Fall Planting Guide for Beautiful Spring Flowering Bulbs

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Fall Planting Guide for Spring Flowering Bulbs

Here is an easy guide on spring flowering bulbs to plant in fall, including how to plant tulips, crocus, daffodils, iris and more (even if you live in warm climates), a planting depth chart, and where to find and store flower bulbs. If you love spring flowers, you need this guide

Fall Planting Guide for Beautiful Spring Flowering Bulbs

Love flowers? Make sure add spring flowering bulbs to plant in fall! It’s is an easy task – but timing is pretty important. For beautiful spring flowers, you must plant flower bulbs in the fall before it gets too cold and the ground freezes. If you miss the window of opportunity, you’ll have to wait until next year. So read on for your fall planting guide for beautiful spring flowers like tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinth, iris and more!

Where to find spring flowering bulbs to plant in the fall

I found lovely high quality spring flower bulbs at Costco that I’m super excited to plant! Find bulbs for spring flowers at your local hardware store, Walmart and even ALDI. Or, order beautiful heirloom flower bulbs to plant in the fall from many of the catalogs listed on this list of 11 Free Catalogs for the Organic Gardener. Flower bulbs are for sale everywhere at this time of year!  Just make sure to buy from a reputable seller as poor quality bulbs can make poor quality flowers.

When to plant flower bulbs 

October is normally the ideal time to plant spring flowering bulbs in my area of Eastern Iowa as cooler soil temperatures will discourage the bulbs from growing too soon.  I normally wait until mid October or even the beginning of November to plant bulbs, but as long as they’re in the ground before a hard frost, you can plant them anytime after your weather cools off. If you live in a warmer location, read this post from Longfield Gardens about growing bulbs in your area. You might need to chill them in the fridge for several months before planting.

Storing flowering bulbs before planting

It’s good to plant bulbs quickly after your purchase them (within a week), or store them in the fridge. Since I’m planting in the next couple of weeks, I’m keeping the bulbs safe in my fridge. I don’t want them to start growing too early or they won’t flower in the spring

spring flowering bulbs to plant in fall tulips, daffodils, crocus etc

How to plant flowering bulbs for spring flowers

The key to growing the prettiest flowers is to plant in a rich, well-draining soil. It’s always a good idea to amend soil with compost or other natural fertilizer to give your bulbs a good growing environment. While most flowering bulbs like full sun, partial sun might work as well.

Simply dig holes to the required depth – usually three times their diameter. If you’re terrible at eyeballing depth like I am, double check with a ruler to make sure you plant them deep enough. Be sure to loosen soil if it’s tightly packed, plant the bulbs pointy side up,  cover with dirt and mulch, and water.  When in doubt, read the package directions, as they usually (but not always) include instructions.

After planting, make sure to cover the soil with mulch to keep spring weeds down! Don’t skip this important step.

Planting Depth Guide for Spring Flowering Bulbs


Planting Depth

Planting Distance

Allium4 inches6 inches
Crocus3 inches2 inches
Daffodil6 inches4 inches
Hyacinth6 inches4 inches
Iris4 inches3 inches
Narcissus6 inches4 inches
Tulip6 inches4 inches

 If you like fall guide on spring flowering bulbs to plant in fall, you might like these too:

Beginner’s Guide to Growing Garlic

5 Types of Heirloom Garlic to Grow this Fall

15 Fall Garden Tasks

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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