There are many uses for perennial bulbs other than just flowers. Learn more in this quick, informative podcast!

Perennial bulbs have lots of different uses



Other than adding color and texture to your garden, perennial bulbs, such as crocus and daffodils, have many other uses.

Some can be eaten, some can be used for decorations, and others can be used as medicine! Luckily for you, the fall season is the time to plant spring-blooming bulbs so now is the PERFECT time to learn more about them.

This quick podcast will cover interesting information about bulbs but not how to plant them, specifically. For a more in-depth bulb planting guide, you might be interested in checking this out.

In this podcast (and on the page below), learn about the other uses for your garden bulbs as well as tools and supplies you may need to get started.

This episode is meant for any level of gardener who wants to learn more about the perennial bulbs in their garden.   



Perennial Bulb Uses

1. Flowers

Grape Hyacinth, a perennial bulb example



Perennial bulbs are most known for their beautiful, spring-blooming or summer-blooming flowers. They can be planted for several reasons:

  • To line a border or walkway.
  • To create a river of color somewhere in your landscape.
  • To brighten up your balcony, patio, or deck.
  • Because they are pretty!

For early spring color, try Muscari (also known as Grape Hyacinth) or Crocus.



2. Herbs



Different parts of certain bulbs can be used as herbal remedies, like Saffron, which comes from the flower of the Crocus bulb.

Saffron is used as a spice in cooking but also as an herbal remedy taken as a supplement.


3. Edible Uses


There are several bulbs that can be eaten and enjoyed in a whole new way. Whether cooked, baked or eaten raw, there are several recipes for edible bulbs.

Examples of edible bulbs are:

  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Dahlia bulbs (seriously, they are edible!)



4. Medicinal

Yellow daffodil after blooming needing care


Many bulbs, their blooming flowers, or other parts can be used for medicinal purposes.

For example, daffodils can be used for whooping cough, various colds, and asthma!




5. Currency

Pink tulip flowers advertised in Spoken Garden's Tulip plant profile.


This use for garden bulbs is probably the most interesting one on the list! While not presently used to buy or sell anything, Tulips were once used in the 17th century by rich Dutch merchants to sell as a commodity, like gold or silver.

Eventually, this tulip bubble burst financially ruining many people, very similar to the tech stock or housing bubbles from recent past.

For more, check out this plant profile about tulips, their history, and plant care.



Planting Fall Bulbs

Planting your spring-flowering bulbs this fall can be easy and will provide an explosion of color from mid to late winter and into spring. Plus, some of them you can eat!

Here are some quick general tips for planting any of your bulbs this fall:

  • Find a the right spot. You might need to research the bulb’s climactic and sun needs.
  • Plant each bulb in the correct orientation. They do have a definite top and bottom.
  • Plant each bulb at its correct depth.
  • You could add some bulb fertilizer to your newly dug hole. (This fertilizer is what we recommend.)
  • You can add a thin layer of mulch on top of your soil but be careful to not add too much or you might not see them next spring.
  • Be sure to plant bulbs 6-8 weeks before the ground freezes.


Popular bulbs to plant this fall are:


By the way, we only suggest products that we have used ourselves or that have been highly recommended by other gardeners or landscape professionals. For all the bulbs we’ve recommended, we have a deal for you through one of our favorite suppliers,  Eden Brothers.

When you get to the Eden Brothers checkout, because we are affiliates (which means we receive a small commission at no cost to you which helps us run our website and podcast), use our special coupon code “SPOKEN” for an extra 15% off your order!!



Bulb-Planting Tools and Books

There are so many ways to enhance your landscape with spring-blooming bulbs and now you’ve learned about all the cool things you can do with your bulbs too! You may be wondering what you need to plant all these bulbs and truthfully, there isn’t that much.

Several tools, supplies, and books can help you get started and maintain your bulbs but that’s really all you need! Below we have gathered a few tools and supplies as well as a couple of books that we thought would be useful for you as you prepare to plant your garden bulbs this fall.


We have two tool options for you to consider:


1) For Digging By Hand

If you want to get some exercise, be one with nature, and hand-dig all your new bulb holes, this Tabor Tools 3-piece bulb planting tool set is perfect for you. This toolset includes a bulb planter, a dibber, and a transplanter. The premarked depths on the planter make it really easy to ensure the correct bulb-planting depth which we really appreciate.

This hand-digging method using these tools will take you a bit of time on your hands and knees digging holes (again, depending on how many bulbs you need to plant).

However, if you want to save some time, then you need to consider this other tool!



2) For Faster Bulb Planting

This bulb and bedding plant auger. You will still get some exercise, but if you have less time to work in the yard and/or you have tons of bulbs to plant (like we do this year), then this drill bit is EXACTLY what you need! Using the 3/8 drill bit, this tool can dig holes in all kinds of dirt in so much less time!


Other Recommended Supplies: 


Bulb Planting Books

Once you plant your new bulbs, you’ll have some time to learn more about what you planted. Or, maybe you need some help planting them correctly to ensure that they actually pop up next spring season!

These books below are great educational references, and spoiler alert….one of these books is ours. We wanted to introduce you to our small eGuide about bulb planting because we think it is really helpful and pretty reasonably priced!

The other book is a fantastic resource that you should have in your collection anyway since you have plants and flowers in your yard!



Planting Garden Bulbs

Planting Garden Bulbs ebook


This mini eBook is chock full of helpful tips and tricks combined with our time-tested garden maintenance experience from over 20+ years of professional landscape experience. If you want to find out more about the book, check out this page.



American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers

This is a great reference guide for tons of different perennial and annual plants from the American Horticultural Society.


Conclusion for Perennial Bulbs

Bulbs will enhance your landscape, your life, and your stomach in so many ways. 

With a bit of work getting them in the ground, you will be rewarded in the spring with the beautiful colors, shapes, and sizes of your flowering bulbs!

Best of luck to you and always remember to have fun!

Now we want to hear from you!

Can you think of other uses for bulb plants? Let us know by leaving a quick comment below. Thanks!




That’s all for this DIY garden minute episode!

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There are many uses for perennial bulbs other than just flowers. Learn more in this quick, informative podcast!


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Today’s Topic: 

Perennial Bulb Uses

In this podcast, you’ll learn about the many other uses for bulbs other than just to add beautiful flowers to your landscape.


Free Fall Gardening chapter from our ebook, “Four-Season Gardening”.


What You’ll Learn:

  • 5 uses for bulbs that you may not have realized before.
  • Recommendations for beautiful bulbs to purchase.
  • Links for further resources or education.


Some of the resources and products below may be affiliate links, meaning we might get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.


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