Spring Blooming Bulbs

Early bloomers that signal the beginning of spring!

Spring flowering bulbs are an excellent way to provide color and variety to that late Winter through early summer landscape.  To get a great selection of bulbs, it’s best to make your purchases in September.  We then recommend that the bulbs be held for planting until early to late October when the soil temperatures are cooler.

Tulips, daffodils and other bulbs require half to a full day of sun and well-drained soil.  They can be planted in landscape beds and perennial gardens, or they can be naturalized.  Naturalized plantings are deliberately placed so that they appear unplanned.  Bulbs can be planted under deciduous trees because they will make most of their growth before the tree’s leaves shade their location during the summer.  The roots of trees and shrubs will also help to keep the soil dry through summer.

Selecting Bulbs
Select the largest bulbs for the biggest and best flower production.  To elongate the flowering season, plant early, midseason and late season varieties of the same type of bulb or different bulbs that bloom at different times

First work Bone Meal or Bulb Booster into the soil where bulbs are to be planted.   Then, plant as directed:  larger bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths should be planted 6-8″ deep and 6-8″ apart.  Minor bulbs such as crocus, snowdrops, anemones and others should be planted at least 4-5″ deep and 4″ apart.  Remember, the pointed side of the bulb always goes up.

To simplify your bulb buying and planting calculations, use this handy chart to determine how many bulbs you need for a particular sized bed.  Of course, the quantity listed would depend on the effect you’re trying to achieve and your budget.   You can increase the number of bulbs for a dramatic and showy effect or decrease the number if you are mixing in other bulbs or to plant them further apart.

Bulb 10 25 50 100
Anemone 200 500 1000 2000
Scilla 200 500 1000 2000
Muscari 200 500 1000 2000
Crocus 200 500 1000 2000
Large Daffodil 75 205 420 1100
Small Daffodil 140 340 675 1350
Large Tulip 65 180 360 725
Small Tulip 75 205 420 1110

Water bulbs right after you plant them. If it is a dry fall, you will want to water bulb plantings about every 10 days through December.

Spring Care
After the bulbs flower, the foliage must remain intact until it browns naturally or the bulb will not be able to store enough energy to bloom next year.  A side dressing of bulb food just as the bulbs come up in spring is helpful

Some bulbs such as daffodils and some tulip varieties will multiply rapidly.  As the bulbs multiply, the flower quality will diminish.  The bulbs can easily be divided by digging them up in mid-summer after the foliage has died, or in early fall.   The divided bulbs should be replanted as soon as possible.

Diseases & Pests
Some bulbs are the favorite snack of squirrels and moles.  There are some ways to control these bulbs bandits.  Plant daffodils around susceptible bulbs, as they are poisonous and are often avoided by wildlife.  Newly planted bulbs eaten by critters also can be soaked in Ropel Animal Repellent for about 10-20 seconds before planting.   Deer just love tulip and many other spring bulbs, just spray the emerging leaves with Liquid Fence when they’re about 2″ high in spring and again in about 10 day

In very moist areas, fungus can be a problem.  This can be avoided by dusting bulbs with sulfur based fungicies following label directions. 


Weed Control
You may overspray bulb area with an herbicide to kill weeds in late summer as long as no part of the green tops remain.  DO NOT use Preen weed preventer as bulbs do not like it and will not thrive.