How to plant bulbs, a guide for planting bulb flowers

Planting bulb

Plant bulbs depending on when they bloom:

Spring-flowering > plant in fall
Summer bulb > plant in spring

Recommendations for planting bulb flowers like tulip, hyacinth, crocus…

Which soil is best for planting bulbs?

Avoid rocky, heavy and often-flooded soil types.

These would keep the bulbs from developing well, and prolonged flooding usually makes bulbs rot. If this is the soil you have, consider building a raised bed.

  • Bulb plants generally do best in light and rather warm soil.

Exposure for bulb flowers

Exposure for bulbsRequired exposure depends on the species. Some bulb flowers, like Cyclamen, will dry out in full sun.

As a rule of thumb, the more sunlight a spot gets, the earlier bulb flowers there will bloom. Planting the same type of flowers in shade, part shade, and full sun can stage the blooming by up to two or three weeks.

Type the name of the plant in the Nature-and-Garden search box to call up the specific page for each and discover all of its characteristics.

Distance between bulbs

Spacing for bulbsIn most cases, never plant bulbs closer than 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) apart.

But some plants like crocus and snowdrop can be crowded together since they are very small flowers.

Conversely, this distance must be increased to 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) for balisier or iris.

Natural spacing for bulbs

Good to know: you’ll get the most natural effect in your flower bed with the following trick:

  • Toss a few handfuls of bulbs in the area you want to plant them
  • Plant them where they fall

For bulb flowers, randomness is often more appealing than regular, perfectly spaced flowers.

Planting technique

Planting bulbsUse a planter, either a normal one or one specially designed for bulbs, or use a simple spade.

Dig a hole roughly 2 or 3 times deep as the bulb is high, and cover with soil. Take care to check that the entire surface of the bulb is in contact with the soil.

After that, mulch with a light mulch (thin layer of lawn clippings or other plant-based mulch).

What about growing bulb flowers in pots?

This is the perfect solution if the soil is really too heavy, or if you don’t have much space. For instance, growing potted tulip is very gratifying!

Bulbs are everywhere in our gardens

  • Crocus and snowdrop are perfectly suited to growing directly in the lawn. In winter they will produce bright spots of color.
  • Tulip comes in an amazing variety of colors. There is no limit as to how many tulips you plant in your flower beds, along hedges, and even in pots for your balcony.

You are now ready to plant bulbs and see beautiful flowers in your garden, great job!

See also:

Images: Ibulb, adobestock: Alexander Raths