Bulb planting

We’re still sunbaking in the heat of summer, and we need to start thinking about spring? Yes!

A little easy planting now, and we can enjoy a bright fragrant garden from the tail end of winter to the start of next summer.

Bulbs are such rewarding plants to grow - they are child’s play to plant, happy growing in gardens or containers, and can slip into the tiniest spaces to provide a burst of bright colour.

If you have littl’uns, we’ve even got autumn crocus and paperwhites, that will sprout and flower in a dish of water or vase on the kitchen windowsill. You can watch them grow!

We’ve put together a varied range of spring-flowering bulbs for a range of climates, from cold to subtropical.
Some are traditional scented flowers from the Mediterranean, some are more unusual flowers from South Africa.

Here's our top ten tips for successful bulb planting


Bulb planting

1. Choose a spot which gets sun at least part of the day. Spring bulbs are perfect for planting under deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves in winter) – they’ll get winter sunlight through the branches, and be shaded from summer heat.

2. Some bulbs will need a cold spell to trigger flowering, so if you don’t get winter frosts, pop your bulbs into the crisper drawer of the fridge for four to six weeks before planting out to spur them along.

3. Bulb flowers need well-drained soil to thrive – in Holland they grow them in pure sand! Add grit or gravel to your planting holes if your soil is heavy, or plant up into containers.

4. Leave the leaves! Let the old foliage die back completely, to feed the bulbs for next year’s flowers. But snip any dead flowerheads off so the plant doesn’t waste energy making seedheads.

5. March and April is the perfect time to plant spring-flowering bulbs, especially after autumn rains. The soil is still warm, and the rain makes it soft enough to make planting easier. You can plant up to mid-May in northern Queensland.


Lasagna bulb planting for a layered effect

6. Plant your bulbs at least twice the bulb’s depth, up to three times deep in warmer climates. (See middle picture.) If your bulbs in the past haven’t always flowered, it’s usually because they weren’t planted deep enough.

7. The latest way to plant bulbs is called a “lasagna”. (See bottom picture.) Larger bulbs - tulips, daffodils - are planted at the deepest level and covered with a thin layer of compost. Medium sized bulbs go at the middle level, and small bulbs - crocus, babiana, anemone - at the shallowest level. The plants will grow up between each other and create a full dense display of flowers in a small area.

8. If you plant bulbs into your garden beds, mark the spot so that when the plants die down completely, you won’t dig them up by mistake.

9. If you plant into grass, and want a wild meadow effect: grab a large handful of bulbs, throw them gently onto the lawn, and then dig the holes where they fall. This will give you the most natural look.

10. Spring bulbs make excellent potted plants. Plant them into pots, move them into prime positions while they are in flower, and tuck them out of sight to die down through summer.