How-To Video: Planting Fall Bulbs

We call them “fall bulbs”, but they’re really fall-planted, spring-blooming bulbs.  Classics like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, freesias, Dutch irises, paperwhites etc.


  • Buy only firm bulbs. Squeeze them. If they’re soft, they’re not fresh.
  • In California, tulips, crocuses need chilling. Put them in the fridge—NOT the freezer!—until late December, then plant
  • All others plant as soon as you buy them
  • Bulbs look best planted in groups of the same kind. Better to buy one kind and more of them, than just a few of lots of types.


Soil Preparation

  • Bulbs must have good drainage. If you have heavy (clay) soil, amend it. Lots.
  • Bulbs need full sun or half-day sun.
  • They need to dry out between watering.
  • They like rich soil. Lots of organic amendment.



  • Pointy end up.
  • General rule, plant three times the height of the bulb deep. I.e., 1-inch bulb, three inches deep.
  • EBS Bulb Food at bottom of hole.
  • Cluster 2- to 3-inches apart.
  • Firm amended soil on top



  • Water once well. Then let fall and winter rains do the rest
  • In bloom: water once a week.



  • Feed at planting time
  • In early spring (once they sprout leaves.)


After Bloom Care

  • Cut of the dead flowers.
  • DON’T cut of leaves. (Except tulips—OK.) They’re storing energy to bloom next year!
  • Once foliage yellows, cut it off.
  • They’ll pop up next spring and surprise you.