The Best Drought-Tolerant Flower Bulbs for Each Season

Bulbs store their entire life cycle at a swollen underground stem. This structure contains the leaves, flowers, food and bulblets. Flowering bulbs produce bright-colored flowers, giving the backyard seasonal shade. A number of these kinds of bulbs endure drought conditions, particularly while dormant.

Spring-Flowering Bulbs

Spring lights give the garden shade after a gray winter. African iris (Dietes iridioides) grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11 with white flowers containing yellow and purple-blue markings. These spring blossoms last till late fall, looming over botanical stiff sword-shaped leaves reaching 2-3 feet tall forming clumps 3 to 4 ft wide. “Oratorio” tulips (Tulipa greigii “Oratorio”), at USDA zones 3 through 8, create green and maroon striped leaves, forming clumps using 14- to 16-inch-tall coral pink flowers. This flowering bulb gives the garden a cottage-style feeling.

Summer-Flowering Bulbs

Summer lights adapt to the surroundings to survive hot dry summers. “Columbus” Montbretia (Crocosmia “Columbus”) creates arching stems reaching 32 ins covered with glowing yellow lily-like blossoms looming over patches of grass-like green leaves spreading 18 inches wide. This perennial bulb prefers full sun locations in USDA zones 6 through 10 and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies to the yard. “Lucifer” crocosmia (Crocosmia “Lucifer”), in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, grows red butterfly-shaped flowers with yellow or orange accents and green sword-like leaves reaching 2-3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet broad. This bulb stays evergreen as long as it’s not exposed to freezing temperatures.

Fall-Flowering Bulbs

Fall lights provide a last burst of colour to the backyard as other plants really are entering a dormant state for winter. Fall daffodil (Sternbergia lutea) grows well in USDA zones 6 through 9, reaching less than 6 inches tall with yellow crocus-like blossoms 1 1/2 inches wide on top of a single stem. The deep green lance-shaped leaves remain throughout most of the winter, disappearing from the spring. Saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 8, creates lilac-colored flowers with dark purple veins. The flowers flare wide open, covering the leaves. Saffron spice comes from the crimson styles in the center of the blooms.

Winter-Flowering Bulbs

Winter lights provide the yard color and interest when most plants have been naked. Bush lilies (Veltheimia bracteata) hit up to 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide with wide strap-like green leaves near the floor and also clusters of drooping tubular-shaped pinkish-purple flowers in addition to tall stalks. This bulb grows best in USDA zones 9 and 10. Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum), from USDA plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, grows less than 12 inches tall and broad with pink, red, violet, white and purple showy blossoms composed of reflexed petals in addition to a 6- year to 9-inch-tall leafless stem. During the summertime, the mass of green heart-shaped leaves with silver markers shouted back to the ground while the arc goes dormant.

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