Your Rosebourne guide to Autumn bulb planting

3 . 09 . 21

Would you like to make some changes to your garden? Perhaps you fancy making it a little more colourful next spring? If so, take a look at our guide to bulb planting. Do the hard work now and reap the colourful results next spring!


  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs, such as daffodils, crocus and hyacinths, by the end of September.
  • Plant tulips in November.
  • Plant hardy summer-flowering bulbs, such as lilies, alliums and crocosmia, in September and October.


Most hardy bulbs, including tulips and daffodils, prefer a warm, sunny site with good drainage as they come from areas with dry summer climates.


In borders

Aim to plant in groups of at least six to make a great display. Typically, 25-50 bulbs may be needed to make an impressive show.

  • Dig a hole wide and deep enough for your bulbs. Plant most bulbs at two to three times their depth.
  • Place the bulbs with their ‘nose’ or shoot facing upwards. Space them at least twice the bulb’s own width apart.
  • Replace the soil and gently firm with the back of a rake.
  • If the ground is moist or the bulbs are autumn-planted, watering is not critical.

In containers

Most bulbs are ideal for growing in containers, but this especially suits those with large showy flowers such as tulips, arum lilies and alliums.

  • Fill a third of your container with Taylors Peat Free Bulb Fibre.
  • Plant bulbs at three times their depth and one bulb width apart.
  • Water bulbs once after planting then regularly when in active growth. Reduce watering when the leaves die down but check in winter to make sure pots don’t dry out.
  • To promote good flowering next year, feed the bulbs every seven to ten days with a high potassium fertiliser such as a liquid tomato feed. Begin feeding as soon as shoots appear and stop feeding once the foliage starts to die down.

Why not try lasagne planting?

For a real splash of colour next spring, why not try lasagne planting? This involves planting layers of bulbs in pots, just like making lasagne.

By planting different types of bulbs at their correct depths you will end up with a pot brimming with wave after wave of flowers, providing you with colour right through spring.

You could also plant some bedding on top to give some instant colour!