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When you shop for bulbs, you’ll see some labeled as “good for naturalizing.” This means that they can be counted on to come up year after year, and spread informally throughout your garden. The following spring- and summer-flowering bulbs are reliably perennial in habit. Plant bulbs in autumn.
(Average blooming periods in parentheses.)
Require sun. They can also manage on the sunny edges of woods. Allium aflatunense — Ornamental garlic (summer) Allium giganteum — Giant onion (summer) Allium karataviense — Turkestan onion (summer) Allium moly — Lily leek or golden garlic (summer) Allium neapolitanum — Naples onion, daffodil garlic, flowering onion (summer). Allium oreophilum — Ornamental garlic (early summer) Allium sphaerocephalon — Drumsticks, ballhead onion, round-headed garlic (summer). The best allium for naturalizing.
Need sun and are beautiful in borders. Anemone blanda ‘Blue Shades’ — Greek anemone, windflower (spring) Anemone blanda Mixed — Windflower mixed (spring) Anemone blanda ‘Pink Star’ — Windflower (spring) Anemone blanda ‘White Splendour’ — Windflower (spring)
These showy, lilyflowering tulips will also spread: Tulipa ‘Aladdin’— (late spring) Tulipa ‘Ballade’— (late spring) Tulipa ‘Maytime’— (late spring) Tulipa ‘Red Shine’— (late spring) Tulipa ‘White Triumphator’— (late spring)
Darwin hybrid tulips such as these are great multipliers: Tulipa ‘Apeldoorn’— (midspring) Tulipa ‘Apeldoorn’s Elite’— (midspring) Tulipa ‘Beauty of Apeldoorn’— (late spring) Tulipa Darwin Hybrid Mixed— (mid- to late spring) Tulipa ‘Golden Apeldoorn’— (midspring) Tulipa ‘Holland’s Glorie’— (late spring) Tulipa ‘Oxford’— (midspring) Tulipa ‘Striped Apeldoorn’— (late spring)
Also Good for Naturalizing
Brodiaea — Star flower (early summer) Camassia cusickii — Quamash, Cusick camass (late spring) Chionodoxa gigantea — Glory-of-the-snow (early spring). Need sun. Chionodoxa luciliae — Glory-of-the-snow (early spring). Need sun. Colchicum autumnale — Meadow saffron (autumn). Need sun. Erythronium — Dog-toothed violet (spring). Good in shade. Fritillaria meleagris — Guinea hen flower (spring). Very good at naturalizing. Galanthus nivalis — Common snowdrop (late winter/early spring) Ornithogalum umbellatum — Star of Bethlehem (early summer). Good in shade with some sun. Puschkinia libanotica — Striped squill (spring) Scilla campanulata Mixed — Spanish bluebells (spring) Scilla siberica — Siberian squill (spring)