Flower bulb identification

Written by daniella lauren
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Flower bulb identification
Daffodils are a popular bulb. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of John Haslam)

Maybe you found some bulbs in a garden, or maybe you forgot to properly label bulbs before storing them for the season. Regardless of what happened, there are a few simple ways to determine what type of flower will bloom from a mystery bulb.

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Bulbs come in various shapes, colours and sizes. Unless you are familiar with what a particular bulb looks like, you'll need to compare the mystery bulbs to a resource such as the Garden Express growing guide (link below). Begin your investigation by sorting the bulbs into sizes, shapes and colours.

Flower bulb identification
Example of a budding bulb. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Toni)


The size of the bulb does not indicate the type of flower, but rather the height that the flower will become. Generally speaking, larger bulbs yield larger, taller flowers.


There is no way to determine flower colour from an unlabeled bulb. Some home centres purposefully sell packages of mixed bulb varieties, which lends to an informal and natural-looking garden.

Flower bulb identification
Tulips come in a wide range of colours. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Dan Kamminga)


When storing bulbs for the season, label the package in pen or permanent marker, which is more likely to be readable.


According to the National Gardening Association, plant bulbs at a depth of about twice their height. Place bulbs into the ground pointy-side up.

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