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Spring-flowering bulbs 

Spring-flowering bulbs, which include daffodils, jonquils, tulips, hyacinths, freesias and more, highlight the change of season say farewell to winter and welcome spring. Many bulbs begin flowering in late winter bringing welcome cheer to the garden.

These plants are planted in autumn when the bulbs are dormant but potted plants are available in flower in spring. Bulbs can be grown in gardens or in containers and most re-flower year after year.

Growing conditions

Aspect Bulbs need a sunny location with full sun for most of the day. If grown with too much shade, they may fail to flower. As bulbs die back by early summer, they can be grown in areas with summer shade such as under the canopy of deciduous trees and shrubs as these areas are sunny through winter and spring.

Soil Bulbs grow in a wide range of soils but do best with good drainage. Bulbs may rot in poorly drained soils. Apply Seasol Plant + Soil Booster to the soil when planting bulbs to help revitialise soil and improve bulb growth.

Climate There are spring-flowering bulbs to grow in all climates but most do best in areas with cold winters. In subtropical and tropical zones select freesias, paperwhite narcissus and jonquils to naturalise in the garden. Bulbs that require winter chilling such as daffodils, tulips and hyacinths need to be treated as annuals in warm zones.

How to look after young bulbs
Great gardening tip to create a gorgeous garden. Your Garden November 2020

General care

Watering Adequate and regular watering are important especially in spring. Water regularly until foliage begins to dieback. Bulbs should be kept dry through summer when overly wet conditions may lead to bulbs rotting in the soil.

Feeding and mulching Feed bulb growth with a liquid fertilizer such as  PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Roses & Flowers every two weeks until the flowers have finished. Feed spring bulbs as flowering ends and until foliage dies back with a granular fertilise such as Seasol plus Nutrients for Roses & Flowers. Spread mulch such as lucerne, sugar cane or straw around bulbs to deter weed competition. Add well-rotted manure and Seasol Plant + Soil Booster to the mulch for extra nourishment and to improve the soil.

Pruning and dividing Deadhead bulbs after flowering to reduce seed formation, which takes energy that would otherwise be stored for next year’s growth. Leave foliage to die back naturally then tidy up taking care not to pull up bulbs. Marking where bulbs are planted helps avoid digging them up when they are dormant over summer. Established bulbs such as daffodil clumps can be lifted and divided in late summer.

Watch for Generally bulbs are unaffected by pests however watch out for snails and slugs that may attack emerging shoots and buds. Use a pet-friendly, natural, iron-based snail bait to deter snails. Cockatoos and blackbirds may dig up bulbs. Deter them by placing wire mesh across the bulb-growing area.