Planting for Late Spring Blooms

Planting for Late Spring Blooms
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If you want a lovely show of spring blooms then plant early, middle and late spring bulbs in your landscape. When one if finished the others will be just starting. There will always be something to watch for!
The most common bulbs for late spring are:

Late Spring (weeks 8-12):

Dutch Hybrid Iris (Iris hybrids)

Midseason Tulips (Tulipa spp.)

Late Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)

Late Tulips (Tulipa spp.)

Alliums (Allium spp.)

All of these are wonderful bulbs for a spring garden and I have profiles on the site for each of them. But are there other lesser known bulbs to brighten up late spring? The two I chose to profile today have been around a very long time and will add color and variety to your garden in May and June.

Wild hyacinth (Camassia species) also known as quamash, or camass, is a North American native and was used as a food source by the Native Americans. Quamash root, as they called it, tastes a little like chestnuts and was roasted or dried and used as flour. Camass grows 28-36 inches tall on spikes of foliage and blooms in colors from white, blue, blue-violet or mauve during May and June. It prefers full sun, but will grow in partial shade. Though it is adaptable it prefers moist soil with good drainage--in other words, it shouldn't sit in water. Plant camass in groups of four or five in the autumn. The foliage varies---in some places with rain and wind it can look a little wild. Since camass is a taller plant it works well to place it in the back of your spring beds with other plants in front of it. The corms don't multiply as rapidly as some do, but camass also reseeds itself. The seeds take two years to mature and bloom. If you do notice it getting crowded you can dig up the corms and divide them after the foliage turns yellow in summer.

Oxalis adenophylla is known as Chilean Oxalis, Wood Sorrel, Silver Shamrock, Oxalis Pink Carpet, Pink Buttercups, Pink Sauerklee or Sandoxalis. It's a favorite in many gardens! It has charming pink one inch blooms with maroon colored centers. The foliage is silvery and mounded, though short at only 3 or 4 inches in height. This oxalis is easy to grow. Give it a sunny sheltered spot in most any soil, and some moisture. Reports on its hardiness seem to vary. With mulch, and near buildings it can survive in Zone 3. It can also tolerate the heat in a Zone 10 area if kept moist. Make sure in the cooler weather if you don't have frost that it's not water-logged. The drainage has to be VERY good during the time of year when it's dormant. Every few years you can lift and divide the tubers, then replant. You can also plant this wood sorrel in pots, with one tuber per pot.

Neither of these fall planted perennials are expensive, but they add some color and charm to a spring garden. Plant them among the bulbs and wait for spring!


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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