If you want a colorful, cheerful garden this spring, start by planting your bulbs now. Planting spring flowering bulbs is a great idea as your garden will be all set to put on a great display when spring rolls around. Depending on where you live this will allow you to have flowers from January through June.

Flowering Timeline

The most popular spring-flowering plants are crocus, daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips. There are many other beautiful flowers that bloom throughout the spring that deserve consideration. Have you thought of alliums, anemones, or snowdrops?

Here is a timeline with the bloom times of flowers:

Jan – Feb:  Snowdrops (Galanthus)

Feb – Mar:  Crocus, Chionodoxa

Mar:  Iris, Narcissus (botanical)

Mar – Apr:  Anemone, Narcissus, Scilla Siberica

Apr:  Muscari, Fritillaria meleagris, Tulipa (botanical), Hyacinthus, Leucojum aestivum

Apr – May:  Tulipa, Fritillaria imperialis

Jun – Jul: Allium (high flowering), Allium (low flowering)


Many of these flowers will bloom for several weeks. If you choose flower combinations by different bloom times you can design your garden to have blooms all spring long. Here is an example of a combination you can create. Start with snowdrops in January, crocuses in February, botanical daffodils in March, grape hyacinths in April, Tulips in April/May, and alliums in June.  Next, consider different colors as most of these bulbs come in many different colors and some of them are available in mixtures.


The range of flower bulbs is quite extensive. When making your combination selections make sure to check the bloom time, so they fit the design you are trying to create.

Spring-flowering bulbs like to be planted in full sun or partial shade. Check the growing instructions so you are prepared.

These bulbs will almost grow in any type of soil, but they do not like it too wet. Avoid planting them in a location where water might pool, such as the bottom of a hill or under a drain.

If you want beautiful spring flowers and only have a patio, terrace, or balcony try planting bulbs in pots and use the lasagna method by planting the bulbs in layers. Put late-flowering bulbs at the bottom, and the early-flowering ones at the top. If you plant the layers in the correct flowering order, the early bloomers will flower first, followed by the bulbs that bloom later.

Planting Tips

When planting your bulbs make sure they are in the ground before the first frost. These bulbs need the cold to grow and bloom properly.  Here are steps to plant your bulbs:

Dig a hole for a large number of bulbs, or individual holes for single bulbs. The rule of thumb is to plant the bulb three times as deep as it is tall.

Put the bulb in the soil with the tips facing up. If you are not sure which is the tip, don’t worry the bulb will flower even if they are planted upside down. For large flower bulbs plant them three to eight inches apart. Small bulbs can be planted three inches apart.

Cover the bulbs with soil and water them if the soil gets dry.

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