Spring Bulbs are generally quite simple and easy to grow because most have similar requirements so once you understand the basics you can grow nearly any Spring flowering bulb with ease.
For best results plant Spring bulbs in Autumn.
Most bulbs are planted twice as deep as the bulb is high and the same distance apart. In most cases, the pointed end of the bulb should be upwards. (If in doubt, plant the bulb on it’s side.)
Most Spring bulbs require a moisture retentive, well drained soil. If your soil is soggy you can raise the beds to improve drainage or plant in pots.
Most bulbs require full sun to light shade. Generally heavier shade produces taller (and softer) stems. In warmer climates, most bulbs tolerate greater levels of shade.
Spring flowering bulbs in the garden wil not usually require watering providing they are planted in moisture retentive soil. Bulbs planted in containers (hanging baskets, tubs, window boxes, etc) should be kept moist but not wet.
Top dress all Spring flowering bulbs in Autumn with a bulb or general fertiliser. Many bulbs perform better if a second dressing is applied straight after flowering. Spread the fertiliser over the top of the soil and water in.
Remove dead heads and allow foliage to die back naturally. During this period the leaves are acting like solar panels, generating food which is stored in the bulb for generating next year’s flower. So it’s important that the leaves are not removed prematurely or tied into knots.
Allow the foliage to die down before lifting (or for at least 6 weeks after flowering). Firstly loosen the soil with a fork and gently pull up the bulbs by their stems. Allow the bulbs to dry somewhere cool (but not in full sun). Once dry, clean off excess dirt and remove old flowering stalks. Store the bulbs somewhere cool (less than 25oC), dry and airy until replanting in Autumn.
This is one of the most popular questions when it comes to bulb care. There are many bulbs which can successfully be left in the ground from year to year without any detrimental impact on their floral performance. Some bulbs however, especially tulips and hyacinths, are best lifted each year.
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