Bulb Planting Guide

Bulbs are some of the easiest and most rewarding plants to grow, gardeners of any ability can produce stunning displays. In fact, once planted they pretty much look after themselves, take a look at our bulb planting guide to see how easy it really is.

We sell a wide range of bulbs throughout the year:

Autumn to winter: Spring-flowering bulbs (e.g. Daffodils, Tulips and Crocus)

Spring to early-summer: Summer-flowering bulbs (e.g. Lilies, Freesias and Gladioli)

Bulb Planting Guide –

On Receipt

You will receive your bulbs packed in perforated polythene bags. However, some may come with sawdust in the bags, this is to keep condensation at bay.

If you cannot plant them straight away, keep them in a cool, dark, moisture-free place and they’ll keep for a few weeks with no problems.

If your bulbs have been delayed in the post, don’t worry, as they are fine in transit for a number of days.

Bulb Planting Depths
Peter explains the layering planting method to create the perfect show from your spring and summer bulbs.

How to Plant Bulbs

Whether planting into pots, containers or straight into the ground, there is a simple rule of thumb for planting:

Plant bulbs at twice the depth of the height of each one, and approx. 4 times their width apart.

For example, bulbs that are 5cm will need to be planted 10cm below the surface and 20cm apart.

For any specific instructions, please check the perforated polythene bag the bulbs are packed in.

They are fine to plant even if a little green growth is starting to appear. They’ll just need a good watering when you plant them, and then only when the soil is dry.

Whilst all the energy that a bulb needs in order to grow is stored in the bulb itself, they will do better if you feed them when in active green growth. Leave them in the ground once they die back – they’ll come back bigger and better each year.

“In The Green” Bulbs

We sell Snowdrops, Bluebells and Aconites ‘in the green’. When they are in leaf – and later may have flowered and are dying back – they are lifted from the ground, with the leaves still on the plants.

If lifted, packed, sent, and re-planted in a short amount of time, the plants will thrive in their new position. These bulbs establish much quicker than dry bulbs, so you can expect full flowering displays the season after planting.

They can look yellowing or dying on receipt, which is fine – they will just die back to the bulb.

Spring Flowering Bulbs

A field of dark purple tulips

Bulbs such as Daffodils, Tulips and Crocus herald the arrival of Spring. There is nothing more exciting than the sight of their bold and bright colours peaking up from the ground marking the end of a long winter and the start of the warmer weather.

Spring-flowering bulbs should be planted in the Autumn for displays next season. Some bulbs such as Tulips can be planted as late as November, but it’s best to get your bulbs in the ground so that they can establish a good root system before the weather becomes too cold.

Hardy summer flowering bulbs like Lilies and Alliums can also be planted in the autumn.

Plant in herbaceous borders, in pots, or leave in the ground to naturalise. If planted in pots be sure to water frequently and keep moist.

Peter talks about Spring Bulbs – Complete Spring Flowering Bulb Collection

Summer Flowering Bulbs

Summer flowering bulbs in full bloom

Summer-flowering bulbs are great for filling in gaps in beds and borders and creating colourful displays. We supply as bulbs, tubers and corms and have a range of different varieties available from Begonias to Freesia and Gladioli!

Plant from early Spring, just as the weather begins to warm up, and place in beds and borders or pots and containers. It’s a good idea to plant tender summer-flowering bulbs in pots as these can be lifted and brought indoors over the winter.

To lift these bulbs for winter storage, remove any loose soil and carefully remove any dead leaves. Leave the bulbs to dry overnight and then store in a paper bag in frost-free conditions.


An open pink Lily

Lilies are one of the most popular cut flower by florists all over the UK, however they are so easy to grow at home.

Perfect in large pots and containers on your patio, once in bloom they’re fantastic for cutting and bringing indoors.

Lily bulbs can be planted from Autumn right through to the Summer and are happy planted both straight into the ground or into containers.

We supply lots of different varieties so be sure to check the bag for any specific planting instructions but in general lilies are ever so easy to grow and with a sunny spot, frequent watering keeping soil moist (not wet) and a little high potassium fertilizer, you’ll get some fantastic displays.