Which flower bulbs will perennialize and come back year after year?
The response of bulbs (like any plant) will vary greatly from region to region, and even season to season, and is also influenced by how you plant them and care for them.
Generally speaking, daffodils (Narcissus) will be longer-lived than, say, tulips…but even some Narcissus will falter in the wrong climate, certain ones preferring the cooler or warmer ends of their hardiness range.
Lilies, Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica), Scilla, Camassia, snowdrops and snowflakes (Galanthus, Leucojum), glory of the snow (Chionodoxa), winter aconite (Eranthis) and trout lily (Erythronium) are others that are more inclined to stick around. Crocus would, but are usually gobbled up here by chipmunks or squirrels.
If you want tulips that last, invest in the botanical, or species types (which are usually much smaller than the big Dutch hybrids, with a beauty of a more refined nature).
With some bulbs (like tulips) deeper planting will yield a longer life, making them slightly more “perennial.”
Important: Scan high-quality bulb catalogs for “bulbs for naturalizing” to find longer-lasting choices. Again, response depends on so many factors. There are some hints in the following documents, and their customer-service line should provide even more, based on feedback from customers in different zones.
- Brent and Becky’s Bulbs (note: Check the ‘naturalizing’ tab partway down the page as you search).