How to Plant Bulbs for Spring Blooming


Plant bulbs in autumn and you will be greeted the next year by early spring flowers. Fall-planted bulbs are easy to set out and easy to care for. Use flowering bulbs in small clusters as highlights in your garden, or grow them en masse in formal beds or in naturalized areas. Intersperse them with perennials. Try planting shallow-rooted annuals over deep bulbs for continuous spring and summer display. No matter how you use flowering bulbs, they will brighten your early spring garden.

Plant Your Bulbs

Step 1

Prepare the soil for beds by digging or tilling at least two inches deeper than the planting depth required by your bulbs. Check the planting instructions on the package for the depth each type of bulb requires. As a general rule, large bulbs like tulips should be planted about eight inches deep, and small bulbs like crocus should be planted four to five inches deep. For small clusters of bulbs, work the soil only in the small area where you will plant them.

Step 2

Place the bulbs on top of the prepared soil in the configuration you want to use. Bulbs should always be planted with the pointed side up, and the side with the tiny roots down. Sometimes it is hard to tell the pointed side, but look for the roots or a small circle outline where the roots were growing. You'll know that side goes down. Some bulbs are covered in papery skin, like onion skin, and some have layers of skin missing. Plant them just as they are. Don't remove skin, but also don't worry if some areas are missing.

Step 3

Cover the bulbs with soil, and firm it in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Tiller, optional
  • Bulb planting tool, optional
  • Small garden trowel
  • Fall-plant bulbs


  • How to plant flower bulbs
  • Fall planted bulbs

Who Can Help

  • Planting Bulbs
Keywords: how to plant bulbs, spring blooming bulbs, bulbs to plant in the fall

About this Author

Fern Fischer writes about quilting and sewing, and she professionally restores antique quilts to preserve these historical pieces of women's art. She also covers topics of organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family. For over 35 years, her work has been published in print and online.