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Bulbs & Perennials - What should my order look like?

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We're all quite familiar with the lovely catalogue photos that show our favourite plants in bloom. Before they get to that stage they have to be harvested, processed, stored, packaged and then shipped for you to plant in your garden. Sometimes gardeners are surprised by what they find when their order arrives, so we've put together this guide to show you what your items are supposed to be like upon arrival. We would suggest that you refer to our Growing Guide for a detailed explanation of how to plant and care for your bulbs and perennials.

Bulbs

Bulbs

A true bulb is a thickened, fleshy bud usually emitting roots from its underside. The stems, flowers and foliage will grow from the crown. Sometimes they may show a hint of surface mold on the exterior but this is usually not a problem as long as the bulb is still firm. The term bulb applies to a large class of flowering and ornamental bulbous-like plants in their dormant condition such as corms, tubers, rhizomes and pips. Examples: Lilies, Tulips, Onion.

 

Corms

Corms

A corm is an underground bulb-like portion of the stem of a plant consisting of fleshy tissue with a bud at the top. Examples: Crocus, Gladiolus, Crocosmia

 

 

Fibrous Roots

Fibrous Roots

Fibrous roots mainly consist of thread-like, profusely branched roots with no main or tap root development. Examples: Coreopsis, Clematis

 

 

Plant Pips

Plant Pips

A plant pip is a large bud that forms on an underground rhizome, most commonly found on Lily-of-the-Valley. These pips are how the plant is propagated.

 

 

Rhizomes

Rhizomes

An underground stem with branching close to the soil surface. This stem produces roots, stems, leaves and flowers along its length. Examples: Bearded Iris, Eremerus

 

 

Roots with Eyes

Roots with Eyes

A form of rhizome where the size of the plant grade is determined by the number of eyes or buds. Examples: Astilbe, Dicentra, Hosta, Peony.

 

 

Roses

Roses

Our roses are shipped as Bare Root plants, which are dormant plants that have their roots exposed, rather than in soil. Bare roots should be planted as soon as possible either in the ground or a pot, keeping the roots moist at all times. Roses, fruit trees, shrubs and several perennials can be shipped this way.

 

 

 

Tap Roots

Tap Roots

A strong, nearly perpendicular main root that carries the plant axis straight into the ground. Examples: Hibiscus, Lupins

 

 

 

Tubers

Tubers

A short, thickened, fleshy part of an underground stem, where new plants develop from buds or eyes. Examples: Dahlia, Potato