How to plant a flower bulb

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How to plant a bulb

Follow these general rules when planting bulbs:

  • Choose a site that has well-drained soil, but which is moist during the growing and flowering season.
  • Plant bulbs generally one to two seasons before they flower (ie Autum-Winter for spring flowering).
  • Under deciduous trees is an ideal spot for many species, including Daffodils, Bluebells and Crocus, as this can be nicely moist and light during the spring, but dry and shady when the bulbs are dormant over the summer.
  • Planting depth: Plant two to three times the bulb height i.e. the tip of a 5 cm (2in) high bulb should be 10-15 cm (4-6in) below soil level.  (In other words, the bigger the bulb the deeper it should be).
  • Loosen the soil slightly in the planting hole so that the roots can penetrate the soil as they grow.
  • Firm them in gently but firmly to avoid them being discovered by birds, squirrels, rats etc
  • Make sure that it is the right way up (roots down, generally the wider end; and shoot on top, generally the narrower end).
  • Allow foliage to die back fully before cutting back or removing, as this allows the plant to gather food and nutrients for blooming the following year.
  • For 'naturalised' bulbs (ie plants growing in seemingly natural drifts) throw them up in the air and plant them in clumps where they land!
  • When planting daffodils to naturalise in grass, plant them in small groups of 4-5 bulbs a few inches apart. It may be easier to remove a sod if doing this into grass.

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