There are different ways of buying bulbs, either as the bulb is growing, known as (in the green) or as the actual bulb when its in the dormant season. When Planting bulbs we recommend planting 3 times the depth of the bulb. When bulbs finishing flowering the foliage must be kept on and not pruned back to ground level, Cut back when they are brown and withered. Leaves produce food reserves in the bulb and is a key stage for next years show. Different bulbs are sold at different times of the year.

True Bulbs

Pear shaped or oval with most having a papery skin – examples of bulbs in this family are muscari, tulips, narcissus, lillium and allium.


Some of these can look like a true bulb with a slight different shape. Corms only last one year. When active grow is underway the food store is depleted and the corm starts to shrivel. At the same time one or more new corms start to develop on top or at the side of the old ones. Examples, crocus, gladiolus, freesia, Ixia.


A Tuber is swollen stem which is borne underground like a corm, Most types of tubers get bigger as the plant grows, types of tubers are Cyclamen, Anemone, Eranthis and Begonia.


Rhizomes differ from others by growing horizontally and spreading outwards either partly or completely below soil surface, these are really easy to propagate, examples, Convallaria, Canna, Zantedeschia, Agapanthus.

Tuberous Root

This differs from others by being a swollen root rather than one stem, types are Dahila, Eremurus, Alstromeria and Ranunculus.