Guide To Planting Bulbs

What Bulbs To Grow And When

Planting bulbs can help add some glitz and glam to your containers and borders, allowing you to grow your own gorgeous floral displays. If planted correctly, these will create a constantly evolving display of colour throughout spring, summer and autumn.

planting bulbs


Perfect for planting spring-flowering bulbs like Daffodils and Hyacinths, which should be planted at the end of September. Hardy summer-flowering bulbs like Lilies and Crocosmia can be planted in September and October. Moving on into November you can start to plant Tulips.

Early Spring

Tender summer-flowering bulbs such as Gladioli, Dahlias and Begonias can be planted in early spring for summer flowering. They are easy to grow and care for, and will add a fantastic splash of colour to your garden.

Late Summer

Autumn flowering bulbs like Autumn Crocus, Winter Daffodil, Guernsey Lily, Saffron Crocus, and even a species of Snowdrops can all be planted in late summer. We recommend Nerines as they create a lovely colourful display.



Planting & Caring For Bulbs

• It is important to plant bulbs as soon as possible. Planting bulbs after a long storage period or after their recommended planting date may flower poorly.

• Most hardy bulbs such as daffodiles and tulips, come from areas with dry summer climates, so plant them in a warm sunny location with good drainage.

• If you’re growing bulbs from cool, moist woodland habitats such as cardiocrinum, then plant them in similar conditions.

• When planting, discard any soft bulbs or bulbs which show signs of rot.

• Keep an eye out for slugs and snails getting ready to munch on bulbs with a few slug and snail control essentials. You can find some useful tips in our recent guide on Controlling Summer Pests.

• Diseases can sometimes be an issue, so keep your eyes peeled for daffodil viruses, grey mould in snowdrops, narcissus basal rot, tulip fire and tulip viruses.



Testing Soil

Different plants thrive in different soils, so you need to know whether the soil is acid or alkaline. The soil pH is a number that describes how acid or alkaline your soil is.

This may spark a few memories of school Chemistry classes, in which we will have been taught that a pH of 7.0 is considered neutral. Anything below this number falls into the acid category, and anything above would be considered alkaline.

It is especially worth checking soil pH before planting new bulbs, so you know whether or not you need to adjust the pH number of the soil. These clever, easy-to-use Soil Testing Kits are perfect for reading the pH level of your soil, and they also come with useful information on ideal pH levels for different plants.

soil moisture

Planting In Borders

• Plant bulbs in groups of about six to create an impressive display. You can make short-work of planting bulbs with our Bulb Transplanter, which is endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society.

• Bulbs are planted according to their size, generally speaking they are planted twice their width apart and twice their height deep.

• Place your bulbs in the hole with their ‘shoot’ or ‘nose’ facing up. Then cover the soil and gently firm down with the back of a rake.

• We understand planting bulbs can be tough on your back and knees, so this pratical Gardener's Tool Stool and these effective Knee Pads should offer you some pain relief and make light work of it!

bulb transplanter

Planting In Containers

Colourful Pots• If you’re short of space, why not plant some bulbs in a few colourful pots with good drainage? Containers are perfect for most bulbs, but if you have a little more space you can create a larger display in pots with tulips and lilies.

• Plant bulbs in containers three times their depth and one bulb width apart.

• Make sure you water your bulbs regularly. You can reduce watering when the leaves start to die down and throughout the dormant season.

• Keep your bulbs well fed. Once shoots start appearing start feeding to ensure good flowering and then stop once the foliage starts to die down at the end of the season.

Bulb Planting Essentials

• Bulb Transplanter
• Tool Stool
• Knee Pads
• Soil Testing Kits
• Nutrigrow
• Bright Plant Pots
• Pack of 2 Green Plant Pots

Need further help?

Our Gardening Angels are here to help you grow strong, healthy plants with bumper harvests. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions on 0845 602 3774 or drop us an email at . We’re always here to help!