How to Plant Bulbs in Pennsylvania


There are two general categories of bulbs: fall bulbs are planted in the fall and flower in the spring; spring bulbs are planted in spring and flower in summer. No matter the variety, when planting in Pennsylvania, it is important to plant as early in the growing season as possible to give your bulbs a healthy head start on freezing temperatures. To ensure that your bulbs can weather Pennsylvania temperatures, look for cold hardy bulbs such as Camassias, Hyacinthus, Iris, Daffodils and Tulips.

Step 1

Have your soil tested by the local county extension office to see if it is suitable for the bulbs that you intend to plant. You may need to amend the soil or choose another variety.

Step 2

Use a hand cultivator or rototiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 1 foot.

Step 3

Dig a hole two and half times as deep as the bulb is wide. Plant neighboring bulbs a little farther apart than their planting depth.

Step 4

Sprinkle 1/4 inch of blood meal fertilizer in the bottom of each hole followed by 1 inch of soil. Then lightly press the soil at the bottom of the hole so that it is a relatively flat surface.

Step 5

Plant the bulbs in the ground, pointed end up, and cover them with soil.

Step 6

Water the bulbs well enough so that the ground is moist beneath the bottom of the bulb.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand cultivator or rototiller
  • spade


  • Richmond Nursery: The Rules of Fall Bulbs
  • Pennsylvania State: Hardy Bulbs in Pennsylvania
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About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.