Spring bulbs from Clifton Nurseries

Top Tips for Planting Bulbs

Clifton Nurseries's picture
Posted Aug 28th, 2023
by Clifton Nurseries

Bulbs are easy to grow and are ideal for bringing colour to beds, borders and containers - read on for our top tips for planting bulbs!

Where to Plant Bulbs

Tulips - ideal for Spring colourMost bulbs need good drainage; we recommend using bulb fibre or multipurpose compost for containers. If you’re planting your bulbs in beds or borders (particularly in dense London clay) it’s often necessary to add compost and/or grit.

The RHS recommend groups of around 5 or 6, and at least 25-30 bulbs to create an impressive display.

How you lay out your bulbs is totally up to you and your personal preferences. You may want to plant them in lines, in circles or in pretty much any design! For a natural planting style, take handfuls of bulbs, throw them down and then plant them wherever they land.


How to Plant Bulbs

  1. Make a hole (use a bulb planter, stick or finger) wide enough for the bulb, and to a depth of approx 3 times the size of the bulb (e.g. 15cm deep for a 5cm bulb)

  2. Leave a space between the holes of about 2 or 3 times the bulb-width in borders and beds, and 1 bulb-width apart in containersSigns of Spring - Daffodils

  3. Place bulbs with their pointed ends facing upwards

  4. Replace the soil firmly, but not too much as this can damage the bulbs

  5. Water after planting if the soil or compost is dry

Looking after Bulbs

  • To help bulbs in containers prepare for next year, feed with tomato food once a week, starting when the shoots appear and stopping when the foliage starts dying back.
  • Never cut plants back until the flowers and foliage have died back as the bulb gets its energy source from them for next year’s growth and flowers.  



About the author

Clifton Nurseries - inspiring, designing, building and supplying the most beautiful gardens