How to Plant Fall Bulbs in the Spring


Fall bulbs include autumn crocus, some lily varieties and lycoris. These bulbs allow you to extend your flower garden into the fall months, adding bright color to your beds and borders. Many fall bulbs are frost tender, so must be either dug up and stored before winter freezing or replanted from fresh bulb stalks each spring. Whether you are replanting stored bulbs or starting with new ones, sow the fall bulbs in spring after all danger of frost has passed.

Step 1

Spread a 2-inch layer of compost over the garden bed before planting. Work it into the top 6 to 8 inches of the soil. Most fall bulbs require beds that receive at least six hours of sunlight a day.

Step 2

Plant most bulbs at a depth two to three times their width, with the pointed side facing upward. Lilies may require deeper planting, so verify the exact planting depth on the package prior to sowing. Space the bulbs at the recommended distance for the specific bulb variety, planting them in clusters of five to seven bulbs.

Step 3

Water the bed immediately after planting, moistening the soil to a 6-inch depth. Water once weekly thereafter, maintaining the 6 inches of soil moisture.

Step 4

Spread a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch over the bulb bed after planting and watering. Use organic mulches such as pine bark, wood chips or sawdust. Mulch prevents weed growth in the bed while also helping to retain the moisture in the soil between waterings.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Mulch


  • University of Kentucky Extension: Spring, Summer and Fall Flowering Bulbs
  • North Carolina Extension: Summer and Fall Flowering Bulbs for the Landscape
Keywords: planting fall bulbs, spring bulb sowing, fall flowering bulbs

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.