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Different coloured tulips and primroses growing in a garden bed

Overview

Nothing says spring like beautiful tulips in the garden. These vibrant flowers start out as bulbs, which can give your garden beds an instant burst of colour. There are plenty of other spring flowering bulbs available, including daffodils, jonquils, and irises.

Steps

1Choosing your bulbs

You should choose large, healthy bulbs that are firm and plump when you squeeze them. Plant your bulbs straight away but if you can't, then store them in a cool, dark and dry spot. 

A woman pointing at the pointy end of a flower bulb

2When to plant

The best time to plant spring bulbs is when the weather starts to cool down in autumn. If you live in a cooler region, then plant them in March and April, but for warmer areas, you can wait until May.

Pro-tip: in temperate climates you should chill your tulip bulbs in the fridge for 4 to 6 weeks before planting.  

3Where to plant

Bulbs prefer full sun or light shade, and soil with good drainage because waterlogged soils can cause bulbs to rot.

4Turnover soil

Before planting any bulbs, it's a good idea to dig the soil over, break up any clods, and remove weeds. You can also add some compost to the soil for nutrients and scatter with fertiliser.

A person digging in a garden bed with a small digger, next to packets of bulbs and fertiliser

5Planting

You should plant your bulbs at least twice as deep as their height with the neck up and the roots touching the bottom. The only exception are Ranunculus bulbs, which have claws that need to point down.

Place shorter bulbs at the front of your garden beds, and taller ones at the back. You can also mix different bulbs together for maximum colour impact. If you're unsure how many to plant, the more the better.

A person planting flower bulbs in a garden bed

6Mulch and water

Once you've planted your bulbs in the ground, cover them with soil and a layer of mulch. Then water them in using a liquid fertiliser.

7Planting in pots

If you are planting bulbs in pots, always use a premium quality potting mix and place the pot in a shaded spot. When the leaves start to appear, you can move the pot into full sun. Daffodils and tulips are excellent bulbs for pots and you can plant up to eight of them in each pot.

8Growing your bulbs

Once you've planted your bulbs, you can pretty much leave them until the flower buds first appear. Then, it's time to water and fertilise again.

A person watering a garden bed using a watering can

9Start planting

Planting spring bulbs is extremely rewarding, and a great way to celebrate spring by adding some gorgeous colour to your garden. Take a look at our range of flowering bulbs and choose yours today!

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.