Annual flower bulbs
The first group of flower bulbs are the annuals. These flower bulbs will produce their most beautiful display during the first year after planting. They are known for their impressive bright colors and for this reason are often planted to create a massive color effect in flowerbeds. Many annual flower bulbs will also emerge the next year but will then produce fewer flowers. Over time, they will no longer flower at all. Examples of annual flower bulbs are crocuses (Crocus), tulips (Tulipa), grape hyacinths (Muscari) and large-cupped daffodils (Narcissus).
Perennial flower bulbs
The second kind of flower bulbs are the perennials. These are flower bulbs that will emerge and continue to bloom year after year. Perennial flower bulbs have to be planted only once. After they bloom, these flower bulbs should remain undisturbed in the ground so that their foliage (stem and leaves) is given the time to wither back and the bulbs under the ground can prepare for the next growing season. These perennial flower bulbs thus follow the same growth cycle as other perennial plants such as phlox and daylilies. Examples of perennial flower bulbs are Grecian windflowers (Anemone blanda), Glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa), Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides) and Striped squill (Puschkinia).
The third kind of flower bulbs are the naturalizing bulbs. These are similar to perennial flower bulbs but with just that little bit extra. Like perennial flower bulbs, they only have to be planted once. They also remain undisturbed in the ground after flowering and will also emerge and bloom year after year. The little extra provided by naturalizing bulbs is that they will also increase in number. Over time, a cluster of 10 naturalizing bulbs can become a cluster of 100. Examples of naturalizing bulbs are snowdrops (Galanthus), daffodils (Narcissus), Siberian squill (Scilla) and spring snowflakes (Leucojum vernum).