Do plants that grow from bulbs make seeds

How To Grow Bulbs From Seed

South African (non amaryllids, winter growers) South African non amaryllid winter growers need a marked difference in day and night temperatures to get good germination. This is also true of many seeds from other mediterranean regions. So if you’re growing in a greenhouse, you need to be sure it cools off at night. Some species require smoke treatment as well. I get the best germination with fresh seed (Marc Hachadourian).

In certain climates, sowing winter-growing bulbs in spring does work, although not as well as autumn sowing. However, the plants will be 6 months out of synch with their normal growing cycle. At this point, you can prevent the seedlings from going dormant through artificial means. Otherwise, allow them to grow for a season or two in their wrong cycle and adjust them to their normal cycle as if they were bulbs coming from the Southern Hemisphere (Ian Black).

South African Irids Seed viability – many of the Iridaceae, particularly those with hard coats, last for years, and we have sown 8 year old Dierama seed with excellent results (Rachel Saunders). Other PBS members have reported some success with Irid seeds that are a decade or more old. But you’ll generally do better with fresh seed.

Barely a geophyte

Dodecatheon Sow the seeds and keep them about 4 °C (40 °F = refrigerator temperature) for 1 month, followed by warmer temperature. Some species will germinate without a cold period, but most require a short one. Since they are so small for quite a while and have fairly delicate roots, the safest bet is to sow them thinly into pots with clean and fast-draining soil and plan to keep them in the pots for a year. Shooting stars sometimes tend to germinate erratically and also can decide to “wait” a year, so keep the pots even if nothing happens this year and you may see results next year (Louise Parsons).

Lapageria rosea The seeds are easy to germinate and require no special treatment other than moisture and cool temperatures (~10-15 degrees C). The plants do not seem too fussy about potting mix, although something open and a bit acid seems to be preferred (John Conran).

Xerophyta Seeds can be very small sow sowing on the surface gives better results (Will Ashburner). Xerophyta viscosa germinates in 8 weeks when surface sown in spring. Winter sowing takes 18 weeks.

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How To Grow Cannabis From Seed Under 12-12 Lighting

Do you want to go from seed to bud quicker and cheaper? A faster, space saving and economical way to grow is the no veg, seed to flower, 12-12 light cycle method.

Growing with a 12-12 photoperiod is a solution to space and resource problems. This method eliminates the vegetation phase of growth and forces the plant to go straight into flower from a seedling. Yields are lower than that of a regularly grown cannabis plant, but results are obtained much faster, with a few advantages.

The 12-12 lighting technique makes the grow cycle 7-9 weeks in general, rather than the much longer time needed when giving plants a vegetative phase. For the space constrained, and those willing to experiment and give it ago, it can be a dream come true.

WHAT IS 12-12?

12-12 simply refers to the hours of light and darkness a cannabis plant is exposed to – 12 of each. Normally, a cannabis plant is exposed to an 18-6 light cycle. This tells the cannabis plant conditions are good for growth, and it focuses on building up size and foliage. When light cycle is changed to 12-12 (either naturally or through human intervention), it tells the cannabis the seasons are changing, and it is time to flower. By forcing a 12-12 light period from the start, the cannabis plant goes directly into flowering, in a bid to reproduce. You are essentially tricking the plant into thinking the growing season is coming to an end, so it needs to produce flowers ASAP.


Growing 12-12 is as simple as changing the timing on your light cycles, giving your plants equal amounts of day and night right from when they sprout. The plants will look different to a cannabis plant that goes through vegetative growth. Photosensitive hormones in cannabis make the highest point the largest cola. This method all but guarantees only main bud growth on every small plant. Essentially you will be growing a cola with a few short, budded side branches – with the plant basically being a bud in itself. Be sure to stake your plants.

Everything to which you would pay attention in a normal grow remains unchanged and are still just as important. pH and water quality, nutrient mixing, pest control, grow medium conditions, EC and ppm all still play their major roles in the dankness and weight of your finished product.

Growing this way still requires all the knowledge that would be needed to flower plants with any other method, and maintenance routines still remain unchanged. After diluted nutrients, while still young, treat your plants as you would during a normal bud cycle. However, flush more often, every ten days at most, so as to avoid salt build-up in the smaller pots.

Done with expert practice and a willing strain of cannabis seeds, it is not unknown to produce 1 gram of ganja per watt of lighting. That’s an impressive 250g in 7-9 weeks for a 250W light in a small cupboard!


  • Lights have full penetration to the floor. Keep an eye on the soil wetness as lights will dry the medium quicker than if protected by a canopy
  • This method is fast. 7-9 weeks on average
  • Less drama trimming as there are far less sugar leaves to deal with
  • Plants are easier to handle for maintenance
  • Can grow in tiny areas
  • Save wear and tear on moving components
  • Save money


Plants with less side branching and canopy spread need less space between them, increasing efficiency. As an example: 1x 15-litre pot produces one plant with a large volume and difficult maintenance issues in a cramped space. 4x 3.5-litre pots in the same sized space can produce just as much dried material with the benefit of being easier to rotate, so the whole plant gets 360-degree light. The entire crop is less hassle during maintenance as each plant is 100% accessible and physically easier to move about. There is no need for a separate sprouting and veg space or time wasted on 18-6 vegetation. The seeds can be sprouted under the 12-12 growing lights providing continual flowering plants.


There is a lesser demand for resources across the boards.

You will experience only half the water consumption with less moisture loss due to evaporation, and a third less nutrients are used. CO₂ and electricity use including most peripherals are reduced by a staggering 650 grow hours annually.

Taking hours to accomplish, tipping, fimming, branch control, and mainlining are now unnecessary freeing up your most precious resource, time.


Always be sure to re-sterilize your grow space after each crop.

Keep a keen eye out for moulds and mildews as the grow space will be getting less light with more moulding opportunity in warm dark corners and creases.


There are some haters of this method, but many love it. Those who hate on it often have not actually tried it. It is all about giving it a go and seeing what works for you. Even if you decide against it after trying it, it all helps expand your knowledge as a grower.

Some sativas will still stretch to 1.2 metres using this method, so species selection right at the very start is key. Indicas are the obvious choice for maximum space saving. They are generally smaller, and 12-12 will keep them very manageable. You will enjoy small pots full of colas, like a miniature stinky forest. Buds grown this way are indistinguishable from vegetated plants in flavour and effects, and at the end of the day, getting buds in the jar quicker and more often is a good thing right?

The seed-flower life cycle

Humans have many reasons to grow plants. We use them for food, for building materials, for pleasure and for many other purposes. A plant really just has one reason to grow – to reproduce and make more plants like it! A life cycle shows how living things grow, change and reproduce themselves. Many plant life cycles include seeds. This article describes the life cycle of flowering plants.

Flowering plants grow from seeds

Flowering plants produce seeds that are then dispersed from their parent. When a seed comes to rest in an appropriate place with conditions suitable to its germination, it breaks open. The embryo inside the seed starts to grow into a seedling. Roots grow down to anchor the plant in the ground. Roots also take up water and nutrients and store food. A shoot grows skywards and develops into a stem that carries water and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the plant. The stem also supports leaves so they can collect sunlight. Leaves capture sunlight to make energy for the plant through the process of photosynthesis.

Adult plants produce flowers

When the seedling matures into an adult plant and is ready to reproduce, it develops flowers. Flowers are special structures involved in sexual reproduction, which involves both pollination and fertilisation,


Pollination is the process by which pollen is carried (by wind or animals such as insects or birds) from the male part of a flower (the anther) to the female part (the stigma) of another or the same flower. The pollen then moves from the stigma to the female ovules.


Pollen has male gametes containing half the normal chromosomes for that plant. After pollination, these gametes move to the ovule, where they combine with female gametes, which also contain half the quota of chromosomes. This process is called fertilisation. After fertilisation, the combined cell grows into an embryo inside a seed. The embryo is a tiny plant that has root, stem and leaf parts ready to grow into a new plant when conditions are right.

Length of life cycle

Flowering plants all go through the same stages of a life cycle, but the length of time they take varies widely between species. Some plants go though their complete cycle in a few weeks – others take many years.

Annuals are plants that grow from a seed. They flower, make new seeds and then die – all in less than a year. Some go through this cycle more than once in a year. Corn, beans, zinnia and marigolds are examples of annuals.

Biennials are plants that take 2 years to go through their life cycle. They grow from a seed and then rest over winter. In spring, they produce flowers, set seeds and die. New plants grow from the seeds. For example, parsley is a biennial.

Perennials are plants that live for 3 or more years. Some, such as trees, flower and set seeds every year for many years. Other types of perennials have stems and leaves that die away over winter, but the plant continues to live underground. In the spring, new stems grow, which later bear flowers. Tulips and daffodils are examples of this type of perennial.

Nature of science

Scientists often use curious terms. Sometimes the terms relate to their Greek or Latin origins. The English word ‘gamete’ refers to a reproductive cell that unites with another to form a new organism. In Greek, it is similar to the words ‘wife’, ‘husband’ and ‘to marry’.

Difference in Seeds and Bulbs

garlic bulb with one clove removed image by Carpenter from

To the gardener at planting season, there is little difference between seeds and bulbs. From both, new plant growth arises, and both are handled similarly. From a botanical standpoint, however, seeds and bulbs are different structures, and although they overlap some in purpose, they serve the plant differently as well.

Life Cycle

All plants–even bulb plants–originate as seeds. The primary difference between seeds and bulbs lie in their role in the life cycle of the plant and their function. Plants produce seeds through sexual reproduction when a pollen grain containing sperm cells lands on the female structures of the flower and fertilizes the egg inside. Bulbs, on the other hand, form from asexual or vegetative reproduction when the plant cells divide and form a copy of the parent plant. Bulbs, then, are genetically identical to the parent plant, while seeds may contain genetic material from both a mother and father plant.


According to the University of Illinois Extension, “The definition of a bulb is any plant that stores its complete life cycle in an underground storage structure.” Bulbs, therefore, act as containers for overwintering plants, providing nutrition and protection that allow the plant to survive until spring. Although seeds also serve a protective function and also contain a nutritive substance, the primary purpose of seeds is to germinate plants formed from the genetic material of two parent plants.


Although seeds take myriad forms–think of the difference, for example, between poppy seeds, coconuts and peach pits–they differ from bulbs in several appreciable ways. Prior to germination, an intact seed shows none of the structures found on the adult plant. In contrast, you can see clearly on a bulb where the roots and stem will develop.


Seeds consist of a hard seed coat that envelops the embryonic plant–consisting of primitive roots and leaves–and nutritive contents called endosperm. Bulbs also contain a sprouting plant but, instead of being encapsulated, they are wrapped in layers called scales that contain nutrition for the overwintering plant. Onion layers provide a familiar example of scales on a bulb plant. Bulbs also contain a basal plate where the roots develop and lateral bulblets, new bulbs generating from the parent plant.

Time Frame

A plant arises from seed only once in its life, but bulb plants generate from bulbs each spring. Seed plants may survive for mere days or weeks or may live for hundreds of years. Knowing that a plant grows from seed gives you no clues about its typical lifespan. Bulb plants, on the other hand, by definition are equipped to survive over the long term. Bulb plants are naturally perennial plants and, under proper growing conditions, will regrow annually in your garden for many years.


Bulb, in botany, a modified stem that is the resting stage of certain seed plants, particularly perennial monocotyledons. A bulb consists of a relatively large, usually globe-shaped, underground bud with membraneous or fleshy overlapping leaves arising from a short stem. A bulb’s fleshy leaves—which in some species are actually expanded leaf bases—function as food reserves that enable a plant to lie dormant when water is unavailable (during winter or drought) and resume its active growth when favourable conditions again prevail.

red onion; yellow onionRed and yellow onions (Allium cepa). © rysp/FotoliaRead More on This Topic horticulture: Bulb crops The bulb crops include plants such as the tulip, hyacinth, narcissus, iris, daylily, and dahlia. Included also are nonhardy bulbs used as…

There are two main types of bulbs. One type, typified by the onion, has a thin papery covering protecting its fleshy leaves. The other type, the scaly bulb, as seen in true lilies, has naked storage leaves, unprotected by any papery covering, that make the bulb appear to consist of a series of angular scales. Bulbs can vary in size from insignificant pea-sized structures to those of large crinum lilies (Crinum species), the individual bulbs of which may weigh more than 7 kg (15 pounds).

bulbPlants sprouting out of the ground from bulbs.© Herbert Esser/Fotolia

Bulbs enable many common garden ornamentals, such as the narcissus, tulip, and hyacinth, to produce their flowers rapidly, almost precociously, in early spring when growing conditions are favourable. Other bulb-producing plants, such as the lilies, flower in the summer, while a few, such as the meadow saffron, bloom in the fall. Bulb-producing species are especially abundant in the lily (Liliaceae) and amaryllis (Amaryllidaceae) families. A few bulb-producing species are of economic importance to humans because of the taste and nutritive value of their fleshy leaves; included among such species are the onion and its relatives the shallot, garlic, and leek. Other bulbs contain poisonous compounds—such as the red squill (Drimia), the bulbs of which are the source of a highly effective rat poison.

A hyacinth (Hyancinthus) bulb, an underground stem that produces aerial foliage. The foliage dies back to the bulb, which houses a maturing flower bud. The bulb is common in herbaceous perennials that become dormant in response to a seasonal change in climate or water availability.Park Seed Co., Greenwood, South Carolina

In horticulture the term bulb is incorrectly applied to a number of botanical structures that have a similar food-storing function. Among these are the solid corms of the crocus and gladiolus and the elongated rhizome of some irises.

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Flower bulb history

Bulbs have been with us for centuries in the Netherlands. Some species grow in the wild, like the daffodil, but most other bulbs were imported a long time ago. The history of flower bulbs is fascinating. The tulip, for example, travelled halfway around the world before it became a national symbol of the Netherlands. Fluwel is interested in the history of flower bulbs. On our site, you’ll find fascinating information – but there’s more!

We will not stop telling about the history of the bulb. That’s how Fluwel works: we like to share our knowledge with as many people possible. On our site, you’ll find several articles on the history of bulbs:

  • Flower bulb regions: Read more about how the bulb in the Netherlands gradually spread, with Haarlem as its first centre, from the old bulb regions to the new areas in North Holland province, where Fluwel is located.
  • Tulip mania: the famous bubble in Holland’s Golden Age, when a tulip had as much value as a canalside house, just before the market collapsed.
  • Trade: An international market that grew from a local economy to big business all over the world, Fluwel being an important player in that trade.

On this page you will find a brief overview of the history of flower bulbs. It gives you an impression of the long tradition Fluwel is a part of. We are proud of that tradition, that’s why we are so excited about it!

Flower bulbs of the past

Flower bulbs have enchanted people for a long time. Some species are native in relatively cold Northern Europe, such as the snowdrop, a distant relative of the modern daffodil. Snowdrops mark the end of winter. People believed these flowers had special properties, they were said to predict the weather or to promise periods of prosperity. That flower bulbs existed abroad that were even more special was not known yet.

Globes and world travelers

All over the world special flowers grow, often out of sight of most people. Tulips originally grew in the Himalayas. They were picked up there by early traders. In Turkey, the tulip soon received a special status. The sultans of the Ottoman Empire, as Turkey was called by that time, had their palaces adorned with tulips. The flower bulbs had great value. This value made people in Western Europe interested…

Carolus Clusius, born Charles de l’Ecluse (he came from northern France), was the first to bring the tulip to the Netherlands, where he worked for the University of Leiden. He was not aware that he founded the modern cultivation of flower bulbs. New, strange daffodils came from southern Europe (e.g. the Balkans) and were crossed with native species here. Breeding and hybridization were the starting point: bulbs would become an economy in itself.

Bulbs in the Netherlands

The Netherlands are a country of flowers. That has been true since the Golden Age. Then the tulip was introduced by Clusius. But how Dutch is the whole story? Clusius came from the northern French Arras, the man who told him of the tulip came from near Lille. But these areas were part of the county of Flanders by the time (not to be confused with the current Belgian region). The economic focus was on the north. The tulip was brought to Leiden since Holland was one of the wealthiest regions of the world in those days during the Dutch Golden Age.

Tulip mania

It all started with a theft: from the botanical garden of the University of Leiden, where Clusius grew his tulips, a handful of tulip bulbs was stolen. They were bred and hybridized, until numerous varieties of tulips arose and many growers invested in this trade. The tulip was a hype that attracted many investors. Those who had money – and a lot of people in the Golden Age did – invested it in special tulips. Some tulips had enigmatic colours or different shades that had to be expensive!

The hype is now known as tulip mania. Mania, because it all went wrong. Insane amounts of rare tulips were offered. People planned to breed these tulips so that they could earn their investment back. But soon scientists found that these “special” tulips were often sick, as a result of a virus that caused the unusual colours. The flower bulbs themselves were rotten, worthless. The bubble burst. The investors were left bankrupt.

Bulbs remain – recent history

For bulb growers, the tulip mania was a heavy blow. Their trade was suddenly infected; they were distrusted by the public and by the remaining investors. The only way of maintaining the flower bulb trade was being honest and open about their product. Shady dealers disappeared from the scene and bulb cultivation became a fair trade. The core was the sandy area between Leiden and Haarlem, which is still known as the “Bollenstreek” (Bulb region).

Urbanization and increasing ground prices left the flower bulb cultivation more and more fragmented. In the twentieth century the great exodus began: bulb growers moved to other, more appropriate areas. In particular, the north of North Holland province became an important flower bulb area: between Alkmaar and Den Helder, but also on the island Texel and around the village of Limmen, the sandy soil colours red, purple, yellow … A new bulb region was born. This is where Fluwel is located.

Land van Fluwel

The large farmhouse of Fluwel can be seen clrealy when you drive over Burgervlotbrug’s roundabout. Between the canal and the dunes along the North Sea coast you will find the tiny sultanate of Fluwel, a world full of flower bulbs. Fluwelland (‘Land van Fluwel’), a theme park about tulips, is located in Sint-Maartensvlotbrug. Here you can experience yourself how tulips conquered the world. Of course you can also buy bulbs here, as in our web shop.


Did You Know: The science of spring-flowering bulbs

A bulb is a plant that grows from an underground mass of food storage tissues. The primary function of these underground storage structures is to provide the plant with enough nutrients to ensure the plants survival when it’s resting or waiting to be planted, said Martha Stevens, public landscapes manager at the Delaware Center for Horticulture.

Botanically speaking, a bulb is a modified stem containing a miniature plant surrounded by fleshy scales, which provide food and a basal plate, which produces roots.

Tunicate bulbs, like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and ornamental alliums, have a paper-like covering called a tunic that protects the fleshy scales from drying out. Imbricate bulbs like the lily do not have this protective covering and must be kept moist prior to planting.

Like the bulb, a seed is a miniature plant with a protective cover and a food supply called endosperm. But unlike the bulb, the seed shows none of the structures found on the adult plant. Indeed, the primary purpose of the seed is to germinate a plant formed from the genetic material of two parent plants.

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Seed plants can be annuals, biennials or perennials. Bulb plants, on the other hand, are equipped to survive over the long term. Bulb plants are naturally perennial and, with proper care, will grow annually for many years.Bulbs are divided into two categories based on when they bloom. Summer-flowering bulbs such as the lily are too tender to survive harsh winter conditions and are planted in the spring. Spring-flowering bulbs like the tulip are often called hardy bulbs because they can survive in cold temperatures. In fact, they need the cold in order to flower properly.

“If you plant them in October or November and they get that cold treatment, you should have a show in the spring,” said Carrie Murphy, ornamental horticulturist with the New Castle County Cooperative Extension at the University of Delaware.

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Some other plants that we call bulbs are not true bulbs because they lack one or more characteristics of the true bulb. Corms like the crocus and gladiolus store food in a large basal plate but have no fleshy scales. Tubers such as dahlias lack a basal plate and do not produce offsets. Rhizomes such as iris, calla lilies and cannas, differ from other storage structures in that they grow horizontally along the surface of the soil or just under it.

Where to see tulips

• Lewes Tulip Festival

Lewes, Thursday, April 10 – April 12, (302) 645-8073

• The Inn at Montchanin

514 Montchanin Road, Montchanin, (302) 888-2133 (garden of tulips near the “Pink House”)

• Loockerman Street

Dover (tulips blossom in the grassy median near Post Office)

• Longwood Gardens

1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, Pa. (610) 388-1000

• Mt. Cuba Center

3120 Barley Mill Road, Hockessin, (302) 234-4244,

• Valley Garden Park

Campbell Road, Greenville, (302) 576-3810

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