Caring for spring bulbs — tips for a colorful sea of ​​flowers in autumn

Not all flower bulbs are hardy. Some of the bulb flowers and especially the bulbs are only planted after the winter. They delight with lush flowers in summer, but must be dug up in late autumn and overwintered frost-free. In the spring, mainly dahlias, gladioli, freesias and canna are planted. These non-hardy bulbous plants can be enjoyed in the garden every summer for decades, but they need frost-free overwintering.

Things to know about spring flower bulbs

Use: bedding plant, balcony plant, graveyard
planting Planting time: depending on the species from March
Flowering time: depending on the species from May to October
Flower colours: white, yellow, orange, pink, red, purple, blue, two-tone
Special features: Flower bulbs and tubers are easy-care plants for many possible uses. With the appropriate selection, other types of plants from the group of bulbous plants can bloom in the garden over many months. Frost-free overwintering is important.

In which location do flower bulbs and tubers feel most comfortable?

Flower bulbs and tubers are easy to care for and, just a few weeks after planting, will delight you with lush flowers from early summer to late autumn. A sheltered, sunny location and well-drained, humus-rich soil are important. If the soil conditions are not quite optimal, better drainage can be provided with sand or light soils can be improved with high-quality potting soil. Summer bloomers from the bulbous group can also be planted in a pot and brighten up the summer on the balcony or patio. It is important at every location that waterlogging is excluded.

When is the right time to plant flower bulbs?

Autumn as planting time Spring as planting time

All spring flowering bulbs are planted in late summer and autumnSummer flowering bulbs and tubers are planted in springThe bulbs are hardyThe bulbs and tubers are not 100% hardyTulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses, snowdrops, winter lice, crown imperials, snowflakes, grape hyacinths, ornamental onions, dahlias, lilies, gladioli, Indian Flower cane, zantedeschia, tuberous begonias, anemones, freesias, agapanthus bulbs can remain in the ground over the winter

Bulbs and tubers are dug up in autumn and overwintered frost-free

With all flower bulbs that are planted in spring, it is important that the planting takes place after the worst of the frost has passed. Planting too early means that the plants sprout and are damaged by late frosts. In the case of tuberous begonias and dahlias, so-called forcing is possible indoors. These preferred plants are not planted out until mid-May.

What is the best way to plant flower bulbs and tubers in the garden in spring?

Careful planting of the flower bulbs is essential for magnificent plants in summer:

  1. Loosen the soil well and remove all weeds.
  2. Dig a planting hole.
  3. Put good quality potting soil in the planting hole.
  4. Optionally, you can activate and support soil activity with organic flower bulb power. Put this soil activator in the planting hole before planting or sprinkle it on the surface and work it in. The use of organic flower bulb power also keeps voles away.
  5. Now the bulbs and tubers are planted in the planting hole.
  6. Cover the flower bulbs or tubers loosely with the humus-rich garden soil and press them down lightly.
  7. Watering after planting is not absolutely necessary.

Especially with dahlia tubers, it is important that you protect the young new shoots from snail damage. The basic rule for the planting depth is: two to three times the tuber height. Note that tubers planted too deep will sprout poorly.

The basic rule for planting distances is:

Depending on the growth height and growth width, the planting distance varies within the different types of bulbs and tubers. On the packaging you will find guidelines for the optimal planting distances and planting depth.

How do I water my flower bulbs correctly?

Flower bulbs are easy-care and robust plants. You should water the bulbs and tubers immediately after planting. This ensures that the soil is closed and the buried parts of the plant sprout better. As soon as the young shoots are visible, watering is only necessary in dry locations and in phases without precipitation. Flower bulbs in a pot are watered depending on the location. It is important that waterlogging is avoided.

How do I fertilize my flower bulbs correctly?

Flower bulbs that are planted in spring and will delight with colorful flowers in summer are supplied with organic flower bulb power directly when planting or with natural fertilizer when they sprout. Depending on the species, subsequent fertilization can be carried out shortly before flowering.

What is the best way to plant my flower bulbs in a pot?

Many flower bulbs and tubers can be planted in pots quickly and easily in spring. Even without experience, this is easy to implement and an experience to see what comes out of a tuber or an onion. The pots can be practically placed in the desired place and thus beautify the entrance to the house, terrace or balcony. Plant the bulbs and tubers of dahlias, gladioli, begonia, canna, lilies and much more from the beginning of March and the shoots will be visible after just a few weeks.

7 tips for planting flower bulbs and tubers in containers:

    • Choose vessels with a water drain
    • Provide a drainage layer at the bottom of the jar
    • Fill the container with high-quality potting soil
    • Plant the bulbs so close together that they are just touching each other
    • Fill in the cavities with soil
    • Water the soil and onions thoroughly

Make sure the onions don’t have too much moisture

How are bulbous plants and tubers overwintered?

A cool and frost-free place is important for overwintering frost-sensitive bulbous plants and tubers. Cool basement rooms are well suited, even without daylight. The onions are optimally stored in wooden boxes with newspaper on the bottom and covering the bulbs and bulbs at a maximum temperature of between 10-12 °C.

These onion plants and tubers must be overwintered frost-free:

      • anemones
      • dahlias
      • gladioli
      • tuberous begonias
      • Montbretie
      • freesias
      • ranunculus

How are bulbous plants and tubers dug up

After lush flowering in summer and autumn, the summer-flowering bulbous plants should be protected from the first deep frost. Temperatures of 0°C are not a problem, but before there are several days of -2°C and below you should dig up the frost-sensitive plants. It is important for the development of the tubers and bulbs that you do not dig up the bulbs too early. The storage organs only grow when the temperatures are cooler, and the longer they stay in the ground, the stronger they develop for the next year.

A digging fork is best for digging up the bulbs. Pierce around the plants and slightly raise the soil. Depending on the type of soil, the storage organs can be easily lifted out of the ground. It is important that the bulbs are not damaged. Lay the dug up bulbs out on newspaper in a sheltered spot. After just 1-2 weeks, the onions are optimal for storage.

What types of flower bulbs are there for spring planting?

More and more new types of flower bulbs are being created as a result of extensive breeding work. In addition to the classic individual varieties, there are collections. These include different types of bulbs on a color theme, types suitable for naturalising, or types that delight as a bee pasture or butterfly garden.

What pests and diseases can bulb plants and tubers get?

Bulbous plants and tubers are quite resistant to diseases and pests. In addition to unfavorable site conditions, which mean that plants do not flower much, slugs are the main problem when sprouting.

FAQ — Frequently asked questions about autumn flower bulbs

Why aren’t my gladioli blooming?

Missing or sparse flowering can be the result of a lack of fertilizer. A shady location can also be the reason for a lack of flowering.

Can dahlias and gladioli be planted in the same spot for several years in a row?

An annual change in the planting of tubers and bulbs is ideal. However, it is also possible to plant in the same spot for many years. Sufficient soil preparation and fertilization is important. For example, a layer of compost in autumn can help to improve the soil structure significantly.

How do I care for my summer flowering bulbous plants and tubers after flowering?

After the dahlias, gladioli and begonias have faded, only the flower stalk is cut off. The leaves are still necessary because the onion plant stores the nutrients in the tuber or bulb. Therefore, you should not cut back the plant completely. Gradually the foliage yellows and turns brown. Now is the time to dig up the frost-sensitive bulbous plants.

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