Growing Flower Bulbs

Deer won't eat daffodil bulbs. image by Per Hardestam:


Bulbs are one of the simplest ways for a novice gardener to begin building successful flower beds and borders. Most bulbs are easy to plant and require minimal care and maintenance to bloom year after year. Plant spring bulbs in autumn for blooms that will start at the end of winter and could flower until late June. Getting your bulbs started properly is the best way to ensure a beautiful garden later.

Step 1

Choose the largest bulbs possible for each flower variety. Larger bulbs are more mature and produce larger and healthier flowers. Purchase the bulbs just before you plan to plant them.

Step 2

Choose a well-drained planting area in full to partial sun. Improve drainage in poor draining beds by working compost or peat moss into the soil to raise the bed 3 inches.

Step 3

Plant your bulbs in the fall six weeks before to the first frost. Most bulb varieties require freezing temperatures to go dormant before spring blooming.

Step 4

Dig planting holes to a depth three times the bulb's width. Space holes according to the bulbs' label instructions. Most bulb flowers look best when planted in same-flower groupings or clumps.

Step 5

Sprinkle bulb fertilizer into the hole to encourage maximum root growth before dormancy. Plant bulb root side down and cover with soil.

Step 6

Water newly-planted bulbs thoroughly. Keep soil moist until the first frost.

Step 7

Apply a layer of straw mulch over the planting area once the ground freezes to maintain temperatures and preserve soil moisture.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid low spots in the garden that may still be under ice or snow melt-off in the spring. Deer and squirrels eat bulbs, except for daffodil. Plant daffodil in deer-prone areas or place bulbs in special planting cages, then bury in the soil to keep bulbs safe.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • Trowel
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • Flower Gardening Made Easy
  • Gardener's Net
Keywords: bulb planting, spring bulbs, growing bulbs

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. 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.

Photo by: Per Hardestam: