Call us today: 0333 400 0033

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Refer A Friend And Get 20% Off*

Track Your Order

Our Customers Rate Our Excellent Service

Top 10 spring flowering bulbs

bright yellow daffodils against blue sky
Daffodils are just one of many spring flowering bulbs to brighten your borders.
Image: Park Jae Beom

There’s nothing like a patch of gently nodding golden daffodils to raise your spirits. But daffodils aren’t the only spring bulbs to herald an end to dark winter days and bring colour to the garden. For inspiration, we’ve rounded up ten of our favourite bulbs to catapult your garden into life and celebrate the change of season.

When to plant spring flowering bulbs

Knowing when to plant spring bulbs is important to guarantee a good display. Begin planting your spring flowering bulbs, corms and tubers between October and December, before the coldest winter weather sets in. You can plant them in containers or straight into borders, but as a rule of thumb, most bulbs should be planted at 3 times their depth. There are a few exceptions, so it's worth checking the planting depth table in our 'How to grow bulbs' article before you begin.

1. Crocus

white, yellow and purple crocus
Create a compact display in containers or informal groupings in lawns and borders.
Image: Crocus 'T&M Mix' from Thompson & Morgan

Jewel-like crocus flowers look sensational planted in large naturalised swathes throughout lawns and rockeries. Try Crocus 'Ruby Giant', a weather-resistant variety of purple flowers that bloom as early as February and provide a valuable source of nectar for pollinating insects in wildlife-friendly gardens.

2. Daffodil

Colourful narcissus flowers
Try Narcissus 'Citrus Sorbet' for scent and colour.
Image: Thompson & Morgan

A well loved genus, and for good reason! Daffodils are the cheeriest of spring bulbs, with their delicate trumpeted blooms and bright colours. Traditional golden daffodils are hard to beat, but if you’d like something a little different, why not try the pink and frilly Narcissus 'Replete' or some lovely scented daffodils.

3. Tulip

group of colourful tulips
The 'Everlasting Mix' comes back year after year.
Image: Thompson & Morgan

With so many shapes and colours available, it's hard to choose just one type of tulip bulb to grow. If you really can’t decide, treat yourself to the brightly-coloured 'Everlasting Mix' that has been bred for long-lasting weather resistance.

For a unique and tropical display, the ruffled double flowers of Tulip 'Caribbean Parrot' make a real statement when planted en masse. Or keep early spring weeds at bay with a dense carpet of Tulip 'Ground Cover' Mix.

4. Snakes Head Fritillary

purple and white fritillary
These bell shaped flowers are instantly recognisable yet rarely seen in the wild.
Image: Thompson & Morgan

Instantly recognizable by their distinctive snake-skin markings, Fritillaria meleagris is at its best when grown in areas of damp woodlands or informal areas of grass. Although native to the UK, Snakes Head Fritillaries are now protected and rarely seen in the wild so it's a real joy to admire these elegant flowers in your garden.

5. Lily of the Valley

White and green lily of the valley
Lily of the Valley provides low-maintenance ground cover for shady areas.
Image: Thompson & Morgan

Positively thriving in damp, shady areas, the delicate white blooms of Lily of the Valley brighten even the gloomiest corners of your garden. Once established, this springtime favourite forms a lush green carpet of foliage that makes excellent ground cover. And for a grand finale, this tiny flower packs a real punch when it comes to perfume. Ideal for scented spring posies.

6. Hyacinth

Purple and pink Hyacinth
Hyacinths have a neat, compact growing habit ideal for containers.
Image: Thompson & Morgan

Easy to grow, the Hyacinth has a powerful fragrance and majestic, upright flowers that are simply magnificent. Although they’re often grown in pots on the windowsill, Hyacinths are surprisingly hardy and well suited for growing outdoors in a sunny spot. Try the rare and highly sought-after Hyacinth 'Midnight Mystique' for its unusual black flowers.

If you’re looking for growing tips or want to raise a few to give away as Christmas presents, check out our article on how to grow Hyacinths.

7. Winter Aconite

Solo bright yellow winter aconite
Winter Aconite forms a glowing carpet of golden yellow flowers each spring.
Image: Thompson & Morgan

Despite its common name, Winter Aconite flowers in the spring and attracts bees and other beneficial pollinating insects to your garden. A woodland member of the buttercup family, Eranthis hyemalis swiftly multiplies to form a carpet of golden yellow flowers. The cup shaped blooms work beautifully alongside snowdrops and bluebells for a spectacular display.

Easy to establish and virtually maintenance free, Winter Aconite is the ideal bulb to plant in the dappled shade of deciduous trees, or informally in grass.

8. Bluebell

Beautiful collection of bluebells
Delicately scented, hardy English bluebells attract pollinating insects.
Image: Thompson & Morgan

Carpets of classic woodland Bluebells create a magical sight in spring as the weather warms and days begin to lengthen. English Bluebells thrive in damp, shady areas but are surprisingly resilient, even in drought conditions. Always choose English Bluebells as the Spanish variety can become invasive and hybridise with our native flowers.

9. Puschkinia

Collection of beautiful Russian snowdrops
Russian Snowdrops make a stunning alternative to traditional spring bulbs.
Image: Thompson & Morgan

Also known as the Russian Snowdrop, the intriguing star-shaped flowers of Puschkinia have white petals striped with the most extraordinary shade of blue. These resilient spring bulbs love a sunny spot where they can bake in the sun throughout summer. They look exceptionally pretty planted beneath the ghostly stems of Silver Birch trees.

10. Allium

Yellow Allium Moly flowers
Allium Moly flowers in late spring, returning with a bigger and better display each year.
Image: Thompson & Morgan

Plant Allium bulbs to add height and structure to borders and bridge the gap between early spring blooms and your summer favourites. For golden yellow flowers from late spring try Allium Moly - the neat clumps of grey-green strap-like foliage are quick to establish and will rapidly spread to naturalize beneath shrubs or along the front of hedges.

If you’ve been inspired to try something new, check out our range of colourful and easy to grow spring bulbs. Tell us your favourite bulb or unusual planting combination, and don’t forget to share your photos!



Written by: Sue Sanderson

Sue SandersonPlants and gardens have always been a big part of my life. I can remember helping my Dad to prick out seedlings, even before I could see over the top of the potting bench. As an adult, I trained at Writtle College where I received my degree, BSc. (Hons) Horticulture. After working in a specialist plantsman's nursery, and later, as a consulting arboriculturalist, I joined Thompson & Morgan in 2008. Initially looking after the grounds and coordinating the plant trials, I now support the web team offering horticultural advice online.

RedEye