How to Plant Flower Bulbs in the Spring


Springtime provides the perfect opportunity to plant summer flowering bulbs. Garden centers have a wide variety of bulbs for gardeners to choose from to spice up the landscape in summer. Common bulbs include canna lily, dahlias and caladium. Planting flower bulbs in the spring requires consideration for weather and soil conditions. Summer flowering bulbs require the same growing conditions as other landscape plants.

Step 1

Perform weed removal by scraping the soil surface with a hoe to pull out nuisance plants. Weeds compete for soil nutrients, moisture and space with flower bulbs in a garden bed.

Step 2

Prepare the garden bed by turning over soil to 12 inches deep. Break up hard clumps using a pitchfork, hoe or shovel. Level the garden bed and add a 3-inch layer of compost. This will amend the soil with roughly 30 percent organic material to improve drainage, break up hard clay and add nutrients to the soil. Smooth the soil flat after adding amendments.

Step 3

Examine the bulbs for indentations or mushy spots. These bulbs shouldn't be planted since they aren't healthy. Select bulbs that feel firm and feature a small nub or sprout. Read bulb package instructions for specific depth requirements for different types of bulbs.

Step 4

Dig a hole two to three times as deep as the bulb is wide. Width should allow easy placement of the bulb without bending or slanting to fit it into the soil. Fill loose soil around the bulb and press firmly to remove air trapped in the soil.

Step 5

Turn the spigot onto a light water flow and deeply water the bulbs after planting. Allow water to slowly seep into the soil layers to at least the bulb depth.

Step 6

Mulch the garden bed with a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic material. Mulch lowers soil temperatures and minimizes evaporation of moisture in the soil. After initial planting, regular periods of rain will provide sufficient moisture for bulbs. Water deeply into the soil during periods of drought.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe
  • Pitchfork
  • Shovel
  • Trowel
  • Compost
  • Garden hose
  • Mulch


  • Clemson University: Summer and Fall Flowering Bulbs
  • University of Kentucky: Spring, Summer and Fall Bulbs
  • Colorado State University: Summer Flowering Bulbs
Keywords: summer flowering bulbs, spring bulb planting, planting bulbs

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.