Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs

Plant bulbs in late autumn to colour up the end of winter and beginning of spring 

Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs

To use a bulb planter push it into the ground to make holes of the right depth, squeezing the handle to release the soil. Image: Getty Images.

A bulb should be heavy and firm. If it feels light then it could be dead inside or if it’s soft it may have fungal disease. 

Tulip bulbs in particular need to have an intact outer skin to prevent dehydration and damage. 

FOR PLANTING choose a spot with well-drained soil that gets sun in winter and spring

Position bulbs with the pointy end facing up and twice as deep as the height of the bulb, so a 30mm bulb
is planted 60mm below the surface.

TIP Use a bulb planter if sowing a lot of bulbs. It uses a squeezing action to pick up and release soil and has depth indicators on the side.

TO CARE apply a complete bulb fertiliser at planting time then again when flowering has finished. 

Rainfall or weekly watering is enough moisture for bulbs to grow. Allow the foliage to die down to feed the bulb for flowering next season.

What to plant 

Bulbs you can plant now to spring-flowering include: 

  • Grape hyacinth
  • Freesia 
  • Daffodil 
  • Tulip 

Forcing bulbs 

Plant a single hyacinth bulb in a vase to keep indoors for a long-lasting floral display and fragrance.

hyacinth bulb in vase, handyman magazine,

Step 1. Fill a glass vase 

Fill a glass vase about 150mm high with clean nursery pebbles to 50mm deep, positioning the bulb on top and adding more pebbles until it is covered up to the neck.

fill a glass vase, handyman magazine,

Step 2. Add water 

Add water to reach the base of the bulb so the roots grow in water but the bulb stays dry to avoid rotting. Put the vase in a cool, dry place until roots form then move to a sunny spot. 

add water to vase, handyman magazine,


Vote It Up: 
Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs

See also

 Grow Roses In Winter
Versatile roses come in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes. They can climb, cascade, ramble, conceal and decorate.  You...
How To Plan A Tropical Garden

Plan your own tropical garden 

Holidays and gardens have a lot in common, as they’re both about relaxation and pleasure. And if you associate the tropics...
How To Grow Your Own Bromeliads
Definitely not prima donnas of the plant world, bromeliads are extremely tough and will reward you with continuous colour and...
How To Raise Plants From Cuttings

Swap cuttings with other gardeners to get new plants for free. Image: Alamy 

Growing from cuttings won’t give you a garden overnight, but you will get plants for free. And you’ll have the satisfaction of...
How To Force Bulbs Into Bloom In Winter
Enjoy an early spring by forcing plants to flower indoors during winter.  Grown in pots and put outside, bulbs will flower at...
How To Grow Rhododendrons

Plant these shrubs in Autumn for a lovely display later in the year

Stealing the show in spring, rhododendrons are covered with large clusters of flowers, and many keep their foliage year-round...