HomeGardening Tips And AdviceHow to Plant a Bulb Garden

How to Plant a Bulb Garden

Some Background Information

Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, alliums, certain lilies, and other spring-flowering bulbs are planted in the fall, preferably several weeks before the ground freezes.

Despite the fact that the bulb carries the majority of the energy needed for the following spring’s flowers, the bulbs require time to establish their roots in the soil before it freezes solid.

In the spring, as soon as the ground can be worked, most summer-flowering bulbs (iris, dahlias, gladioli, begonias, cannas, and some lilies) are planted.

Beginning with a Simple Strategy

First, decide on the location and size of your bulb garden.

Make a good estimate of the overall area (square footage) of the area to be planted once you’ve decided where you want your bulb garden to be.

You could even wish to draw a rough sketch of the planting location.

This will assist you in determining how many bulbs you’ll need to make a stunning bulb garden.

Almost all bulb catalogues and package material in garden centres contain information about optimum spacing for certain bulbs.

Purchase the Correct Bulbs

Many bulb catalogues offer substantial discounts on bigger quantities, and some even provide designed bulb gardens with suggested combinations and planting plans.

In general, the larger the bulb within a certain type, the higher the quality.

Daffodil bulbs that are larger and more expensive are almost always better than smaller daffodil bulbs.

The greater the quality, the more likely you are to have a spectacular display the first year and a bulb garden that will survive for several years.

Not all spring-flowering bulbs however will grow for many years.

Daffodils, for example, live much longer than most tulips.

Most tulips are considered annuals by some Dutch gardeners.

Deer and rats are more prone to eat some bulbs than others.

Daffodils are frequently avoided by deer, although tulips and lilies are favourites.

Complete information about deer tolerance can be found in bulb catalogues and on websites.

Get rid of the sod in the planting area.

It’s far easier to remove sod than to try to till it into the soil if your new bulb garden will be in an area that is now lawn.


You don’t want grass plants to compete for food and water with bulbs.

Planting Soil Preparation

Bulbs require well-draining soil.

The goal is to create a bed that is both fertile and has good tilth.

If your soil has a lot of clay, you should plough in compost or other organic material to a depth of at least 12″ and up to 18″ if possible.

It’s far easier to plant bulbs in loose, tilled soil, regardless of the size of your bulb garden.

Make wide furrows for planting or remove the soil.

You may wish to temporarily remove the soil to a depth equivalent to the planting depth of the bulbs you’ll be planting, depending on the size and shape of your bulb garden (usually 8″ or so for tulips and daffodils, and 3 to 4″ for smaller bulbs).

To make large planting furrows in narrower bulb gardens, use a tiller with a Plow attachment.

For proper root development, all bulbs require phosphorus.

While phosphorus is present in every garden soil, a new bulb garden will benefit from the addition of phosphorous at the planting bed’s bottom.

Add some bulb fertiliser, bone meal, or superphosphate to the soil bed after you’ve removed the soil or made your planting furrows.

Make sure the bulbs are in the right place.

The majority of bulbs have a flat bottom and a “pointy” top.

Place the bulbs with the pointy side up, and space them 4 to 6 inches apart for daffodils and 3 to 6 inches apart for tulips.

Crocus bulbs, for example, can be planted 2 inches apart.

Plant the taller flowers towards the back of the garden and the lesser blooms in front if you’re growing many varieties with varied heights.

To create a more dazzling show, it’s nearly always better to place the bulbs in “clumps” rather than rows.

Cover the bulbs with care.

For mass plantings, replace half of the soil or fill your planting furrow halfway.

If you plan on keeping the bulb garden for a long time, now is a good time to add a balanced slow-release organic fertiliser.

Gently water the soil around the bulbs to settle it and give the bulb roots a head start.

Overwatering can cause bulbs to deteriorate if they are forced to lie in soggy conditions for too long.

You shouldn’t have any problems with bulbs decaying if you’ve tilled the bulb bed as mentioned above.

Replace the remaining dirt and water carefully to settle the remaining soil.

To avoid late-season weeds and retain moisture, apply a layer of mulch.

Next Spring, Enjoy the Show!

Cut flowers like daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths are lovely, and they also make lovely bouquets for friends.

When the Performance Is Over

After the blooms have bloomed, don’t remove the foliage right away.

Even if the daffodil foliage begins to yellow or brown, the longer you leave it alone, the more energy will be returned to the bulbs for next year’s display.

You can choose to “dead head” your flowers, which will redirect energy from seed development to the bulb for next year’s blossoms.

Remove the foliage and stems with care.

After the foliage and stems have turned brown, carefully remove them.

Cut the foliage at the base of the soil using a clean, sharp knife, being careful not to “uproot” the bulbs.

If the bulb garden is vast and the foliage is easily accessible, you can simply mow the foliage with your lawn mower.

Plant flowering annuals for a steady supply of colour.

By planting annuals on top of your bulbs, you may extend the show for the rest of the season.

In general, bedding plants provide a faster display of colour, although annuals can also be sown immediately.


In either case, take care not to disrupt the bulbs by digging too deeply.

Bulbs should be fed in the fall for the following spring.

It’s a good idea to feed the bulb garden for the coming season in the fall, especially if you’ve been growing annuals on top of them all summer.


Bone meal, organic flower food, or bulb fertiliser will help the following spring’s exhibit.

Bestseller No. 1
GreenBrokers 101 Bulbs Promo Pack Collection-Different Summer Flowering Varieties, Mixed Colour
  • Brilliant big value bag of bulbs fantastic for attracting bees and other wildlife to your garden
  • Mixed Colour assortment
  • All the flower bulbs you need in one big pack
  • The bag contains 32 x Gladiolus 6/8, 8 x Iris Hollandica 7/8, 8x Acidanthera 6/8, 31 x Oxalis Deppei Iron Cross pink 4/5, 22 x Triteleia 4/5.
  • Bulbs are packed in an environmentally friendly brown paper bag with a carry handle and a large picture card on the front of the pack on the back of the picture card contains planting/care instructions, each variety is packed separately inside the pack and clearly labelled.
Bestseller No. 2
12 Dahlia Pompon Mixed Colour Size 2 Flowering Garden Bulbs Autumn and Early Spring Planting
  • Mixed Colour Top Quality Giant Size 2 Bulbs Dutch Grown
  • Fragrant Perennial Summer Flowering in Beautiful Summer Colours
  • Best from Autumn and Early Spring Plantings, for Earlier Displays in May and June
  • Great in Groups in the Middle or Back of Borders for Maximum Impact.
  • Plant Feb/June 10 cm Deep 40 cm apart Growing 90 cm High And Bloom July/October
SaleBestseller No. 3
10 x Gladioli Premier Collection Bulbs – My Love - Ideal Cut Flowers – Easy to Grow – A Classic Showy Perennial – for YOUE Beautiful Garden
  • WHEN TO PLANT: Plant between January to May and flowers will Bloom July to September. HEIGHT 100-120cm. Create a breath-taking sight with Gladioli pink flowers. They are Summer Flowering Bulbs – that produce long lasting deep pink flowers. This kind of cultivation is relaxed and stress-free for both gardening experts and beginners - PLEASE READ FULL PRODUCT DESCRIPTION BEFORE PURCHASE
  • HOW TO PLANT: Simply plant the bulbs 10cm deep and 10cm apart and wait for your cheerful bulbs to bloom. SOIL REQUIREMENTS: Fertile, well-drained soil. SUN- LIGHT REQUIRMENTS: Full sun to partial shade. WATER REQUIRMENTS: Gladioli need plenty of water to flower well. Soil should remain moist throughout the growing period.
  • CONTENTS: 10 x Gladioli Premier Collection Bulbs – Gladiolus grandiflora- Size 10/12. Bulbs grown from cultivated stock
  • CREATE A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN: Show your creativity and get rewarded with a burst of vibrant colours by choosing to go the GROW MY OWN. Towering spikes of light pink petals with ruffled edges make Gladiolus a must-have in your summertime garden. Gladiolus - My Love boasts pale pink petals with unusual raspberry pink detail. Florets are uniquely shaped and have a charming overlapping habit. Glads are easy to grow and easy to fall in love with.
  • GUARANTEE: These bulbs you receive from us should reach you in the best condition and be of top quality. We have worked with our suppliers for many years to guarantee this. We know how annoying it is if you plant something and wait eagerly for it to flower, only to find that it’s the wrong colour or form. The bulbs you’ll get from us will be the largest size possible, first class and healthy to ensure the best and tallest flowers – GUARANTEED
Bestseller No. 4
Beautiful Iris Bulbs Star of Wonder Dutch Iris Flowers Bulbs Garden Plants Multiply Rapidly Iris Seeds Home Balcony Bonsai Easy to Grow (4 Bulbs)
  • This iris flower is a great idea to decorate your garden.
  • Bloom Time: Late spring to early summer.
  • Deer & Rabbit Resistant - Attracts Butterflies
  • Authentic product of EasytoGrow
  • Full sun to partial shade.
Bestseller No. 5
Oliwier's Bulbs 20x Sparaxis Tricolor Mix Summer Flowering Bulbs Garden Hardy Perennial Beautiful Multi Colour Harlequin Flower
  • Sparaxis produce a beautiful star-shaped flowers in orange, red, white, yellow, pink and magenta with yellow centres surrounded by black or dark red marks .
  • Also known as the Harlequin Flower because of its unique kaleidoscopic centres
  • Ideal For patio, greenhouses, conservatory, alpine & rockery, exotic garden, great for the rockery & borders
  • Easy To Grow and great as a cutflower
  • Attracts pollinators
Bestseller No. 6
20x Freesia Blue & White Mix Summer Flowering Bulbs Colourful Garden Plant Corms Wedding Fragrant Cut Flowers Size 5/6
  • Freesias are among the most popular cut flowers in the world, their intensely sweet fragrance can perfume an entire room. Clean, crisp and sparkling, these blue and white freesias are favorites for summer weddings and other happy events. These unusual funnel shaped flowers stand erect on tall stems and lush sword shaped foliage. They are superb in borders or planters on your patio or terrace.
  • Excellent cut flowers. Easy to grow. Full grown height: 25 - 40cm
  • Flowering: June-July-August (spring planting) or February-April (autumn planting)
  • Plant Freesia 3-5cm deep and 5-10 cm apart in well-drained soil in a sunny, sheltered location. The bulbs look like small, slim onions. Plant freesia with the pointed end facing up. Freesia is not fully hardy in colder areas of the UK. It is usually recommended to lift the plants in the autumn, either when the leaves yellow, or after the first frost.
  • You will receive pack of 20 quality corms, size 5/6 in eco-friendly recyclable packaging with detailed instructions included. Blue and white bulbs will be delivered packed separately so you can make your own arrangements
Bestseller No. 7
10x Ranunculus Asiaticus Red Persian Buttercup Spring Summer Flowering Perennial Garden Bulbs Hardy Corms Size 5/6
  • Nothing beats Ranunculus flowers to add that dash of whimsy and romance to the garden. If you love bright red flowers, you're going to love our easy-to-grow red ranunculus. Also known as the Persian buttercup or 'Aviv Red'.
  • Excellet cut flowers. Great for beds, borders and pots. Easy to grow and perfect way to add a splash of colour to your garden.
  • Attracts bees and butterflies. Mature flowering height: 25-40cm.
  • Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5). Plant in spring for flowers in the summer or in autumn for blooming in the spring
  • Please note: it is essential to soak corms in water for a few hours prior to planting. You will receive pack of 10 quality and healthy corms, size 5/6 in eco-friendly recyclable packaging with detailed instructions included
Bestseller No. 8
5 Allium Bulgaricum Nectaroscordum Spring Flowering Autumn Planting Garden Bulbs
  • Best quality and easy to grow
  • If your climate allows, plant your bulbs/seeds in the garden. In a suitable garden spot, geophytes can thrive and propagate much faster than they would do in pots.
  • Delivery within 3-5 days, for more great items and friendly, reliable customer service.
  • Do not hesitate to contact me and we’ll find a solution together.
  • Free Economy Delivery Located in: United Kingdom
Bestseller No. 9
20x Anemone St Brigid Mixed Colours Bulbs Spring Summer Flowering Corms Garden Perennial Flowers Size 4/5
  • Pack of 20 corms that produce beautiful mixture of brightly coloured double flowers including red, lilac pink, red, royal blue and white. Full grown height: 20-30cm
  • Great for borders,pots and containers. Easy to grow and requires very little maintenance
  • Excellent cutflowers. Will spreads over the years
  • Anemones can be planted through the year - autumn for flowering in April-June, spring for flowering in July-August and summer for flowers in autumn
  • You will receive pack of 20 quality corms size 4/5 in recyclable packaging with detailed instructions included
SaleBestseller No. 10
8 x Lilies Asiatic Mixed Bulbs- Summer Flowering Large Blooms- for Your Lovely Summer Garden
  • WHEN TO PLANT: – Sow between January to May and flowers will Bloom June to July. HEIGHT 70-100cm. Create a gorgeous rainbow of colorful blooms in early summer. This kind of cultivation is relaxed and stress-free for both gardening experts and beginners - PLEASE READ FULL PRODUCT DESCRIPTION BEFORE PURCHASE
  • HOW TO PLANT: Simply plant the bulbs 15cm deep and 25cm apart and wait for your colorful flowers to bloom giving you a pleasant sight to look at. SOIL REQUIREMENTS: Prefers well-drained soil, compost enriched. SUN- LIGHT REQUIRMENTS: Grows and flowers best in full sun, partial shade
  • CONTENTS: 8 x Lilies-Asiatic Mixed. These bulbs bloom into the flowers that are beloved in bouquets.
  • CREATE A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN: Show your creativity and get rewarded with a burst of vibrant colours by choosing to go the GROW MY OWN. Lilies are low maintenance plants and are suitable for pots and containers. Asiatic Hybrid Lilies are today's largest group of garden lilies, quite easy to 'naturalize'.Compared to Orientals, the Asiatic Hybrid lilies bloom earlier, the plants are shorter, the flowers a bit smaller, and most blooms are upward-facing and star-shaped.
  • GUARANTEE: These bulbs you receive from us should reach you in the best condition and be of top quality. We have worked with our suppliers for many years to guarantee this. We know how annoying it is if you plant something and wait eagerly for it to flower, only to find that it’s the wrong color or form. The bulbs you’ll get from us will be the largest size possible, first class and healthy to ensure the best and tallest flowers – GUARANTEED

Honest Bob is committed to providing genuine guides from a panel of experts. As an Amazon affiliate Honest Bob earns commission from any qualifying purchases.Thank you for your support!

Must Read