Flowering bulbs appropriate for spring planting include dahlias, lilies, gladioli, caladiums and begonias. Alliums, iris and cyclamen are some spring bloomers suited for earlier spring planting.
Selecting bulbs suitable for a particular garden requires knowledge of frost charts, garden hardiness zones and local conditions. Frost charts indicate the last date for frost, which is the earliest date to plant spring bulbs. The garden hardiness zones determine what bulbs to plant for a region and if those bulbs can overwinter in the ground. Freesias only grow in warmer southern climates classified in zones 9 through 11. Gladioli, cyclamen, dahlias, caladiums and begonias grown in northern regions require lifting each fall, storage in a cool place, and replanting the next spring.
Local conditions include the soil conditions and the relative amount of sun and shade. Gladioli and dahlias require well-drained and fertile soils. Freesias and iris grow well in sandy soils. Alliums, begonias, cyclamen and caladiums need moist soils. Alliums, dahlias and iris require full sun, while begonias, freesias, caladiums and gladioli prefer partial shade.
The amount of planting space in a garden is also a consideration. Ranging from 2 inches for freesias to 3 feet for dahlias, the required space between bulbs determines the survival of different types of plants.