Bulb Planting Depths (Video)

How to Plant Garden Bulbs at the Correct Depths and Use a Bulb Planter

Planting bulbs at the right depths & how to plant using bulb planters. This demonstration covers daffodils, tulips, fritillarias, and Iris reticulatas, but the principles apply to all garden bulbs.


One quick video about bulb sizes and bulb depths. So, the largest bulbs, which is usually daffodils and tulips, that's a daff, that's a tulip. Nine times out of ten, they're always flat at the base, so the roots are just coming out of there, and the same with these. So, the pointy end up, and there's the basal plate there. So daffs and tulips are usually the ones that are planted deepest.

If the bulbs are an inch or two high, the general rule is you need to plant at least two or three times as deep as the height of the bulb. So if that's kind of say an inch, inch and a half, so you need to plant that about five, six inches deep. These little ones, they're only kind of half an inch, so they'll only be planted an inch, inch and a half deep. 

This is a Fritillaria. With Fritillarias, kind of plant them about two inches deep, an inch deep, but they'll always pull themselves down to whatever level they want to be. And with Iris reticulatas exactly the same: that's just about an inch, so you want to plant that about two, three inches deep, but with Iris reticulatas you need to plant them slightly deeper. Otherwise, next year, they'll split into hundreds of little bulbs that won't flower for another five, six years. So always plant it a little bit deeper. 

This is what we've prepared earlier. So, tulips and daffs, you've got about three inches depth there. These daffodil bulbs are about an inch and a half, two inches deep. So you need to plant these at least six inches deep. Dig a hole, I'll get a bulb planter, and put the basal plate, just fork the bottom of the hole over, just put the basal plate on the bottom of the soil, and then you've got six inches soil on top of it, like that. And then Iris reticulatas, a couple of inches deep. And then Fritillarias, Snowdrops, and definitely be crocuses as well about an inch below the surface. And then once you've finished planting everything, give it all a good soak.

If you're going to plant bulbs in the wild to look natural, instead of planting in little groups, gather a clump up like that, and just chuck them on the floor and then plant them where they land. Put your bulb planter in the ground as deep as it'll go. Give it a twist, pull it out, and you'll have the core of soil to put back on top of the bulb.

So you've got your hole, put your bulb in, just drop it in, just sprinkle a little bit of soil in there, just to kind of hold it in place, and then put your plug of soul back in, and then move on to the next one. 

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Thank you, The Ashridge Nurseries Team.

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