Fall Bulbs for Spring Blooms and Vibrant Colors

Last Updated on February 7, 2023 by Ellen Christian

Fall is a busy time in the garden. Not only do you need to clean up any flowers that have died, but you also need to plant the best fall bulbs for spring blooms. In Vermont, the bulbs we plant in the fall are the ones that will grow when spring arrives. This post was originally published a frwe years ago. I am updating it for my readers that may have missed it.

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Best Fall Bulbs for Spring Blooms and Vibrant Colors

Best Fall Bulbs for Spring Blooms

We don’t have a lot of colorful flowers in the spring. Winter in Zone 4 lasts for about six months. After the snow melts and the ground unfreezes, one of the first bits of color we have are the spring bulbs we planted in the fall.

The zone you live in will dictate when you plant bulbs for spring growth so make sure that you check the packages. In zones 4 and 5, we plant in the fall. Here is a great planting guide for bulbs in this post.

When should I plant flower bulbs:

When you should plant flower bulbs really depends on what area of the country you live in. Here in Zone 4 in Vermont, I plant flower bulbs in the fall for them to bloom in the spring.

Check with the gardening center in your area for what the recommendation is in your Zone.

Beneficial Plants for your Garden - Chrysanthemums

What flowers do you plant in the fall?

It really depends on your zone, but here are a few I like. Remember to consider what zone you live in before choosing. What grows well in my zone, may not be the best choice for you.

Best fall bulbs for spring blooms

  • Asters
  • Calendula
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cosmos
  • Daisies
  • Pansies

These are the fall bulbs for spring blooms that I plant in my garden. I’ve also included a few of my parents’ favorites as well.

Best Fall Bulbs for Spring Blooms and Vibrant Colors


Tulips come in almost every color of the rainbow. Choose a variety for a splash of color. Remember that when planting tulips, you will see more color if you plant a dozen in one grouping than by planting one or two.

One of my favorites are these Rainbow tulips.

Best Fall Bulbs for Spring Blooms and Vibrant Colors


Daffodils have a sunny yellow color that is very welcome after a long winter. Remember, daffodils are also known as Narcissus so bulbs labeled either way will work for your spring garden.

These mixed bulbs are deer-proof which is a big help in the spring.

Best Fall Bulbs for Spring Blooms and Vibrant Colors


Make clumpings of hyacinth and enjoy their fragrance when they bloom. Hyacinth flowers come in a variety of different sizes from the tiniest Mini Flores to the larger Purple Sensation.

Best Fall Bulbs for Spring Blooms and Vibrant Colors


In a rainbow of colors including vibrant purples, the irises are one of my favorite spring blooms. These bearded iris come in a variety of different colors. Or opt for these stunning all red irises.

6 purple crocus flowers in the grass


Our crocus bulbs are the very first bulbs to bloom. They are small and delicate and one of my favorites. Or, if you prefer, you can plant giant crocus instead for more concentrated color.

purple alium flowers


There are a number of different varieties of allium from small to huge. I love the big powderpuff ones! These allium bulbs have a 4-6 inch flower diameter!

When should I plant bulbs for spring?

You need to plan ahead to enjoy spring blooms. These bulbs need to be planted in the fall before the ground freezes. The cold will put them to sleep and then when the ground warms in the spring, the bulbs will warm and come to life.

In Zone 4, we plant in late September or early October. If you’re in a more temperate climate, you may plant in November. Finally, don’t forget to get ready to plant a salad garden in the spring.

Best bulbs to plant in the fall for spring color

Should you water bulbs after planting?

After you plant the bulb and put the soil back over the bulb, you will want to water your bulb to help it settle in the ground and remove air pockets. So, unless you have a very dry winter, you should not need to water your bulbs again.

Best Fall Bulbs for Spring Blooms and Vibrant Colors

Planting summer bulbs

Now, if you’re wondering about planting summer bulbs like dahlias and begonias, remember that they like warm soil. You will not want to plant them too early in the spring.

In a cold area, you can plant them in the late spring. Remember that they may not overwinter depending on your climate. So if you want them to come back again next year, you will need to bring them inside and store them in the refrigerator.

Finally, check out my thoughts on how to keep gardening simple and fun so you don’t get overwhelmed. Or, check out these cold weather crops for a cool vegetable garden.

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4 thoughts on “Fall Bulbs for Spring Blooms and Vibrant Colors”

  1. Thank you for the timely reminder! I love alliums, but squirrels dug mine up a few years ago when I planted them. This summer I saved berry baskets and those wire things you use to close produce bags at the grocery store. I'd read that you can put a bulb in a basket, cover it with another basket, then tie them shut with the wire things and the squirrels can't get them. I'm going to give this a try with more alliums and maybe some hyacinth, too.
  2. Beautiful choices! We are moving at some point (when we find a house) so I haven't really been gardening, but I'll have to save this for our new house! Thanks.

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