Please open the box as soon as it arrives and check the contents. The ventilated bags help to maintain the correct moisture levels, but temperature and humidity are unpredictable during shipping. Your bulbs should feel solid and firm. Bare root plants should feel lightly damp – not wet and not completely dry. If you are unable to plant right away, store the opened box in a cool, dark place away from heat and freezing temperatures. Most bulbs may be stored in their bags for up to a month.
Plant your bulbs any time before the ground begins to freeze – there’s no need to rush. The ideal planting time is after the first killing frost when the soil is cool. If you garden in zones 8-10, your bulbs may need to be pre-chilled before planting.
Prepare the Soil
Bulbs should be planted in soil that is loose and well-drained. They will not grow in soggy soil. To improve the planting area, loosen the soil a little deeper than the recommended planting depth and mix in compost or other organic matter.
Check the Depth
As a rule, spring-blooming bulbs should be planted 2-3 times deeper than their height. So a 2 ½” tall tulip bulb should be planted 5-7” deep. Recommended planting depths are printed on each package.
Pointy End Up
Most bulbs have a flattened bottom where the roots will grow and a tapered top where the stem will emerge. When planting, the tapered end of the bulb should face up. If you can’t determine bottom from top, don’t worry too much. Bulbs naturally grow toward light and warmth.
Plant in Groups
Spring bulbs look best when they are planted together in odd numbers and irregular shapes. To plant a large area fast, dig out the soil from the planting bed and place it on a tarp. Position the bulbs and then gently replace the soil. Recommended spacing varies and is printed on each package.
Sun vs Shade
Spring-blooming bulbs prefer to grow in full sun, but because they bloom before the trees leaf out, even a shady area will usually give them plenty of sunlight.
Additional planting and care information is available on our website. Click on LEARN in the top navigation bar and go to Fall-Planted Bulbs.
Article is closed for comments.