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How to Plant Sprouted Bulbs

By Hollan Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017
A dahlia in bloom

There are a number of flowers that grow from large bulbs instead of seeds. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinth and crocus are spring-blooming bulbs that need a period of cold stratification to flower, while begonias, dahlias and canna lilies are warm-season bulbs that need warm weather to grow. If your bulbs start to sprout before you plant them, it is important to do so as soon as possible.

Choose a spot for the bulbs that has well-drained soil and the proper amount of sun exposure. Most spring bulbs need full to partial sun, while some summer bulbs, like begonias, need partial shade.

Till the soil and work 3 to 4 inches of compost into it to a depth of 5 to 6 inches to improve the soil’s condition. Mix 5 tbsp. of 10-10-10 water soluble fertilizer into the soil to a depth of 4 to 8 inches.

Dig holes for the sprouting bulbs, two times as wide as the bulbs and two to three times their height.

Place the bulbs in the holes with the roots facing downward and the green sprouts facing up. Fill the hole with soil and pat it down gently.

Water the soil deeply for several minutes.


Things You Will Need

  • Spade
  • Compost
  • 10-10-10 water soluble fertilizer

About the Author


Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.