Create a stunning display with spring bulbs

Planting bulbs in autumn sets the stage for a colourful surprise in spring. Plus, the care and attention you give them now means they will be more likely to bloom again the year after!

April 22, 2024

Create a bulb haven

When you're arranging bulbs in your garden, think big and bold. Clustering lots of flowers together makes everything look more stunning and vibrant.

Some bulbs even like a bit of shade and are perfect for brightening up spaces underneath deciduous trees. If you've got space to spare, why not create a bulb wonderland? Plant early, mid, and late bloomers to keep your garden colourful for as long as possible. And remember to mark where you've planted them, so you don't accidentally dig them up later when they’ve finished blooming!


For the soil, you want it to be like a well-draining sponge and mix in some well-rotted animal manure. When the flowers start to show up, treat them to some liquid food to prep them for next year's blooms.


Generally, the bigger the bulb, the bigger the bloom. Plant them about twice as deep as they are big, with the pointy side up. Though, keep in mind, some bulbs (like anemones and ranunculus) are the black sheep of the family and prefer to be planted pointy side down.


Bulbs in pots are like having your own portable flower show. You can show them off when they're looking their best and tuck them away when they're done. Use a special bulb soil mix and pick a deep pot so their roots have room to grow. It's okay if they're a bit cosy, but they shouldn't be squishing each other. Discover the delights of container gardening

Ever heard of lasagna planting? It's when you layer different bulbs in a pot. This way, you get a constant parade of flowers. Picture daffodils popping up first, then hyacinths, followed by anemones.

Timing is crucial. Plant too early, and some bulbs might get too hot in the ground. Too late, and they won’t chill enough to wake up properly. In warmer spots like Perth, chilling tulip bulbs in the fridge for a few weeks before planting can help. Just keep them away from fruits and veggies to avoid damage from ethylene gas.

After the show

Once the flowers have done their thing, snip off the spent blooms but leave the leaves until they've completely given up. This is when the bulb is soaking up the sun and gathering energy for next year. After the leaves yellow, you can dig up tulips and store them somewhere dry and cool until next year. Most other bulbs are happy to stay in the ground.

Bulbs for beginners

If you haven't tried planting bulbs before, now is the time to check out the amazing varieties available. Start with these bulbs which are the easiest to grow in Perth's temperate climate.

  • Anemone and ranunculus - Grow from corms, which are planted with the points downwards. They flower in hues of red, pink and blue and look great together. Plant in a full sun position. They both make excellent cut flowers. For best results plant new corms each year.

  • Babiana (baboon flowers) - Blue, purple or white flowers grown from corms which can be left to grow year after year. Great as border plants in a full sun or part shade position.

  • Freesia - Highly perfumed flowers in a huge variety of colours - freesias are very tough and come back year after year with very little attention.

  • Jonquil - Very adaptable, early flowering and fragrant. Jonquils are like mini daffodils.

  • Sparaxis (harlequin flower) - Colourful striking flowers in a variety of colours with black markings.

Hyacinth in a vase

For a bit of fun, try growing a hyacinth in a narrow-necked vase. It's fascinating to watch the roots grow daily, and you'll end up with a fragrant bloom that lasts about two weeks. Wear gloves when handling hyacinth bulbs as they can cause irritation.

  • Choose a squat vase with a narrow neck and place the bulb in the top of the vase, pointy end up.

  • Fill the vase with water to just below the base of the bulb.

  • Place the vase in a cool dark cupboard and wait for roots to develop and grow down into the water.

  • A shoot will eventually develop and once it's about 6cm tall, bring the vase out, place it in a lighter spot and wait for the flower to bloom.

  • Change the water every couple of days.

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