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Bulb Talk

A bulb, when purchased, is an underground root structure in  its dormant state.  Made up of layered flesh, like an onion,  it holds a shoot inside.   Once planted, a bulb stays dormant until the Spring sun warms and softens the soil, causing the roots to grow.  The roots take in nutrients  and water from the damp Spring ground, and the shoot pushes up through the bulb’s papery top layer.  (Bulbs also contain “lateral” buds, which eventually form new plants.)  After the flower blooms and fades, the dying leaves feed the bulb, which makes the bulb strong for the next year.  When the weather tuns cold, the bulb goes dormant again.

( As seen in October 2011  issue of Real Simple magazine- written by Madaline Sparks– Illustration by Wendy Hollender)

For more information on bulb plants, including forcing different varieties, please see www.realsimple.com.

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