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How To… Plant and Promote Spring Flowering Bulbs

This is the time of year to bring a splash of colour and cheer to indoor and outdoor spaces with pots of spring flowering bulbs. Versatile, inexpensive and easy to care for, with careful planning they can flower for months and will reappear in the garden year after year.

Why Promote Bulbs?

  • They are the first to flower in the garden after winter.

  • Low maintenance and easy to look after.

  • Suitable for small spaces as well as large.

  • They can be placed indoor or out.

  • They will come up year after year.

How to Pot Up Bulbs

Flowering bulbs from the wholesalers that arrive in plastic pots are not attractive, but once they have been replanted in a stylish or quirky container, they instantly become very saleable and can be easily tailored to all price points.

Important points to remember when potting up:

  • Always make sure there is adequate drainage at the base of pots by using broken crocks or pieces of polystyrene.

  • For containers without drainage, use specialised bulb fibre which contains charcoal to keep compost fresh.

  • Plant bulbs just below the surface with the tops peeking through.

  • Don’t let bulbs touch the sides of pots or other bulbs.

  • Keep compost moist, but don’t overwater.

Aftercare Advice for Customers:

  • If placing outside, choose somewhere sheltered to protect from frost.

  • Only water when the top 2cm of the compost has dried out.

  • Once bulbs have finished flowering, they can be planted directly into the garden, to hopefully flower again next year.

Need Some Inspiration?

Keeping it simple, Galanthus, Scilla and Iris are colour coordinated into small, but perfectly paired containers.

From plastic to glass, planting these delicate China blue muscari in a clear container creates a window to watch how they grow.

Go rustic!

When using baskets of any size, line them with plastic first and check to make sure they are fully waterproof before planting up.

Get creative – mini bulb terrariums are perfect for a desk or windowsill, and require practically no aftercare as they will create their own mini microclimate.

Images Floradania, thejoyofplants


Su Whale is a florist and freelance writer with over twenty-five years' experience in the floristry industry. She is the author and publisher of three best-selling books: Cut Flowers, 4th edition (2020) Cut Foliage, 2nd Edition, (2021) and Houseplants (2019), all bookshelf essentials for the professional florist.




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