Grow a wonderland of colour: Bulbs to plant in your winter garden

Winter is rolling around – is your garden prepped and ready with winter bulbs? There are some beautiful flowers you can plant at this time of year in preparation for a spring bloom, these include: Freesias, Daffodils, Ranunculi, Hyacinths, and Dutch Irises. We know you’ll love them all! To make the winter gardening process easier for you, we’ve got plenty of flower care products and gardening tools available on our online store

Are you ready to turn your winter garden into a winter wonderland? Take a look at these tips for growing some of our favourite winter bulbs to perfection. 

5 flowers to plant in winter for a bright and blissful spring bloom:

1. Fabulous Freesias

Why we love them

Blooming from late winter to early spring, Freesias are great flowers to grow in combinations of red, yellow and purple – bright and bold colours that turn heads and make a big statement. We love that these beautiful flowers come in so many different shades and their suitability for both beds and arrangements makes them all the more wonderful! Learn more about the stunning Freesia

How to plant them

Freesias love sunshine so make sure you plant them in an area that receives ample sunlight. Here are some more tips for growing healthy Freesias:

  • Find a spot in your garden that has lean, friable soil. If you’re battling to find suitable soil add sand to improve the soils drainage properties.
  • Till the soil with a Hand Cultivator to loosen it up a bit and plant your Freesia bulbs about 5cm deep and 10cm apart.
  • Freesias look their best when planted in masses as opposed to rows, so keep this in mind when you’re planting your bulbs. 
  • Add some mulch on top of the soil where your bulbs are buried so that the soil stays at a constant temperature and moisture level.

How to care for them

Freesias are not hard to care for – they are actually very low maintenance plants. Here’s how to care for these beautiful flowers: 

  • Water your Freesias often, especially once the foliage starts to emerge, making sure the soil is kept moist.
  • Fertilise your Freesia plants in spring. We recommend Hadeco Bulb Food – a mix of essential nutrients, specially formulated by leading Dutch flower bulb growers. It promotes the development of strong roots for vigorous foliage and abundant flowers.
  • Keep feeding Freesia until the end of its blooming season.
  • Once the Freesia flowers fade after the blooming season, allow the soil to dry out and the foliage to die off naturally.
  • When the bulbs go dormant dig them up and store them in a dry, cool and dark place – plant them again next year. 
  • If you’re cutting Freesia blooms for a flower arrangement, cut them early in the morning before the heat of the day sets in. This will prevent the flowers from drying out. 

2. Dainty Daffodils

Why we love them

We love Daffodils because they are strikingly beautiful flowers, with their blooms appearing in early spring. You could say they are living sunshine – adding a bright pop of yellow to spring gardens and brightening the hearts of anyone who beholds them. Daffodils are beautiful and hardy plants that are fairly easy to grow – making them a preferable choice for people who don’t have much time to work in their gardens.

Fun fact: Daffodils are also called Narcissus – the back-story for this name is fascinating. Learn more about the charming Daffodil here.

How to plant them

Enjoy a bright and cheery seasonal bloom of Daffodils with these quick and easy planting steps:

  • Find a suitable area in your garden for your Daffodil bulbs. They thrive when planted in dappled sunlight and are best suited to well-draining soil. 
  • Once you’ve chosen a spot in your garden for your Daffodils, use a Dibber to create a hole about double the depth of the bulb size (they are usually about 5cm tall), and plant your first bulb.
  • As you prepare to plant your next Daffodil bulb, make sure you space the hole about 10cm apart from your first bulb. You’ll want to give your Daffodils enough space to grow and spread horizontally. 
  • Add some mulch on top of the soil where your bulbs are buried so that the soil stays at a constant temperature and moisture level.

How to care for them

Daffodils may be tough plants but they still require a little TLC from time to time. Here are some ways you can care for your Daffodils to encourage their bloom for years to come:

  • When the Daffodil bulbs are growing, water them every four days, ensuring that the soil is kept moist.
  • Apply Hadeco Bulb Food when your Daffodils start flowering, to stimulate healthy bloom growth the following season. 
  • As the flowers fade at the end of the flowering season, cut off the spent blooms, leaving the leaves as is for about six weeks. Daffodil bulbs need time to regenerate for next year’s bloom. To ensure this, keep feeding them until they’ve died down (recommended for all bulbs). 
  • Lift and divide the Daffodil bulbs when they start becoming too congested. This will prevent the blooms from stilting the growth of one another.

3. Radiant Ranunculi

Why we love them

Delicate and feminine in their shades of pink, purple, yellow and orange, the gorgeous Ranunculus (or spring rose) is no stranger to the South African garden. Ranunculi flowers in early spring and we love them for their soft, textured appearance and ability to thrive both outdoors (as plants in a flower bed) and indoors (as cut flowers in a vase). Explore our range of these colourful spring-bloomers

How to plant them

Planting Ranunculus is a fairly simple process but the bulbs do require careful placement in your garden in order to thrive. Read up on the step-by-step process for planting them below:

  • Find a suitable place for them in your garden, one that receives full sun or half-day sun and has well-draining, fertile soil. 
  • Plant your bulbs about 5cm deep and 10cm apart, with eyes facing upward and claws facing down.
  • Add some mulch on top of the soil where your bulbs are buried so that the soil stays at a constant temperature and moisture level.

How to care for them

Planting Ranunculus in time for spring? Care for these beautiful flowers the right way with these helpful tips:

  • If temperatures drop below freezing, it’s advisable to cover your Ranunculi with a cloth to protect them from frost (which is unlikely with our South African weather).
  • Water your Ranunculi well during dry spells to ensure the soil is always kept moist and feed them with Hadeco Bulb Food when they start flowering.
  • Cutting back the blooms as they begin to fade encourages a resurgence of flowers – trim as needed during the flowering season.
  • Do not cut the foliage back until they are fully dormant – this is an imperative step for encouraging flower growth next season. 

4. Happy Hyacinths

Why we love them

We love the vibrant purple and white blooms of the Hyacinth – a welcome sight when grown as a single colour or in a colourful combination. Blooming in early spring, Hyacinth blossoms emit the most gorgeous perfume – making them a favourite patio plant. Hyacinths also have a rich connection to the past, making them all the more appealing. Read more about this fragrant beauty

How to plant them

Like many spring-bloomers, Hyacinths need sunshine and generous watering to thrive. Want to grow some of these beautiful flowers yourself? We’ll teach you how:

  • Find a spot in your garden with well-draining soil and mix some compost into it. For healthy Hyacinth growth, make sure the soil is equal parts clay, sand and organic matter.
  • Plant your bulbs about 10cm deep and 7cm apart so they have sufficient space to grow and spread naturally. 
  • Add some mulch on top of the soil where your bulbs are buried so that the soil stays at a constant temperature and moisture level.

How to care for them

Hyacinth flowers need special care when kept in pots indoors or grown in beds outside. Enjoy abundant blooms with these bulb care tips:

  • Be sure to water your planted Hyacinth bulbs frequently (every three to four days) and generously each time.
  • Once in bloom, potted Hyacinths can be moved indoors to enjoy during the day but be sure to move them outside again at night to preserve the flowers.
  • Nurture your Hyacinth plants with Hadeco Bulb Food every two weeks. 

5. Delicate Dutch Irises

Why we love them

With their silky petals and orchid-like features, Dutch Irises (blooming from late spring to early summer) beautifully complement other spring-blooming flowers and add a touch of refinement to gardens of South Africa. We love them for their beautiful shades of violet, yellow and white. Visit our online store and order the Dutch Iris variety that catches your eye. 

How to plant them

When planting your Dutch Iris, it’s important to choose a sunny spot. Follow these steps for an exceptional bloom of beautiful flowers:

  • Firstly, dig a hole about 20cm deep and add compost or peat to the hole to improve drainage. Once the hole is ready, plant the bulb with the pointed end facing up (it should sit about 10cm deep in the hole) and fill with soil. 
  • Repeat the previous step, spacing each bulb about 10cm apart. For an impressive show of Dutch Irises, plant about a dozen bulbs or more.
  • As the Dutch Iris grows and begins to flower, you may feel tempted to cut the flowers for indoor use. Feel free to do so!
  • Add some mulch on top of the soil where your bulbs are buried so that the soil stays at a constant temperature and moisture level.

How to care for them

If your Dutch Iris needs a little attention, take a look at these ideas for better care:

  • Water your Dutch Iris plants regularly to keep the roots moist.
  • If you want your Dutch Iris to bloom again next year, remove the spent flowers – ensuring you leave the stems and foliage. If there are healthy flowers, leave them until they wither and turn yellow before cutting.
  • Dig up the bulbs after the foliage yellows and then store the bulbs in a dry, cool and dark place where they can be left until next winter.

Enjoy beautiful flowers all season long

Ready to plant your own garden of gorgeous spring-bloomers? If so, you better order your bulbs quick – winter is the best time to do it! If you have any questions about our current stock or want additional tips for growing beautiful flowers in the winter months, let us know by emailing: customercare@hadeco.co.za and we’ll be in touch.