Page 82 - 2017-greengate-Gardensense-magazine
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tubers & rhizomes
The first plants to bloom in the spring, one of the last plants to bloom in the summer, and everything in between, come from what gardeners commonly call bulbs. Many bulbous plants are commonly referred to as bulbs. Lilies and hyacinths are true bulbs, but there are several other classifications of bulbous plants.
Bulbs stem, like a tuber, these are clusters of roots. Tuberous
A true bulb, such as a lily, is a short underground stem surrounded by thick leaves that protect the plant and store food for use by the emerging plant. New bulbs, or bulblets, are formed at the base of mature bulbs after flowering is complete. Mature bulbs then become dormant until the next season. Flowering alliums, which are members of the onion family, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, are also bulbs.
Corms
Corms are thick underground stems covered by protective leaves. These stems produce stems, leaves and flowers during one season. Individual corms last only one season, but new corms, or cormels, are formed on top of the old corms as they complete their growth cycle. These can be collected and stored for future planting. Gladiolas and crocuses are corms.
Tuber and tuberous roots
A tuber is like a corm, but can last for many years. Tubers can be divided by removing a section containing a bud, as would appear on a potato. Tuberous begonias are, of course, tubers. Tuberous roots are similar to tubers, but instead of a single
roots can be divided by removing a root section containing a bud and replanting. Dahlias are a good example of a tuberous root.
Rhizomes
Rhizomes grow at or below the soil’s surface. These stems increase in length, with new growth appearing along the length of the stem. Rhizomes can be divided by cutting off sections of the stem that contain growing buds and replanting. Irises are well-known rhizomes.
Planting
Make sure that the area to be planted is well drained. Bulbous stems and roots that are kept too moist tend to rot. Bulbous plants will do well in almost any part of the yard and are not restricted to flower beds. They can also be successfully planted in lawns or in some cases under trees.
Plant bulbous stems and roots according to the planting directions provided with the plant or at a depth three times the maximum diameter of the stem or root. This can be done using a garden trowel or a bulb planter, which removes plugs of soil for easier planting. Sprinkle about a teaspoon
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