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When Is the Best Time to Plant Flower Bulbs in the Fall?

Pink tulips, purple crocuses and yellow daffodils popping through the soil are one of the first signs of spring! Planting bulbs in the fall will ensure your spring starts off colorful and in timely fashion. Timing is key however because you want roots to develop before the first frost. For the Midwest, September through November are the best months to plant bulbs, but in the South, October through January is ideal.

Popular types of bulbs to plant in the Fall are Alliums, Bearded Irises, Crocuses, Daffodils, Fritillaria, Hyacinths, Scilla, Snowdrops and of course, Tulips.

Here are six tips to help you have a bountiful spring!

  • Plan your space: Bulbs prefer well-drained soil. If you soil is soggy, plant your bulbs in containers or a raised bed. Many prefer full sun; many will still do well in partial sun, like Hyacinths, Crocuses and Snodrops.
  • Read the instructions for the specific bulb you are planting. Many bulbs should be planted 1- 3” deep, while some like the Hyacinth should be planted 4-6” deep. Bearded Irises on the other hand only need 1” soil covering the bulb. Then determine the amount of space between bulbs. Generally, many bulbs should be planted 2-4” apart, but some do better with more space. Tulips and Crocuses should be planted 4-6” apart, while Hyacinths should be 6-8” apart.

Best Time Plant Bulbs Fall

  • If the bulb has a pointed end, generally plant that end up. Some bulbs don’t have a “right side up.” If you are unsure, plant bulbs on the side.
  • Plant in odd numbered clusters, for example: plant 5 or 7 bulbs in a group.
  • Once planted, water well, but do not soak the bulbs.
  • Use mulch to help maintain moisture and prevent weeds.
We hope your flower beds are full of beautiful shades of purples, pinks and yellows next spring. Happy growing and come visit our Garden Center if you have any questions about how to make your home garden oasis the best it can be!

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