A feast for the eyes: Planting bulbs in layers

We’re pretty sure that most people love lasagne in some form or another. But how many of you are hooked on lasagne when it comes to planting bulbs? Just like making lasagne, this planting is done in layers. And the recipe is easier than you think.  

The practice was developed by the Dutch, and is beneficial in gardens as it ensures a more concentrated ‘flavour’, and a thicker, varied and more consistent bloom of flowers that will last all season long. All too often, even when following instructions to the letter, you may end up with big gaps between blooming flowers which may make the garden look a tad sparse. 

The key to effective bulb layering is to plant the bulbs according to size or seasonal blooming period –  i.e. from largest to smallest or from late flowering to early flowering. So, the later the flower blooms, the deeper you should plant the bulb. Gardeners can layer their bulbs either in flower beds or in containers such as terracotta pots and wooden planters – just make sure you have big drainage holes in the bottom to ensure the bottom bulbs don’t rot before they’ve had a chance to grow. Read this article for planting tips and visit our online store to shop flower bulbs, garden care products and planters.

Planting bulbs in layers is easy! Let’s get cooking:

1. First, stock up on the right tools

Before putting your green fingers to work, make sure you have a shovel, bag of compost, and a suitable container. After all, you can’t cook without a pot! Your container should be deep enough for your bulb layers, and have sufficient drainage holes. (This Capi Europe planter would be ideal.) The larger the pot, the more layers you can have – just make sure you don’t go too deep. If you are planting bulbs in your flower beds then opt for Bulb Trays instead.

2. Choose the right ingredients:

Don’t forget your seasonal flower bulbs! Order your favourite spring bulbs and more from Hadeco. We recommend planting three bulb types in layers for a dramatic effect. At this time of year, there are many colourful varieties to choose – from baby-pink Tulips to sunshine-yellow Irises.

3. How to get that feast stacked up:

  • Place broken terracotta pot chips or pebbles at the bottom of your chosen planter to stop the roots from clogging up the drainage holes. (These Mica Marbles should also do the trick.)
  • Add at least 5cm of compost to the pot (or more if it’s a deep container) so the root systems can grow properly.
  • Place your first layer of spring-loving flower bulbs now. Add the largest ones in your selection or the ones that flower latest in the season, spacing them about 8cm from one another. For example, Tulips, Hyacinth or Daffodils. You can pack them in, but make sure they aren’t touching.  
  • Cover the bulbs with about 5cm of soil. (Order quality potting soil online.)
  • Next, add the middle layer of bulbs, such as the smaller Narcissus, Anemone or Bearded or Dutch Iris varieties. These will work well as the second layer if spaced accordingly. (Explore Iris bulbs online.)
  • Add another 5cm of soil.  
  • And now for the final layer of bulbs! Carefully plant what’s left in your seasonal selection – the bulbs that are the smallest, like Muscari, Freesia, Leucojum or Ipheion,  or those that flower first. Finish off with a final layer of soil and a good dose of Bulb Food (which you should apply monthly thereafter) and water thoroughly.
  • Need a side salad? You can also plant up the top of the container with some winter annuals to create a lovely display until the bulbs start coming through. The icing on the top (if you’ll excuse the mixed food metaphor…)

We love planting bulbs in layers, don’t you?

What are you waiting for? Get ‘baking’ by planting bulbs in layers. Gorgeous floral displays become more beautiful the more you add to them. And layering the right ‘ingredients’ will give the most wonderful effect. Encourage a luscious array of vibrant blooms this spring by planting your bulbs and making sure you feed them well with our best Bulb Food. Visit our online store to discover the supplies you need to set this exciting garden project in motion. Got a burning question about Hadeco’s quality flower bulbs, plant care products and accessories? We would be so happy to help, so please feel free to get in touch with our team.