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Bulb Time


You don’t even need a garden to thrill to the spring splash of colour and fragrance offered by bulbs, any pot will do. 

Plant these time bombs in autumn for an explosion of colour in late winter and spring. Linda says they are bulbalicious!

The trifecta - tulips, daffodils and pansies. Photo -


All you need to know

1. A bulb is underground storage system, and the umbrella term covers true bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils; rhizomes, such as iris; underground tubers such as dahlias and potatoes; and corms, of which cyclamen and gladioli are good examples.

2. Buy healthy-looking bulbs and don’t plant anything that's soft or mouldy.

3. For long-lasting results choose a bulb from a similar climate to your own. If you are planning a one-off, single-season display of something you love, choose whatever makes you happy.

4. Spring-flowering bulbs are traditionally planted in autumn, any time between March and June. Dig the soil over to get rid of any weeds. Scatter complete fertiliser. Don’t use fresh chook manure, because that can burn the bulbs. Planting depth is quite important. Plant at least twice as deep as the bulb is high, with the neck facing up and the roots facing down. The exception is Ranunculus - plant the claws facing down.

5. Feed at planting time and again when the bulb dies down to increase the energy stored within the bulb for next year’s flowers. As the foliage yellows trim or tie into knots but don’t be tempted to cut it off before it’s yellow as this process provides the energy for next years’ flower. Bulbs may need dividing after a few years.


Photo - Schippers/


Where to buy

Ring our favourite bulb suppliers for a catalogue today. Mail order bulbs sell out fast, so don’t delay.

Tesselaars 1300 428 527

Broersons 03 9737 9714


Fragrant hyacinth. Photo -


Text: Linda Ross

About this article

Author: Linda Ross