Can be started indoors in April or planted directly in the garden; lift bulbs in fall and store indoors for winter.


Lilium ‘Montego Bay’ – OT Lily

The OT, or Orienpet, lily hybrids are some of the finest hardy lilies to plant outdoors in Alberta. They combine the large, colorful flowers and enticing fragrance of Oriental lilies with improved hardiness from hybridizing with trumpet lilies. These grow into tall plants and will form clumps over time, blooming in late summer; this particular variety has gorgeous flowers in sunset tones. Can be started indoors in April or planted directly in the garden.


Canna ‘Pretoria’

Cannas are hard to beat as annual container plants that you can store indoors every winter and regrow. They are imposing plants with lush tropical foliage and large flowers. ‘Pretoria’ is always a favorite for its lime-green leaves with sunny yellow stripes, and bright orange flowers. Start your Cannas indoors in March and either leave them in the container, or transfer them into the garden once danger of frost has passed. They enjoy plenty of sunshine and warmth.


Dahlia ‘Bishop of York’

The ‘Bishop’ series of Dahlias have beautiful blackish foliage, with contrasting brightly colored flowers. ‘Bishop of York’ has the best contrast with its sunshine-yellow blooms against the dark foliage. Truly a stunner both in containers and in the garden. Start your Dahlias indoors in March or April, giving them plenty of light, warmth, and fertilizer, and bring them outside once danger of frost has passed. Lift the roots in fall and store indoors over winter.


Dahlia ‘Kenora Macob’

With such a huge variety of Dahlias available, how do you pick just one to plant? The answer: you don’t – you plant several! This variety has stunning purple-black, frilly blooms up to 10 inches in diameter that will have your neighbors gawking.


Gladiolus ‘Blue Skies’

There are a number of novelty Glad hybrids out there and this is one of the best. Although not really a true sky blue, this is as close as you’ll get in a Glad, and it is a truly unusual color. You can either start the bulbs indoors in April, or plant them directly in the garden. They like plenty of sun and moisture coupled with good drainage.



For more information on Planting Spring Bulbs check out this helpful tip sheet.


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