Spring-planted bulbs produce some of the most dramatic garden color with minimal effort. You can tuck them among your perennials for a traffic-stopping summer display, or create a special bulb garden to wow your neighbors. Many of these bulbs are ideal in containers; use them to liven up your porch or deck. The main thing, though, don't forget to plant extras for cut flower bouquets!
Depending on where you live, the time to plant your summer flowering bulbs is either upon us or is fast approaching. Optimal planting times vary by region, but the Rule of Thumb is to plant summer flowering bulbs and tubers AFTER the last frost in your area.
Recommended Planting Times by Region
Region 1: April through June
Region 2: March through May
Region 3: February through April
With the right timing, planting bulbs is a snap and the results are amazing.
- Dig a hole to the required depth (see guide below). Depth is the measurement of space between the soil line and top of bulb or bare root.
- Set the bulbs or bare root in place, pointed side or sprout side upward.
- Cover the bulbs by replacing the soil and water thoroughly.
Other Helpful Tips
- Quality bulbs and well-drained soil are the two most important ingredients to a successful summer garden. Once they’re in the ground, you should keep the soil in your garden continually moist.
- For optimal color, try to maintain a pH level of 6 to 7. Additional fertilizer is typically not necessary for summer flowering bulbs and tubers.
- Be sure to plant your summer flowering bulbs and tubers within the season of purchase.
- If you live in Planting Zone 3, most bulbs and tubers will survive your mild winters. If you live in Planting Zones 1 or 2, check with your garden professional. You may need to lift your bulbs and tubers in the Fall and replant next Spring. If so, shake off any soil and air dry for several days before storing in a cool, dry, well-ventilated location. Do not store in plastic; plants need to breathe.