Discover the Best Bulbs to Plant in Autumn
In this quick guide, we will discuss all the best bulbs to plant in Autumn to guarantee spring flowering.
Bulbs are pocket-sized gardening gold, planted whilst dormant and, with little fuss or care, eventually bloom into beautiful flowers. Some of the most popular garden flowers should be planted from bulbs in Autumn. Daffodils, crocus and hyacinths should be planted by the end of September. Lilies, alliums and crocosmia can be planted in September and October. And tulips can wait until November.
Benefits of Planting Bulbs in Autumn
Outdoor Space Utilisation
Not all of us are blessed with acres of luscious land to plant in, but that shouldn’t stop you and your green-fingers. The great thing about growing flowers from bulbs is that you don’t need heaps of outside space to do so. Whilst bulbs grow well planted in soil beds, almost all bulbs are suitable for plant pots. So if you have a balcony, small patio or even a spot outside your front door you too can start growing your own flowers.
Improved Mental Wellbeing
Growing bulbs is not only relatively simple (you can read our guide on how here [link to guide]), but there is something extremely satisfying about the act of growing your own flowers. Getting your hands dirty (quite literally), caring for bulbs and watching them grow into vibrant flowers can be very rewarding. The positive effects gardening can have upon mental and physical well being is well documented, with one study finding that the act of gardening can ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Connecting with Nature
Autumn marks the end of summer when we say goodbye to the longer days and warmer temperatures. We tend to spend more time inside and begin to hibernate for the winter months. This can feel a little depressing, that’s why you should be planting bulbs in Autumn as it's a great excuse to get outside.
5 Best Bulbs to Plant in Autumn
Daffodils are said to symbolise new beginnings because they are one of the first flowers to bloom after the winter frost. They are one of the most reliable spring flowers and will brighten up your garden or outside space year after year with very little attention. Daffodil bulbs should be planted in September and are very quick and easy to plant. As versatile plants, daffodils will grow in many different soil types but prefer fertile, well-drained soil in a sunny spot. Once planted, daffodils are really low-maintenance and unless kept in a covered spot, they shouldn’t require watering except during long dry spells.
Hyacinths are very popular flowers that come in a rainbow of colours and have a powerful scent, synonymous with spring. For flowers in March and April, Hyacinths should be planted in early autumn. They will do best planted in a sunny spot, in well-drained fertile soil. Once planted their soil should be kept moist, but not soggy, making sure the top is dry to touch between watering. Hyacinths benefit from being fed with fertiliser. For bulbs planted in soil beds using a general-purpose fertiliser in late February will encourage flowering. If planted in a container, a liquid high-potassium feed from early spring until six weeks after flowering is preferred.
Native to the valleys of the Tian Shan Mountains, tulips have been grown as ornamental flowers in central Asia since the 11th century. They were introduced into the West in the 16th century by the Dutch and quickly became a fashionable commodity. Their unique, brightly coloured petals and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions have made them extremely popular flowers across Europe. Tulip bulbs should be planted in late autumn (October or November) and grow best in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun.
Lilies are tall flowers with large petals and beautiful perfume. Their tasteful nectar and colourful flowers mean they’re great pollinators and they’ll attract bees and other insects to your garden come spring. Lilies grow very well in containers, so are great flowers to grow for outside space without a soil bed. For flowers from June to August, Lily bulbs should be planted in late autumn to early spring, in any multi-purpose soil. As heavy feeders, Lilies will benefit from adding granules of controlled-release fertiliser in their soil. Once planted their soil should be kept moist but not soggy at all times.
Alliums, also known as ornamental onions, are striking plants with long leafless stems supporting round flower heads made up of dozens of star-shaped flowers. Closely related to the edible onion, alliums have a slight onion scent when crushed. But this doesn’t deter wildlife as Alliums will attract lots of bees and other insects to your outdoor spot. For flowers in May to June plant bulbs in early to mid-autumn. Best planted in a sheltered spot with plenty of sunlight either in a soil bed or a container. As drought-tolerant plants, its alliums won’t require any additional water unless kept covered from rainwater or during long periods with no rainfall.
Get Started with the Best Bulbs to Plant in Autumn
With the help of this blog, you can now purchase the best bulbs to plant in Autumn and kick start the winter months in hope to have a blooming and colourful Spring. Keep your outdoor spaces bright, your mental wellbeing cared for and become a green-fingered expert this Autumn.
Written by Viki O'Hagan, Head of Marketing