How to Plant Flower Bulbs
Garden planting with flowering bulbs
These planting instructions will give you general information on when and how to plant flower bulbs and how to take good care of them. Most bulbs need an open planting site where they receive at least 4 hours of sunlight (not sunshine) a day. Bulbs that are too much in the shade will only grow leaves. Some species however do well in half or even full shade. For more info see our blog at www.flowerbulbcrazy.com
Cultivation of soil
In their native habitats bulbs used to grow on slopes where drainage was naturally good. Therefore the vast majority of bulbs need well-drained soil or they will rot. Drainage and moisture conditions in your garden can always be improved. Always cultivate garden soil before planting anything. This makes planting so much easier and helps the bulbs’ new roots to get off to a good start. Bulbs that are left in the ground for next year’s season prefer some organic material or compost mixed with the planting soil. When your bulbs have been planted, water the soil well.
The best planting distance depends on the size of the flower and on the effect that you want to achieve. For a more natural look the bulbs should be planted further apart than indicated on the product page. In containers the bulbs should be planted close together.
The depth of the planting hole will depend upon the size of the bulb. As a general rule you should make the planting hole two to three times the height of the bulb. Be sure to plant the bulbs the right way: the root system down and the pointed part up.
Planting in Grass (Magic Meadow)
Planting bulbs in grass is more difficult than in soil as you need to pierce the grass. To get the most enchanting effect, you should put different kinds of bulbs in a basket and give it a good shake to mix them up. Plant a small handful randomly around you, but don’t scatter or throw them. As for the ratios, 15-20 small bulbs can afford to have 6 medium and 1 or 2 large bulbs next to them. That is the ideal concentration. A warning: strew some sand on the grass the last few times you mow it before starting your Magic Meadow. This helps you to avoid that the grass that was used to regular mowing, grows like crazy when you stop mowing it.
Planting Spring Flowering Bulbs
Spring flowering bulbs are planted in fall. The bulbs are best planted as soon as possible once you get them home because they need some time to develop roots before the soil gets frosted. Spring bulbs need the cold to reset their biological clock: a new season is beginning. In zones 8-10 spring flowering bulbs should be refrigerated at 40º - 45º F, see our paragraph on indoor forcing.
Planting Summer Flowering Bulbs
Summer flowering bulbs are planted in mid spring. Bulbs are best planted as soon as possible once you get them home. Summer bulbs will grow well in most climates (3-10). Unlike spring flowering bulbs summer flowering bulbs do not need a cold period to reset their biological clock. In fact most summer bulbs are not winter hardy!
Please lift bulbs if they are not hardy in your USDA zone and store until freezing temps are no longer an issue.
Planting Fall Flowering Bulbs
In fall, gardens tend to become bare and grey with winter around the corner. Fall flowering bulbs are a nice way to give your garden some color in this period. Saffon crocus bloom, Muscari rebloom, Arum change color, Dahlias stay blooming until a good frost.