Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Planning a Bulb Garden


Defining Tubers and Rhizomes
The potato is a typical tuber.

Tubers and rhizomes share many similarities with true bulbs and corms, but they do have some key differences.

Tubers are modified stems with starchy interiors but no basal plate or tunic. Both roots and shoots sprout from the same growth buds, called eyes. The potato is a typical tuber. Tuberous roots are similar to tubers but are really swollen roots. Dahlias produce tuberous roots.

Rhizomes grow in a horizontal direction.

Rhizomes are thickened underground stems. They grow in a horizontal direction, sprouting new sections as they go. The bearded iris (Iris germanica) has a typical rhizome.

Want more information about bulb gardens? Try these:

  • Planting Bulbs: Learn how to plant bulbs in your garden.
  • Bulb Garden Care: Find out the ins and outs of caring for a bulb garden.
  • Tips for Growing Bulbs: Check out tips for growing these unique plants.
  • Bulbs: Discover all you need to know about bulbs in this article.
  • Bulb Gardens: Learn how bulbs can create a lovely garden.
  • Gardening: We answer all of your general gardening questions in this section.