Hiding dying Foliage of Spring Bulbs

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by flowercents, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. flowercents

    flowercents Active Member 10 Years

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    I'm thinking about buying some larger spring bulbs like tulips and narcissus this fall, but the thing that makes me hesitate is having to look at the dying foliage.

    What plants work well at hiding the dying foilage?

    Is it easier to hide the dying foiliage of later spring bulbs, or earlier spring bulbs? For example, would it be easier to hide the foliage of bulbs that bloom later (April or May) because the plants you are growing your bulbs with are larger at that time?
    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Taller plants that grow up through bulbs and obscure them as they are going out of bloom. Which particular ones depends on multiple factors, including which bulbs are being obscured, what site conditions are like, what other plants the obscuring plants are going to be seen with...

    Try plant combinations books for leads on specific combinations. I have a number I have found in print in past several years, often they will have terms in titles like "combinations", "design", "palette", "choosing" or "partners" that indicate their thrust.

    After studing some of these you can get enough grounding to come up with your own combinations. You won't have to ape the same exact designs to get satisfactory results.
     
  3. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I'm sure there are combinations that work but personally I have given up on the idea of hiding dying foliage with emerging perennial plants, and have taken all my bulbs out of the ground. I grow them in pots, and [try to] put the pots away over summer. I find that the dying bulb foliage is more effective at spoiling the sight of the emerging perennial foliage than the perennial foliage is at hiding the bulbs. Also, the bulb foliage provides habitat for slugs and other unwelcome bugs such as cutworms, attracting them to the site just when the perennial foliage is at its most vulnerable.
     
  4. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Here's an easy one - Narcissus & Hemerocallis.
     
  5. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Herbaceous peonies, delphiniums, and some of the larger geraniums (such as psilostemon) have vigorous enough foliage to hide bulb foliage, tho the coarser tulips are a tough challenge. And if you rely on the foliage for textural effects, you still will have an awkward time when the tulip foliage dominates the emerging perennial foliage.
     
  6. flowercents

    flowercents Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks for your replies. Maybe I should avoid buying tulips for my garden then. Daffodil foiliage is probably easier to hide. I have a few tulips in a pot that is starting to fall apart, so maybe I'll get a new pot and just stick to growing tulips there.
     
  7. digital flower

    digital flower Member

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    I agree. The New York Botanical Garden has a Daffodil and Daylily 'walk' which is pretty amazing. I have ripped off the idea several times ;-) We also use Astilbe, Ferns, Aster and Rudbeckia to hide the foliage sometimes.
     
  8. ngawangchodron

    ngawangchodron Member

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    I have used hostas to cover up daffodil foliage..the advantage being that the daffodils will preclude you cultivating the area where the hostas haven't come up yet in the spring! I put them in a circle around the dying-down hosta in the fall, works out great, especially with the short kind of daffodils like "Tete-a-tete"! not so good for tulips since they won't grow in the half-shady areas that the hostas like. I did have some success in one area by accident where self-seeded foxgloves and mulleins came up where tulips had been growing. Their large leaves covered everything!
     
  9. easygardeningsecrets.blogspot.

    easygardeningsecrets.blogspot. Member

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    These are great suggestions. For me it has been easier to avoid the dying foliage of bulbs in my garden by planting my bulbs in pots. I usually set my pots of bulbs out in various points of interest around my garden during bloom. I really think that it adds another demension to my garden and is very charming! Happy Gardening!
     

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