PLANTING SPRING-FLOWERING BULBS | SA Garden and Home
TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHS DIANE PEACOCK
Last updated on 9 April 2019

For a dazzling display of delightful blooms, now is the time to plant your favourite bulbs.

MORE LIKE “SPRING-FLOWERING BULBS”: Grow bulbs in a bowl of water

What makes bulbs exceptional?

  • They come in a wide range of gorgeous colours and shapes.
  • Bulbs have a unique ability to store all the reserves they need to produce shoots, leaves and flowers from one season to the next, which means most of them they will re-sprout or can be lifted and replanted the following year.
  • Some are fragrant and many last well as cut flowers.
  • They are also ideal for growing in containers.

Choosing bulbs

When choosing bulbs read the package instructions to see the best time and place to plant them and when they’re going to flower.

When to plant them

Bulbs enjoy cold weather and are usually planted when the temperature cools down significantly, around 10°C and below, usually by the end of April. You can buy them now and have them ready to plant when the time is right.

READ MORE: Winter gardening guide

spring flowering bulbs - Tritonias

Tritonias are indigenous

Good choices

The most common spring-flowering varieties are daffodils, narcissus, hyacinths, tulips, epheion, Louisiana and Dutch irises, muscari, tulips and ranunculus.
Indigenous bulbs include freesias, babianas, sparaxis, ixias, chasmanthe, cyrtanthus, daubenya, tulbaghia, tritonias, lachenalia and ornithogalum.

READ MORE: Tips for growing tulips

spring flowering bulbs - daffodils

Daffodils are good container subjects

How to plant bulbs

They are best planted close together in groups. They can be grown in the lawn and in containers, provided these have drainage holes.

1. Plant them in light, fertile soil with plenty of compost.

2. Dig down to at least 15–25cm. If the soil is well prepared they shouldn’t need much additional fertilising.

3. Add mulch. (Here are different types of mulch to use in your garden)

4. It’s essential that they are watered regularly, and if water is problem, plant them in pots or have a smaller display.

Find spring-flowering bulbs in most garden centres or buy online from Hadeco hadeco.co.za

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