How To Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs

Planting Spring-Flowering Bulbs

Spring-blooming bulbs seem like such a miracle. Pop the little bulbs into the soil in fall and like magic, richly colored flowers emerge in early spring, often before the snow has even melted from the ground.  Of course, as with all gardening, you'll have better success if you follow a few time-honored tips and take the time to prepare the soil when planting flowers for spring.


Where you plant bulbs is everything. Spring-blooming bulbs demand excellent drainage, for example. Ideal places include slopes, berms, raised beds, and any other spot where water can drain freely. Also, don't make the common mistake of planting spring-blooming bulbs closer than 4 feet from a house. The home's warmth will cause them to grow prematurely, harming their ability to bloom well and stay healthy year after year.






Step 1: Prepare the soil

Different spring-flowering bulbs need different planting depths Plant spring-blooming bulbs in fall, as soon as possible after receiving them so they don't dry out. You can plant them any time until the soil freezes. Since bulbs need good drainage, prepare the soil well. Dig to a depth of at least 18 inches, working in compost or sphagnum peat moss to improve soil texture.

Step 2: Add fertilizer

Add fertilizers that are made specially for bulbs Add to the planting hole a fertilizer made specifically for bulbs. Although bone meal is a popular bulb fertilizer, it is not a complete fertilizer for bulbs. You may want to consider adding other fertilizers to supplement it.

Step 3: Position the bulbs

Position the bulbs Position the bulbs, pointed end up, to the depth specified. As a rule, plant tulips and hyacinths 6 to 8 inches deep; daffodils 6 to 9 inches deep; and crocuses, glory-of-the-snow, snowflakes, grape hyacinths, snowdrops and squill 3 to 5 inches deep. (Those depths refer to the bottom of the bulb; that is, the base of the bulb should be planted at that depth.)

Step 4: Add soil and water

Water the bulbs Fill in the area with soil and water well. For additional protection, consider adding a layer of mulch.