Many gardeners order bulbs through catalogs, either because they cannot find the particular bulbs in their local garden centers or because the catalog prices are lower than those found locally. Whatever the reason, the bulbs that are ordered from a catalog will need to be planted just like any other bulb. There are some things, however, that you need to know about planting bulbs you have ordered from a catalog.
Plant your bulbs immediately or as soon as possible after they arrive. Most catalog companies will not ship your bulbs to you until it is the proper time to plant them. From your address, they know in which climate zone you live and will ship at the appropriate time for planting in your zone.
Dig a planting hole. You can usually determine the depth from the instructions on the package in which you find your bulbs. If there are no directions, a general guideline is to dig a hole as deep as three times the diameter of the bulb. Place the bulb in the hole with the flat base facing down. Backfill around the bulb with soil.
Add organic material to the planting hole if necessary. If the soil does not crumble easily in your hand, you should add some type of organic material, such as compost and/or shredded leaves. This will help to promote good drainage, which bulbs prefer.
Apply 3 to 4 inches of any type of organic mulch. After planting the bulb, you need to provide it with protection from harsh weather conditions. Mulch will provide this protection, as well as enable the soil to retain moisture.
Water until the ground around your bulb is slightly moist. Watering your bulbs after planting will encourage them to start setting their roots. There is no need to water them again until they begin to show new growth.