How to Plant Large Bulbs


If you've never planted flower bulbs before, you may be intimidated by the size of the larger bulbs. Compared to the petite bulbs of crocus, paperwhites, hyacinth and snowdrop, the larger size of tulip and daffodil bulbs can seen especially gigantic. However, planting large flower bulbs is really no different than planting smaller bulbs, and remember that large bulbs result in large, beautiful blooms.

Step 1

Choose flower bulbs carefully. Avoid soft, bruised or shriveled bulbs and opt for big, plump bulbs, even if they cost a bit more. The bigger the bulb, the bigger the bloom.

Step 2

Choose an appropriate place to plant your large bulbs. Flowers such as tulips and daffodils need plenty of sunlight, so if possible, choose a spot that gets sunlight all day. Large bulbs also require well-draining soil, so don't plant the bulbs where rainwater puddles for more than four or five hours.

Step 3

Prepare the ground for the large bulbs. Use a rototiller or a shovel to cultivate the soil to a depth of at least 10 inches to allow plenty of space for the large bulbs and their roots. Add two cups of bone meal and 5 tbsp. of bulb fertilizer for every 10 square feet of planting area. Work the bone meal and fertilizer into the soil.

Step 4

Dig a hole for each large bulb, or dig a large trench and plant several large bulbs at once. As a general rule of thumb, bulbs should be planted two to three times the height of the bulb. This means that tulip and daffodil bulbs will be planted about 8 inches deep. Leave 4 to 6 inches between each large bulb. Be sure to plant the bulbs with the pointed end up.

Step 5

Cover the large bulbs with soil and tamp the soil down lightly. Water the planting area well, but don't water so much that the soil is soggy. Although large bulbs are hardy, too much moisture can cause rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Large flower bulbs
  • Rototiller or shovel
  • Bone meal
  • Bulb fertilizer


  • University of Illinois Extension: Bulbs & More
  • Cornell University: How to Grow Bulbs: Planting Options
Keywords: large bulbs, daffodil bulbs, tulip bulbs

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.