What Is A Bulb Plant?

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This article explains what a plant bulb is.
by Brett · All Zones · Flower Gardens · 1 Comments · April 03, 2011 · 3,457 views

I wrote this article in response to a question I received regarding plant bulbs. The question was asked by Gardenality Member, Nikki Sawyer, and it's one I'm sure will be asked often in Gardenality.

Nikki asked a GREAT question! Here it is:

I love to incorporate bulbs into my flower garden, but I don't see bulb flowers (e.g. daffodils, tulips, hyacinths) listed in your plant database on Gardenality. Will you be adding these flowers in the future? I would love to build a garden that displays flowers at multiple times throughout the year, and I found that early-blooming spring bulbs help me to achieve that aim.

Here was my response:

"Regarding plant bulbs, techinically speaking, the word 'bulb' refers to a part of a plant, or what the plant sprouts forth from...so, in my opinion, does not really refer to a 'type' of plant. This is why you won't find it under 'Plant Type' in the Gardenality Plant Database. A 'bulb' can be either a 'perennial plant' or an 'annual plant.' An other definition of a bulb is any plant that stores its complete life cycle in an underground storage structure, known as a bulb. The primary function of these underground storage structures is to store nutrient reserves to ensure the plants' survival.

Many of the perennial plants we sell at Wilson Bros. Nursery are grown from bulbs, which include true bulbs, corms, tubers, tuberous roots and rhizomes, while others are grown from seed or from rooted cuttings. But all of these bulbs are either perennial or annual plants, depending on your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. So, when you are looking for a particular kind of plant that grows from a bulb, such as a daffodil, type in the word 'daffodil' in the search or when looking by plant type, select 'perennial' or 'annual.' That beings said, you are right, there are not many types of plants that are grown from bulbs presently in the plant database. This shouldn't take too long though as many new members who are joining are starting to build plant files. You can do this as well! Here's a link to a tutorial page providing step-by-step instructions for how you can create (add) a new plant to the Gardenality Plant Database."


Our aim on Gardenality is to insure that our Plant Databases have the most accurate information on the Internet.

To have more plant files in Gardenality, and maybe "appear" more impressive, we could have copied information on 80,000 plant files from various other websites on the internet. This is what most gardening websites do or have done. But this is also why most websites are riddled with inaccurate information in their plant files. To the contrary, we have built in an "approval system" to the Gardenality Plant Database. What this means is that when anyone builds a new plant file, even a professional in the green industry, all of the information and data goes into a "pending status" until it is approved by other members, by way of "votes." You might have noticed there is a Member Ranking system in Gardenality? When you first join you start out at the first level as a 'Seed'. The more time you spend and the more contributions you add to Gardenality, the more points you score and the higher you can work your way up through the ranks. The higher the rank you have, the more voting points you have.

So, when and if you build a plant file, you might notice that for a short time all that shows up is the name of the plant and a picture you might have uploaded. When I or others "approve" the information then you'll see this appear on the plant file. As soon as the plant is approved, you can then start adding it to the Virtual Gardens you create:-)

Before adding a plant grown from a bulb, do some research to see if the plant is typically classified as an annual or perennial. For example, daffodils are considered perennial, while many consider tulips as an annual. When creating a new Plant File, you don't have to fill out every single bit of information. Just enter the information you know to be accurate about the specific plant. That's the beauty of the Gardenality Plant Database, others can come along later and fill in missing info.

All of this being said, if we get just a few more questions as to why we don't have a "bulb" plant category, we might just have to add this as a selection to the Plant Database. The Gardenality Guys listen closely and we aim to please!

Hope this info helped.

Nikki Sawyer

Nikki Sawyer · Gardenality Administrator · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Thanks! This article really helped. I'll be sure to add some "bulb" plants to the database soon!

8 years ago ·
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