Great Techniques for Success With Easy Flower Garden Bulbs

This is the beginners guide to caring for flower garden bulbs. Be it tulip care, daffodil maintenance or whatever - this is everything you need to really know about growing the major spring flowering bulbs.


Daffodils will tolerate part shade, they grow and bloom before the leaves come out on trees so can be grown in a part shade location.

Tulips and Hyacinths want full sunshine although you can "cheat" a bit with Hyacinths and give them a touch of shade.


Don't. It's that simple. Bulbs are adapted to wet springs and cold winters. So when spring is over, leave the bulbs alone. One of the major causes of bulb death is watering during the summer.

In other words, if you plant annuals over top of them and water the annuals, you'll kill off your bulbs.


Cut back the dead flowers and stems but leave the leaves alone until they turn yellow naturally. This allows the plant to store up enough energy to produce another flower bud. If you cut leaves down before they turn yellow, they won't produce a bud.

Cutting back flowers stimulates the bulb to produce a flower bud for next year.

Don't allow spent flower parts to fall between leaves and stem - this can lead to rotting and short bulb life.

Sparaxis 'Tricolor'


Yes please. Give spring flower garden bulbs a shot of compost, organic fertilizer or fish emulsion (liquid organic fertilizer) as soon as you see them poke their heads up through the ground. Do not get fertilizer on the leaves to go down into the cracks between leaves and stem (this will burn and lead to rotting) A hand full of fertilizer per bulb is lots.

Do not put fertilizer down the holes no matter how much the fertilizer sales people try to tell you to do this - it burns tender roots.

flower garden bulbs
Tulip 'Angelique'

How Long Do Tulips Live?

If you do everything right - deadhead the spent flowers, feed when they first emerge, allow leaves to go yellow on their own and don't water you should get 3-5 years from a bulb.,

If My Bulbs Aren't Flowering, What Can I Do?

You can dig them up and toss them out. Or if you live in a mild climate and grow them properly (see above paragraphs) you can divide them and start all over again. But generally speaking when they don't bloom - they're done and you can dig them out and toss them.

I Have Potted Tulips - What Do I Do With Them?

Read these articles on How To Deal With Potted Tulips

What Do You Do With Your Bulbs?

I generally tend to leave my tulips, hyacinths and daffodils alone to grow or thrive as they will. I'm slowly moving away from tulips in my spring beds to daffodils (I live on an island where deer treat tulips as appetizers).

I celebrate when they poke up and give me spring color but I understand their life is a short one in the garden the way I grow my plants (I water the perennials over top of them in the summer)

brunnera with daffodils
Spring blooming Brunnera with white daffodils

Sources Resource for This Article

A wide variety of flower garden bulbs from multiple sources is here

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