Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

You might like
How To Plant Bulbs

How To Plant Bulbs

Bulbs make a stunning display planted in pots, containers or borders and are one of the easiest, yet rewarding plants to grow. Bulbs are useful for adding brilliant colour to Spring borders with Tulips coming out in a whole range of colours from bright pinks to deep purples and bloom at a time of year when most other plants are offering muted tones. The beautiful and popular Snowdrops and Scilla are some of the earliest blooming flowers in the garden and are wonderful for brightening up the short, early days in Spring. Autumn-blooming bulbs such as Waterlily and Sativus Crocus are perfect for adding colourful displays to the garden and brightens up the late season. In this blog we will be sharing an easy step-by-step guide on how to successfully plant your bulbs and to produce impressive displays!


When To Plant Your Bulbs

Spring Bulbs:

Spring flowering bulbs should be planted in Autumn once the soil temperatures have cooled. This can be any time between September and November.

Autumn Bulbs:

Autumn blooming bulbs are ready to be planted late summer, usually mid-August to then reap the rewards of the brightly coloured bulbs come September and October.

Summer Bulbs:

Summer bulbs should only be planted when the ground has warmed up. Spring is the best time to plant your summer flowering bulbs as the risk of frost has usually passed.


This is a general guide as to when to plant your bulbs but you can always double check on the back of your bulb packets if in doubt!

Where To Plant Your Bulbs

Most hardy bulbs including Tulips and Daffodils prefer a warm area of the garden in full sun or partial shade in a well-drained, soft soil.

Bulbs of flowers that come from cool and moist woodland habitats usually like to be planted in similar conditions. These include beautiful blooms such as Anemone, Snowdrops, Bluebells and Cyclamen.


How To Plant Your Bulbs

Bulbs can be planted straight into the ground to create displays in your beds and borders or also into pots and containers, creating a more compact display that you can move around your garden. Most bulbs need to be planted when they’re dry and in a leafless, rootless state. If you’re not planting them straight away when purchasing your bulbs, make sure to store them in a cool, dry place!

Planting in borders

How you want to arrange your bulbs is up to you. You can arrange them in rows along your flower beds if you prefer more of a neat and concise look. Otherwise, if you’d like more of a natural feel to your Spring bulbs, some people will just throw the bulbs to the ground and plant them however they land! To create an impressive display, it’s usually a good idea to group your bulbs together. The method below applies to spring, summer and autumn flowering bulbs:

  1. Dig a hole at the relative depth for the bulb. When planting them straight into the ground, the general rule is that you plant your bulbs two to three times their depth. So, for example, a bulb that is 5cm tall should be planted 10-15cm deep.
  2. Place your bulb(s) at the bottom of the hole with the ‘nose’, or shoot, facing upwards. Each bulb should be spaced about a bulbs’ width apart from one another. 6-8 inches is usually about right.
  3. Replace the soil back in over the bulbs and gently firm with the back of a rake. Avoid treading on the soil as this can harm the bulbs underneath!
  4. Water the soil straight after planting. If the soil is already moist or the bulbs are autumn-planted, watering isn’t essential.


Planting in Pots and Containers

Most bulbs are suitable for planting in containers but we would suggest planting ones with large ‘showy’ flowers such as tulips, lilies and alliums as these will create the most extravagant displays. Here are some useful tips from our plant team:

  1. We would recommend using Westland 20L Bulb Planting & Potting Mix when planting your potted bulbs as this includes the correct balance of essential nutrients and has added grit for ideal drainage.
  2. When planting in containers, the same rule applies as to when you plant in the ground, plant the bulbs three times their depth and one bulb width apart so as not to overcrowd them. When planting in pots, bulb baskets can be a really useful tool to use. Simply place the basket down in the level you are planting your bulbs, place the bulbs in and cover with soil. Then once the bulbs have flourished and gone over, the basket makes it easy to collect the bulbs.
  3. A good idea with container planting, is to plant your winter bedding above the bulbs. This will keep your pots and containers looking pretty throughout both seasons as when the winter bedding goes over, the Spring bulbs will then be starting to grow.
  4. Once the bulbs have gone over after their first year’s display, they don’t always come back the next year quite as large and extravagant. They will work well in your beds and borders though so make sure to plant them into your garden to fill up any empty spots and add to your spring border displays.


Planting Indoor Bulbs

Indoor bulbs can be really easy to grow and have many benefits such as providing beautiful colour and scents to the room. You can create wonderful Christmas displays with indoor bulbs such as Narcissus Paperwhite’s.

  1. Plant your bulbs, again, 3 times their depth and a bulb width apart into a bulb potted mix such as Westland 20L Bulb Planting & Potting Mix. If you’re planting the bulbs specifically for a beautiful Christmas arrangement, you may want to place your potted bulb in a dark, cool place until they start shooting and then bring it out to flower for Christmas.
  2. Water when the pots start to dry out.
  3. Bulbs such as Hyacinths are possibly the easiest indoor bulb to grow. They can simply be placed in a hyacinth vase full of water and will begin rooting and shooting without any effort at all! And you’ll only need to change the water if it starts to go green. They will make beautiful displays without having the fuss of planting them!


We hope this step-by-step blog has been useful. Let us know your experiences when planting your bulbs. Remember that our expert team are always on hand to help out with any questions you may have. Pop in and speak to a team member or give us a call on 01497 847 055 or email welcome@oldrailwaylinegc.co.uk.

Happy planting!

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.