The Q&A Archives: Groundcover Over Bulbs

Question: I have a flowerbed that has over 100 tulip bulbs and many daffodils. After spring, nothing else is planted there to bloom. I would really like to plant dwarf lilies there. Do you have any tips on how to do so? If it is too difficult to do so, would it be possible to plant groundcover daylilies there?

Answer: I agree with you, it would be nice to have something growing in the bed after the spring bulbs disappear. Just so you don't compromise the space needed by the bulbs, you might want to consider a shallow-rooted groundcover such as lily turf, germander, woodruff or Vancouveria. The other important thing to remember when planting over established bulbs is to choose plants that have the same cultural requirements (sunlight and water) as the bulbs below the surface. I have the groundcover Ajuga (Carpet Bugle) planted over my spring flowering bulbs. After the tulips and daffodils are spent, the Ajuga produces spikes of bright blue flowers, which helps disguise the spent flowering stems from the bulbs. By the time the flowers on the Ajuga are spent, so are the bulb leaves. Then we mow over the entire bed to remove spent flowers and foliage. The Ajuga continues to grow and produce new leaves, which are green and purple. They give color and texture to an otherwise empty bulb bed. Hope the above suggestions help!

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