How to Grow Bulbs Video

Allium 'Big Impact Mixed' from Thompson & Morgan

Alliums can be easily grown from bulbs
Image: Allium 'Big Impact Mixed' from Thompson & Morgan

Provided you follow a few simple steps when you plant them, flower bulbs and tubers offer one of the easiest ways to create a riot of glorious colour and scent each year. Here’s how to get your bulbs off to a great start. 

How to store spring bulbs

Narcissus 'Tête á Tête' from Thompson & Morgan

The radiant yellow flowers of dwarf Narcissus 'Tête á Tête' reach just 15cm high
Image: Narcissus 'Tête á Tête' from Thompson & Morgan

Having purchased your bulbs, you’ll probably be itching to get them into the ground. But in case you’re struggling to find time, the best way to store bulbs is to open the packaging to stop moisture build up, and to put them in a cool, dry, frost-free place until you’re ready to get planting.

How to prepare the ground for planting bulbs

Dahlia 'My Love' from Thompson & Morgan

Dahlia 'My Love' brings late summer colour to the garden
Image: Dahlia 'My Love' from Thompson & Morgan

Bulbs love fertile, well-drained soil, and a sunny, sheltered location, but many of the hardier varieties will also thrive in sub-optimal conditions as long as the ground isn’t too soggy. Make sure you check the planting instructions for each pack of bulbs as directions may vary. 

Before planting your bulbs, it's a good idea to work the soil with a fork, breaking up any compacted clods to make it easy for new roots to grow. At the same time, give the ground a thorough weeding to get rid of competing weeds. Add some well-rotted compost at this stage to give your bulbs plenty of nutrients to draw on as they grow.

How to plant bulbs

Hyacinth 'Berries and Cream Mixture' from Thompson & Morgan

Enjoy a harmonious mix of rose, violet, pink and lavender with 'Berries and Cream'
Image: Hyacinth 'Berries and Cream Mixture' from Thompson & Morgan

Whether you’re planting your bulbs into the ground or creating container displays, plant them with the pointy tip facing up, at a depth equal to three times the height of the bulb itself. There are a couple of exceptions to this – cyclamen and begonia tubers should be planted just at the soil surface and, in the case of begonias, you should start them off in pots indoors.

Once planted, gently firm the soil around each bulb to squeeze out any air pockets and water sparingly. Make sure you mark the ground with a suitable tag so you don’t disturb them. Now all you need to do is wait for the sunshine to wake them up.

Video guide to growing bulbs

We hope this has given you the confidence to plant a wide variety of bulbs. Find out more about growing spring flowering displays, including variety reviews and top growing tips, at our spring flowering bulbs hub page


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