Bulb Planting

Bulb Planting Guide

This bulb planting guide is based on the generations of bulb buying and planting experience that our supplier has to offer. Follow these simple steps and guidelines for success with your bulbs.

Upon Arrival

Plant immediately to get optimum performance form your bulbs. Bulbs do dehydrate and will loose their quality when stored for long periods. If the bulbs are not planted immediately, always store the bulbs in a well-ventilated, ethylene free facility.

Even a simple fan will improve air circulation. Optimum storing temperature for HYACINTHS and TULIPS is 63 degrees F. (17C.) and for DAFFODILS is 55 degrees F. (13C.) NEVER STORE IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT!


Flower bulbs thrive in well-drained soil, with a pH of between 6 and 7, and left in place to grow and naturalize. They prefer some organic material or compost mixed in with the planting soil.

It's important to remember however, that before planting, you should always cultivate your garden soil to loosen and aerate it. This not only makes planting easier, it also helps the bulbs to establish strong root systems.

If you are adding more of the same type of bulbs into a previously planted bed, diseases may be an issue and a disinfectant is recommended.  Conventional growers use chemical fungicides.  There are also organic products available.  A simple way of avoiding the use of chemicals is to practice rotation.  That is, plant different types of bulbs each time a bed is planted.

Bulbs can also be planted in pots, as long as they contain free-draining soil or compost. In this way they won't need additional plant foods during their initial growing season.

Drenching and Watering

We STRONGLY RECOMMEND drenching TULIPS after they are planted.  It is important that bulbs are watered thoroughly after planting. This enables a good root system to be established.

Planting Time

Bulbs will do best when roots are established prior to a cold period such as winter (in outdoor landscaping) or cold room (in indoor landscaping). Generally temperatures between 40 and 55 degrees F (5 and 13 degrees C) are optimum.

Fall is the best time to plant Spring flowering bulbs, however there are some slight differences depending on where you live. In the North and mid-sections of the United States, flower bulbs should be planted between September and November, either in the shade or full sunlight.

People in Southern regions should plant them in the shade between October and January. However, flower bulbs can be planted even when Winter frost has appeared, as long as the soil or compost is easily cultivated.

Common Questions and Answers

How deep do you plant Bulbs?

This depends on the size of the bulb you're planting. The general rule is to plant bulbs twice as deep as their height.

How far apart should Bulbs be spaced?

Smaller bulbs should be planted fairly close together, roughly two inches apart; larger bulbs should have approximately three inches separating them. To create a bolder splash of color, you can plant them even closer, to the point where your bulbs are almost touching.

What after-care do bulbs need?

After bulbs have been planted, water the soil well. If you live in an area subject to severe frosts, give them extra protection by covering them with straw, dead leaves, or compost.

Flowering Ideas

Before planting it's wise to make a simple plan. Take the time to consider each bulb's flowering period, varying heights of different bulbs and each one's unique shape.

Beginning in mid-winter when snowdrops first appear, it's time for you to create dazzling color with spring blooming bulbs straight through mid-summer when Dutch Iris appear. Then your summer bulbs will take over, proving a beautiful spectrum of color through late fall.

The most stunning effects are achieved by planting bulbs in bold groups. For example, ten to fifteen tulips, five to ten narcissi, and twenty to twenty five crocuses will make a big impact, and ensure gorgeous hues on an almost continuous basis.

Another wonderful look can be achieved when you plant low-growing tulips to the front of a border, then place the taller tulips towards the back. Attractive mixtures of low-growing tulips, dwarf daffodils, and grape hyacinths bring color to even the shadiest corners of your garden, and make lovely pot arrangements as well.

Pots of colorful combinations

Flower bulbs are great mixers. They can be planted in seemingly endless varieties in two or three layers, or in combination with shrubs. In areas suffering from heavy winds and harsh frosts, group patio pots together against a sheltered wall or cover them with materials like bubble wrap.

You can also move them to an unheated shed where temperatures remain at or below 40 degrees. The only after-care required is watering during dry spells, and removing faded flowers.

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