Bulb Planting / Growing tips

Storage

Store your bulbs, corms and tubers in a cool dry place in paper bags or nets. If you are lifting bulbs to store ensure that you only keep healthy bulbs and that you have dried them out for at least 24 hours.

Planting

Bulbs can be grown in pots, border, under trees or naturalised in grass. They just need to be planted with twice their depth of soil above them, pointy end up. It is a good idea to add some grit to the planting hole if the ground is likely to be wet. Spring flowering bulbs can be planted in the autumn, but it is best to leave Tulip bulbs and plant them in November as the colder weather can help prevent against some diseases.

What is a bulb?

Bulbs, Corms and Tubers are all different though can be handled and treated in much the same way. They all store the food and energy they need to flower within the bulb itself. It is important to never cut the leaves from the flower until they have died back completely, allowing the bulb time to store everything it needs for the next years flower(s). We have put together a more in depth guide on the differences between bulbs, corms and tubers.

See the sections below for information specific to particular plants.

Alliums

Crocuses

Dahlias

Daffodils

Fritillaria

Tulips

Alliums

Plant in September in fertile well drained soil at approx 10cm-15cm apart and at a depth of roughly 3 to 4 times the size of the bulb. They will form clumps and increase in number year after year. The leaves of Alliums will die back as the flower and can look quite tatty so will benefit from underplanting.

Crocuses

Plant from September to December 5cm deep and 5cm apart. Can be planted under trees, under shrubs, in borders and containers. Plant in groups for the best effect.

Leave undisturbed after flowering and they will bloom year after year.

Dahlias

Dahlias can be potted up and given a head start early in the year provided they are not exposed to frost. Plant them out in April - May 10cm deep after the risk of frost has passed. Alternatively they can be planted direct into the border from April - May, again, ensuring the risk of frost has passed.

Dahlias like the sun, and will enjoy and the addition of some compost or manure into the soil before you plant them. Dahlias will bloom right until the first frost if you deadhead them regularly. 

The first frosts will kill the foliage. They can be lifted and overwintered in a frost free place or they can be cut down and left in the ground in milder areas if insulated and the ground will not be waterlogged.

Daffodils

Plant at least 10cm deep in the autumn. Space as desired or plant in clumps for a cluster display. Daffodils prefer a spot well sheltered from the wind, preferably with plenty of access to sun.

Best planted in well drained, fertile soil. Keep soil moist during the growing season and allow the leaves to die back naturally before deadheading. They can be lifted and moved once the foliage has died off or they can be left to naturalise when planted in grass or under trees, where they can be left undisturbed for years.

Fritillaria

Fritillaria bulbs can be planted at 8-10cm deep and 10-15cm apart in well drained/light and moist soil. When planting handle the bulbs carefully as fritillaria bulbs are renowned for being fragile. Can be planted in areas with full sun access or preferably with partial shade, and can be left to naturalise in grass, borders or even cold greenhouses.

When established in the right environment you can easily begin to see fritillaria plants multiply. Plants are very hardy and are an excellent choice for border displays, rockeries or for woodland areas, where their elegant drooping bell-shaped flowers are likely to add that little something different.

Tulips

The best time to plant Tulip bulbs is November to late December as the cooler conditions are better for reducing the risk of some fungal diseases.

Plant at least three times their own depth in a sunny location with well drained soil. If you need to, the addition of grit to improve drainage will be beneficial. Leave 20 cm between bulbs.  

Tulips are often treated as an annual as they often don't do as well in subsequent years as in the their first. They can however be lifted and stored ready for planting again in November, ensuring that the leaves have died back completely before hand.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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