How to Plant Bulbs in the Fall


Many people do not know that it's possible to plant trees, bushes and plants in the fall. In fact, many must be planted in the fall to best thrive or to reap a spring bloom. This is the case for fall bulbs. In order to have one of the first gardens with blooming bulbed flowers next year, you must plant them the previous fall.

Step 1

Know which kind of bulbs to plant in the fall. Plant bulbs that bloom in early spring, such as daffodils, tulips, crocuses lilies and irises, to name a few. Read the label that came with your bulb to see if they can adapt to your specific USDA Hardiness zone. Generally, fall bulbs can be planted in zones 3 to 8.

Step 2

Plant your bulbs in September or October so they can develop good root systems. At the very latest, plant them before the ground freezes. You can even plant bulbs as late as February. In addition, as a rule, you should plant them as soon as you get them, or store them in a cool, dry location in moist peat moss until you are ready to plant them.

Step 3

Plant your bulbs according to their kind. Typically, most bulbs are planted 4-8 inches under the soil. The tip of the bulb should always face up. If needed, add some compost or peat moss to your soil to make it more conducive to proper water drainage.

Step 4

Space your bulbs apart according to their kind. Usually, three to six bulbs can be planted in each square foot. If you space them too closely together, in a couple years the area will be come overcrowded, but you can just dig some up in the fall and replant them in a new area.

Step 5

Mulch over your bulbs, especially if you live in an area with cold winters.

Things You'll Need

  • Bulbs
  • Trowel
  • Compost or peat moss
  • Mulch


  • Fall Bulb FAQs
  • Fall Flower Bulbs
Keywords: grow bulbs, plant spring bloom bulbs, planting fall bulbs

About this Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.