Van Bloem Gardens
Bulb Care

Spring Blooming Bulbs

Nothing is more satisfying than planting dormant brown bulbs in autumn and seeing them emerge in late winter or early spring with fresh green shoots and glowing flowers.

When to Plant

Spring bulbs should be planted before the ground freezes and while bulbs are still firm and dormant. If you purchase bulbs in the fall but can't get them planted right away, store them in a refrigerator or some place where the temperature stays around 40°F (4°C). This will keep them dormant until you can plant.

Where to plant

In general, bulbs should be planted in sunny areas. Crocus, narcissi and hyacinths will also flower in partial shade.

Soil

Bulbs grow well in most soil as long as it is well drained. If drainage is a problem, consider planting on a hillside, in raised beds or in containers.

Depth and Spacing

The rule of thumb is you should dig a hole three times as deep as the height of the bulb. The chart below provides guidelines for the proper planting depth of your bulbs. Refer to the package or tear-off tag for variety specific information.

Fertilizer

Your bulbs will put on a great flower show every year if you apply a slow-release, 10-10-20 fertilizer as a top dressing in the fall right after planting and each fall thereafter. Follow label directions for application rates.

Dividing Clumps

If, after 10 years or so, your bulbs don't flower as well as they used to and the plants seem overgrown, dig the clumps, divide them and replant. You can use the extra bulbs in other areas of the garden, to enlarge naturalized areas or you can share them with friends.

Summer Blooming Bulbs

When to Plant

Summer bulbs can be planted in the ground and in containers after the last chance of frost is past and the soil warms to 50°F (10°C).

Where to Plant

In general, bulbs should be planted in sunny areas. Lilies and begonias will also grow in part shade.

Soil

Bulbs grow well in most soil as long as it is well drained. If drainage is a problem, consider planting on a hillside, in raised beds or in containers.

Depth and Spacing

The chart below provides guidelines for the proper planting depth of your bulbs. Refer to the package or tear-off tag for variety specific information.

Fertilizer

While some summer blooming bulbs, such as caladium, are not cold hardy in most of the country, others, such as lilies are. If you have rich, fertile garden soil, supplemental fertilizer probably isn't needed. However, if your soil is not nutrient rich and/or you have summer bulbs that come back year after year, it's a good idea to apply a slow release 10-10-20 fertilizer as a topdressing after planting and every spring thereafter.

Lifting Tender Bulbs

Many summer blooming bulbs are not winter hardy but this depends on which USDA hardiness zone you live in and which bulbs you are planting. Lilies are generally winter hardy in most parts of the country and many summer bloomers are hardy in USDA Zones 8-10. Please refer to the package or tear-off tag for variety specific information.
You can treat your summer bulbs as annuals and start with new bulbs in the spring or you can "lift" or dig the bulbs for winter storage.
Step 1: After the upper portion of the plant is killed by frost, dig up the root system and shake off the soil.
Step 2: Remove dead leaves and stems and place the bulbous root system in dry peat moss or wood shavings. Make sure the container you place them in allows air to get to the roots.
Step 3: Store the container in a warm, dry place such as a garage that's kept above freezing until it's warm enough to plant in the spring.
Home  |   Bulbs  |   Perennials  |   Water Plants  |   Fruits, Vegetables and More  |   Featured Plants  |   Gardener's Resources Login
Where to Buy  |   Products and POP  |   Bulb Usage  |   Photo Gallery  |   What's New  |   About Us  |   Contact