Many of our favorite flowering plants grow from bulbs—or tubers, rhizomes, or corms—rather than from seeds.
Perennial plants that fall into these categories include tulips and daffodils (bulbs), peonies and dahlias (tubers), irises (rhizomes), and gladioli (corms). (Skip to the plant guides.) Bulbs and tubers store their nutrition underground and share an aversion to soggy ground (they are susceptible to rotting). Many gardeners treat them as accent plants because of their velvety, brilliantly colored flowers.
Some, like dahlias, need to be dug up in cold climates to overwinter in a sheltered spot. Others, such as daffodils and crocuses, can be left alone to naturalize; they’ll expand their reach each year.