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How to Layer Bulbs

A great way to plant bulbs in containers is to Layer them. In addition to creating stunning combinations, layering your bulbs can also extend the length of bloom time for your container when you choose early, mid and later blooming bulbs. You'll be impressed with how much impact one container can.... well, contain :)

How to layer flower bulbs

Bulb layering is such a simple technique, but each fall I get lots of question about how to do this, so I thought it was a great thing to tell you about this month. So get your Autumnal Garden Groove on and let's layer that container!


The general idea is that you start with the largest bulbs, and the tallest growing bulbs, at the bottom creating the bottom layer. Tulips or daffodil bulbs are perfect for this layer. For the middle layer, you can choose hyacinth bulbs or if you prefer you can choose a shorter growing daffodil or tulip. For the top layer crocus, are the classic choice, but you can also use other small bulbs like grape hyacinth, Spanish bluebells or Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow). 

There aren't many combinations that won't work as long as the large bulbs go at the bottom and the small bulbs go close to the top. If you want to keep it simple, we offer 'Layer Kits' which include a mixture of bulbs to layer in a container for a long season for blooms.         

Another interesting way to plant bulbs in containers is to use Succession Tulips. You can make your mixes, but they also come already to plant in a kit. The idea here is that you have four different varieties of one colour of tulip to plant in your container. In this case, all the bulbs go almost at the same depth, seeing that you don't have the little wee bulbs that need to be planted shallow. When you purchase a Succession Mix of Tulips you will get 32 bulbs in total, 8 bulbs of each of 4 four varieties all the same colour tone such as Shades of Black or Shades of Purple, etc. For instance, in the Shades of Black Tulips, you will have 8 bulbs each of Black Parrot, Black Hero, Queen of Night and Havran.

It's a little like making lasagna; a little bit of soil, little bit of bone meal, then the bottom layer of bulbs, cover with a few inches of soil, a little bit of bone meal then the middle layer of bulbs, little bit of soil, little bit of bone meal then the top layer of bulbs and then cover all this with a couple inches of soil and you are done.

Happy Gardening!