Miniature Flower Bulbs – Choosing Bulbs For Small Gardens

Miniature Flower Bulbs – Choosing Bulbs For Small Gardens

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Image by luchschen

Is your growing space limited to a postage stamp garden? Are your flower beds too small to accommodate full-size daffodils and big, bold tulips? Consider growing tiny bulbs!

Standard bulbs take up a lot of space in the garden, but with miniature flower bulbs, it’s possible to create the same impact in even the smallest space. Plant miniature bulb plants en masse for a dramatic effect.

Bulbs for Small Gardens

Below are some of the most popular small space bulbs for planting in the garden:

  • Grape hyacinth (Muscari): Purplish-blue is the most common color for grape hyacinth, but this lovely little flower is also available in white. Grape hyacinths tend to be inexpensive, so plant several of these small space bulbs for a carpet of color. Mature height is about 6 inches (15 cm.).
  • Species tulips: Species or woodland tulips are miniature bulb plants that light up the landscape like standard tulips, but they top out at 3 to 8 inches (7.6 to 20 cm.), depending on the variety. Species tulips are ideal for small gardens.
  • Michael’s flower (Fritillaria michailovskyi): Look for exotic, bell-shaped flowers to appear in May. A good choice for moist, wooded areas with dappled shade, Michael’s flower looks great in a bed with other spring bulbs.
  • Crocus: This familiar spring flower provides bright, bold color in early spring, often popping up through the snow. The grassy foliage remains attractive after the crocus flowers have faded. Mature height is 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm.).
  • Chionodoxa: Also known as glory-of-the-snow, these small space bulbs produce cheery, star-shaped blooms of bright blue, pink or white in late winter or early spring. Mature height is about 4 inches (10 cm.).
  • Dwarf narcissus: This mid-spring bloomer is a smaller alternative to larger daffodils. The plants, which reach mature heights of about 6 inches (15 cm.), are available in a wide range of colors.
  • Scilla: Also known as squill, these miniature flower bulbs produce a carpet of bright cobalt blue, bell-shaped blooms when planted en masse. Mature height is about 8 inches (20 cm.).
  • Miniature iris: If you’re looking for springtime fragrance, miniature iris is a great choice. The diminutive flowers grow best in full sun, although they benefit from shade during hot afternoons.

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