How to Plant Bulbs? Best Time to Plant Bulbs: Step by Step Guide

How to Plant Bulbs?

The Ultimate Guide on How to Plant Bulbs: Having colorful flower bulbs in your garden is an excellent idea. However, you need to wait months or even years; but it’s fantastic to see them when they bloom. So, you might want to add them to your garden. And if you don’t know how to plant bulbs, we’re here to assist you.

You need to be aware of multiple things before you plant bulbs. Such as the types of bulbs, when to plant which bulbs, where to plant them, and many more. Therefore, we have added every detail in this article about bulbs and a step-by-step guide on how to plant bulbs.

Different Types of Bulbs and Best Time to Plant Them

You can get two types of bulbs for your garden. They are spring bulbs & summer bulbs. Nonetheless, they have different characteristics as well as planting times.

  • Summer Bulbs (Tender Bulbs)


Summer Bulbs (Tender Bulbs)


Summer bulbs are also called tender bulbs. And they mainly bloom in summer, with a few exceptions. Dahlias, Begonias, Bluebells, Elephant Ears, Gladiolus, and Caladiums are the most common summer bulbs.

Tender bulbs or Summer bulbs can’t survive in the cold. Therefore, you should plant them after winter when the ground warms up. Specifically, spring is the best time to plant summer bulbs.

  • Spring Bulbs (Hardy Bulbs)


Spring Bulbs (Hardy Bulbs)


The second type of bulbs is Spring Bulbs, also called hardy bulbs. And as their name says, they bloom in spring. Daffodil, Lilies, Tulips, Crocuses, Irises, and Hyacinths are the most popular spring bulbs.

Unlike summer bulbs, spring bulbs are tolerant of the cold. They require the cold of winter for better growth. Therefore, fall is the best time to plant spring or hardy bulbs.

Best Place to Plant Bulbs

You can plant bulbs almost anywhere. But it’s better that you check the following conditions before planting:

  • Good Drainage System
  • Access to Direct Sunlight
  • Little Sandy or Loamy Soil is Preferable
  • Proper Nutrition
  • Warm soil conditions for summer bulbs & Cooler for spring bulbs

If the place has the above things, you’re good to go.

How to Plant Bulbs? Step-by-Step Guide

There are multiple steps to plant bulbs. For your better understanding, we’ve explained every step carefully and sequentially.

Step 1: Planning

Bulbs flower comes in varieties of colours. Also, you can plant them in different places such as gardens, scattered, and under trees. Even some bulbs look beautiful in containers too. Therefore, it’s better to plan before you start. Some points to keep in mind while planning is:

  • For a better view, plant in clusters.
  • Different bulbs bloom at different times of the season. Therefore, create a combination of early, mid, and late-season bloomers. So, you’ll have flowers throughout the season.
  • Plant bulbs with lower heights in the front & sequentially taller in the back.
  • As bulbs are of different colours, plan the combination too.

Step 2: Prepare Tools & Materials

You’ll need to have some specific tools & materials to plant bulbs. Following is a list:

  • Bulbs
  • Bulb Fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Hand Trowel
  • Digging Fork
  • Garden Hose
  • Gloves

Ensure that you have all the things ready. Then follow the following steps to plant bulbs.

Step 3: Determine the Planting Depth & Dig

As bulbs come in different sizes, they also need to be planted in different depths. If you dig too deep, the flower may never bloom. Similarly, if you dig less, the temperature may damage the plant. The universal rule is to dig two to three times the size of the bulb. However, check the catalog that comes with the bulbs if you get confused.

So, once you know how much to dig, start digging with a trowel. But if you’re planting lots of bulbs, you may need to get a shovel.

Step 4: Prepare the Soil

Now prepare the soil for planting purposes. First, loosen it well and mix it with a bulb fertilizer. Try to choose the fertilizer with high phosphorus. You also can use organic materials such as peat moss or compost. However, you also can read the package for a better idea.

Learn more about When to Plant Hollyhock Bulbs

Step 5: Place the Bulb

Finally, place the bulb at the bottom of the hole. Make sure that the growing point is up. And the root side also called the basal plate, is attached to the soil. If you fail to do that, the root may rot. So, be careful here. But if you’re not sure of the points, plant the bulb on its side. It should be able to find its way from there.

Step 6: Fill the Hole

When you place the bulb perfectly, fill the hole with the soil you prepared earlier. Then also, create a thin layer of mulch at the upper portion. After that water the place, so the soil & the bulbs get settled. Now all left is taking proper care of the plant.

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Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s)

How Many Bulbs Can You Plant Together?

In the case of large bulbs, plant at least 12 bulbs. And for smaller ones, try to plant more than four dozen bulbs. The greater the number is, the better the visual will be.

What Happens If You Plant Bulbs Upside Down?

If the bulb is upside down, it may still grow. But there’s a high chance that it will die. And even if it grows, it will stretch unnecessarily. As a result, the bulbs may not grow very well.

Do You Have to Dig Up Bulbs Every Year?

It’s not necessary to dig up the bulbs every year. You can leave them under the ground throughout the year. However, if you feel your bulbs are not growing well, you can dig them up. Before that, research well when to dig the specific bulb you have. Read more about How to Grow Gladiolus from Bulb.

Conclusion: How to Plant Bulbs?

Follow the steps of how to plant bulbs carefully. At first, it may seem challenging, but it’s not. Moreover, when you see those bulbs blooming, it will give you a mesmerizing feeling.

Elysha Murphy

I'm Elysha Murphy, the creator of Easier Gardening. I am very passionate about gardening, and love sharing everything I learn about them.

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