Layering Spring Flowering Bulbs in the Garden

Recently, when I was moving and planting some spring flowering bulbs in the garden I was reminded of the video by the Chicago Botanic Garden that demonstrates how to plant spring bulbs in containers. I decided to layer the bulbs on top of each other instead of having them scattered throughout the garden.

In the video Jill Selinger layered several different bulbs to produce a container garden that would be in bloom for a long time. You can also layer bulbs in your garden so that when one type of bulb is done blooming the next one is just starting to break through the surface of the soil. One of the advantages of layering bulbs in the soil is that you don’t end up with bald patches in your garden beds.

I took this photo to illustrate what I mean. This is how your layered spring flowering bulbs will look below ground.

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When you plant large bulbs like tulips or daffodils, a few inches above them you can plant small bulbs like crocus and grape hyacinths. The small bulbs will bloom first and by the time they’re done blooming the larger bulbs will just be starting their display of blooms.

Another advantage of layering the bulbs in the garden is that you can really stuff a number of them in a small space. When you need to divide or move your bulbs, you’ll also know where they are all without having to dig up the whole garden looking for them.


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  • Layering bulbs in the ground work, too. For example, if you have only one type of tulip or daffodil, say, but you want series of successive blooms, plant them at three different depths, going lower than recommended for two layers. They still bloom, just later, after the first set is done. :)

  • In reply to gardenfaerie:

    Good point gardenfaerie!

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