General guidelines for planting bulbs:

When to plant:

  • In our climate in Brooklyn, most bulbs can be planted between mid October and mid November. The key is to wait until the soil temperature is around 55F which is typically when the nighttime lows are between 40 and 50 degrees.

Where to plant:

  • Best to plant in locations that will be covered by trees or shrubs later in the season (particularly Daffodils and Tulips) as the foliage can get scraggly once the blooms die down.
  • In general most bulbs flower in spring and need full sun to part shade. Since deciduous trees aren’t in leaf yet, most can be planted around them. There are exceptions so best to check recommendations for the genus/variety you have if possible.
  • Plant in clusters or drifts for a nice effect.

How to plant:

  • Prepare ground by working in some compost.
  • A good rule of thumb is to plant at a depth of three times the height of the bulb and a spacing of twice the width.
  • Plant with the tip facing up and roots facing down.
  • Replace soil and firm down to ensure there are no air pockets.
  • Natural rainfall will generally provide adequate water to hydrate the bulbs but if it is particularly dry watering the bulbs well is recommended.