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  • Writer's pictureWaystation Plants

What is the difference between a bulb and a seed?

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

Seeds are plant embryos that are covered with a seed coat and store food for the development of a seedling. Seeds are formed at the end of a plant's life, after pollination. They are the final step in the process of plant reproduction. Basically, they're like plant babies.

A bulb, on the other hand, is a strong dense energy source that contains all the nutrients and energy a plant needs to live. Whereas seeds are only the final stage of a plant's reproduction, bulbs are the entire life cycle of a plant from beginning to end. Bulbs are perennial, meaning that the bulb lies dormant underground in winter, and when spring comes, the bulb uses its stored energy to grow again.

There are two main types of bulbs: hardy bulbs and tender bulbs. Hardy bulbs are planted in the fall, survive the cold winter, and bloom in the spring (example: Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths). Tender bulbs are planted in the spring and bloom in the summer (example: Dahlias, Ranunculus). In Barrie, tender bulbs do not survive the winter outdoors, and will need to be replanted each spring.

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