Many popular flower types, including tulips, crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths grow from bulbs. Edible onions and garlic also come from bulbs. Although different types bulbs have some of their own growth patterns, flower bulbs share some life-cycle steps.
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Different types of bulbs flower during different seasons, usually during the spring or summer. However, gardeners can trick bulbs into flowering during off-seasons by simulating different seasons indoors. Flower bulbs have life cycles that include growth and flowering times followed by dormant times, according to the University of Illinois Extension.
Bulbs have an underground storage structure that contains a miniature version of the entire plant and nutrients for the plant. Flowering bulbs contain a miniature version of the flower, visible if somebody cuts the bulb open.
Bulbs that bloom during the spring and summer become dormant after their flowers die during the summer and fall, respectively. Most bulbs then require cold temperatures before they send up new flowers again during the following year. Gardeners who grew bulbs that come from warmer climates than the local one often dig up bulbs during the dormant period and store them in a cool place during the winter. During the cold season, the bulb grows underground and prepares to send up new flowers when temperatures increase.
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