How to plant flower bulbs

How to plant flower bulbs

Let’s start with the good news: planting flower bulbs is a very simple task. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t done it before. Not only is it easy, it is fun. With these tips and tricks, you learn exactly how and when to plant your flower bulbs depending on whether they are spring or summer bloomers.

A sea of flowers in spring? Plant them in the winter!

A sea of flowers in spring? Plant them in the winter!

The best known flower bulbs that bloom in the springtime are grown in the legendary Keukenhof. The spring bloomers that show up at the party first are the snowdrop and winter aconite. After that, your botanical guests will start pouring in: you can soon expect tulips, daffodils and crocuses colourfully bursting out from the ground between February and June.

When to plant spring-blooming flower bulbs?

Spring-blooming flower bulbs are best planted between mid-September and late December. The perfect time to plant is when the temperature is below 10°C. That is when you should plant your garden to your heart’s content. Make sure that the flower bulbs are underground before the first frost, otherwise they may freeze.

When do spring flower bulbs bloom?

Below is a summary of the blooming periods for spring flower bulbs:

  • Snowdrops: January, February.
  • Winter aconite: January, February, March.
  • Crocuses: February, March.
  • Daffodils: March, April, May.
  • Hyacinths: March, April, May.
  • Tulips: March, April, May.
  • Alliums: May, June, July.
  • Lilies: June, July.

5 steps for planting spring bloomers

  1. Plant the bulbs between mid-September and late December. It is important that the temperature is below 10°C.
  2. Plant bulbs that bloom in the spring in a sunny location.
  3. Dig a hole for a group of flower bulbs or small holes for individual bulbs or small groups. Spring bloomers can also be planted in a pot. Make sure that the bulbs are not too close to the rim of the pot, because they can still be affected by the frost. Fill the bottom of the pot with peat dust, leaves or branches. If there is a hard freeze on the way, pack the pot in bubble wrap or bring it inside to a temporary location that is not warmer than 10°C.
  4. Be sure to give the spring bloomers enough water. This is crucial for the development of the flower bulb’s root system. Don’t feel bad for the bulbs that spend the winter outside; they need that brisk cold weather. They go into a kind of hibernation and spring back to life when the weather gets warmer.

A whimsical field of flowers or a bit more structure?

An easy way to plant flower bulbs is by randomly tossing a mix of flower bulbs throughout your garden. You simply plant them where they land and you’ll be rewarded with a spring surprise: a whimsical field of flowers that you created! If you like a bit more order and structure, choose a colour theme and plant different kinds of flowers in various colours throughout your garden or in pots on your patio.

Flower bulbs thrive under trees, shrubs and on the lawn. Some flower bulbs grow lovely in between perennials: especially alliums and naturalising bulbs are particularly successful. The advantage of naturalising bulbs is that they come back on their own each year.

Flower bulbs in pots and planters

Flower bulbs in pots and planters

Flower bulbs go great in pots, planters or even wooden crates. Always make sure that the bulbs have plenty of space and that the container has drainage holes. Place a layer of pottery shards at the bottom and always use fresh potting soil.

Planting flower bulbs: Bulb lasagne or pizza?

It might sound crazy, but creating a sort of bulb lasagne or pizza is a lot of fun and no, you can’t eat them.

Flower bulb lasagna

Simply put, this involves layering flower bulbs in the order that they bloom. Order the flower bulbs as follows: place the latest bloomers at the bottom and the earliest bloomers at the top. You can do this with all different kinds of flower bulbs. In order to make it easier for you, here are two examples:
Bulb lasagna 1
Top layer: Crocus (Crocus)
Middle layer: Hyacinth (Hyacinthus)
Bottom layer: Tulip (Tulipa)

Bulb lasagna 2
Top layer: Snowdrop (Galanthus)
Middle layer: Narcissus (Narcissus)
Bottom layer: Tulip (Tulipa)
Flower bulb lasagna
Flower bulb pizza

Flower bulb pizza

Flower bulb pizzas are round discs containing holes filled with flower bulbs. This is typically done with tulips, but you can use any bulb you like. The pizza shape allows the plants to grow in a neat circle.

In late season you can order ready-to-plant flower bulb lasagne and pizzas at Easy as pizza pie!

Planting bulbs in spring = a sea of flowers in summer!

Planting bulbs in spring

When should I plant summer bloomers?

In order to get your garden, patio or balcony looking gorgeous for summer, plant these flower bulbs in April and May. You can plant these summer bulbs in a pot even earlier than that. If you’re expecting it to freeze, bring the flower pot inside for a while.

When do summer flower bulbs bloom?

That depends on when you plant the bulbs, but here are some typical blooming periods for different plants:

  • Begonia: June, July, August, September, October.

  • Lily: June, July.

  • Dahlia: July, August, September, October.

  • Gladiolus: July, August, September.

5 steps for planting summer bloomers:

5 steps for planting summer bloomers:
  1. Plant summer bloomers in April and May.
  2. Plant bulbs that bloom in summer in a sunny location.
  3. Dig a hole in your garden or pot for a group of flower bulbs or make small holes for individual flower bulbs or small groups. Remove any weeds or stones.
  4. Gently place the flower bulbs into the soil. The most important thing to remember is that flower bulbs must be planted upright, with the pointed end facing upwards. This does not apply for extremely small flower bulbs. A good rule of thumb is to plant a flower bulb twice as deep as the height of the bulb. Use the distance recommended on the package for the spacing between bulbs.
    Please note: Dahlias and begonias are exceptions to the rule - plant these just below the surface.
  5. Make sure to give them plenty of water. This is crucial for the development of the flower bulb’s root system. If it doesn’t rain within a few days of planting the bulbs, give them additional water.


Dahlias are native to Mexico, which means they really thrive in the sun. This makes them perfect for borders or a sunny patio or balcony. Putting your dahlias in a pot? Then choose a pot with plenty of space and be generous with the potting soil. They grow very quickly

Please note: If you want to purchase flower bulbs, always look for the certification mark from Holland Selection. All flower bulbs have this certification and the A status. This means that their quality, purity, colour, size and health are of the highest quality. Try flower bulbs for yourself! provides a 100% flowering guarantee on all flower bulbs from our selection. Order flower bulbs online, to receive freshly packaged flower bulbs, delivered right to your doorstep. The bulbs are ready to be planted right away.

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