Flowers that have been planted within the landscape bed of a Brookfield, Elm Grove homeowner.Flower bulbs are easy to plant and easy to care for. Here is general information that applies to all spring-flowering bulbs.  Spring-flowering bulbs MUST be planted in fall when soil temperatures are between 40-55 degrees F.  I prefer to plant as late in the season as possible because it gives the critters that much less time to dig them up before the ground freezes.  Once the ground freezes, the bulbs are safely locked into a vault of frozen soil until spring when they will abound with beautiful colors.  Just remember, spring flowering bulbs MUST be planted before the onset of winter. Choosing a Site There are two key considerations when choosing a site for bulbs.

Wauwatosa landscape bed with flowers grown successfully from bulbs.

1. Sunlight

Most bulbs need ample sunshine to bloom well next spring and to store up the energy required to flower in future springs. Many bulbs–including crocuses and bluebells–can be planted beneath deciduous trees; these bulbs  are able to satisfy most of their light needs before the trees leaf out. (See each item we offer for specific light requirements.)

2. Drainage

All bulbs need good drainage; never plant bulbs where water collects. The drainage of heavy clay soils may be improved by digging in organic matter such as compost or composted manure. How to Plant There are two principal ways of planting bulbs.

3. Planting a bed

Excavate the area to be planted and loosen the soil in the bottom. Set the bulbs in the bed, following the spacing recommendations provided in our Planting & Care Instructions sheet. Replace the soil. If the soil is dry, water thoroughly.

4. Planting bulbs individually

Dig a hole with a trowel, auger or bulb planter. Drop the bulb (or bulbs–small bulbs such as those of eranthis or anemones can be planted in threes or fours) into the hole. Replace the soil. If the soil is dry, water thoroughly after planting. NOTE: Don’t worry too much about which end is up on a bulb. Bulbs know to send shoots up and roots down. They will grow and bloom even if you plant them upside down.