How to Plant Bulbs

There are many suggestions for planting depths and this, of course, varies for different sized bulbs.

How to Plant Bulbs

There are many suggestions for planting depths and this, of course, varies for different sized bulbs.

But this rule of thumb generally works well - measure the size of the bulb from root to tip and make sure the bulb is covered with twice this amount of soil.

As with every rule, there are exceptions! Cyclamen grow near the surface in their native habitat, so will fail if planted too deeply, while Eucomis like to be planted with their necks just above the soil.

Prepare the ground by removing any weeds and fork soil over to a crumbly texture, add some sand or grit to the bottom of the planting hole to improve drainage, many bulbs rot during wet weather due to inadequate drainage.

Planting bulbs in groups or drifts looks much more naturalistic. If planting bulbs in a lawn area, lift a square of turf and plant a group of bulbs rather than planting them individually.

Plant spring flowering bulbs between March and May. Plant your bulbs with the pointy end up (Ranunculus are planted with the ‘claws’ facing down). If you're in doubt which way up to plant them, put them on their side and they'll find their own way.

Growing tips

Keep moist during the growing season, and then allow them to dry out completely during the dormant season. As the bulbs die down, apply a liquid feed, don't cut off the foliage as nutrients return into the bulb to provide energy for the following year.

Make sure you mark where you've planted your bulbs so that you don't dig them up or damage them during their dormant period.

You can grow several varieties together to prolong the flowering period or for added interest if growing in containers.

You could plant larger bulbs such as daffodils in the bottom of the pot, and plant smaller bulbs such as grape hyacinths nearer to the top of the pot.