When Is It Too Late To Plant Spring Bulbs?

Posted by Amber Williams on 3rd Nov 2022

When Is It Too Late To Plant Spring Bulbs?

Autumn is the best time to plant your favourite spring-flowering bulbs. If it flowers in spring, then the bulbs are best in the ground before the frost settles on the soil. If you’ve bought some bulbs for spring but are notorious for leaving it to the last minute to plant them, you might find yourself Googling ‘When is it too late to plant spring bulbs?’.

Don’t worry! Even if there’s snow on the ground, you can still plant your favourite bulbs.

Spring Bulb Recommended Planting Months

For every bulb, there is a recommended date given to plant them. Here’s a quick guide for common spring-flowering varieties.

Tulips: November-December
Daffodils: Late August-Early December
Crocus: September – November
Alliums: September – October
Hyacinths: September – December
Early spring bulbs (snowdrops, winter aconites. Etc): October - November

When is it too late?

You might have bought your favourite spring bulbs with the best intentions, planning on getting them in the ground as soon as the season starts. However, life gets in the way, and before you know it, the recommended planting dates have flown by.

So, when is it TOO late? Spring bulbs are designed to flourish under pressure, whether that be from overcoming frost, shade, or extreme spring weather. Many bulbs can be planted up till the first frost, whereas others can even be planted during a frost.

For example, Tulips are best planted during cold weather anyway, so planting them even after Christmas won’t do them much harm. Daffodils need time to establish themselves before spring, but they can be planted up till Christmas. However, there is the chance that they come up blind.

Gardeners’ world Bunny Guinness even says, “Late planting from January to February, although not textbook, will still result in a sensational display come spring.” So, as a rule of thumb, we say planting your spring bulbs if they’re free of mould is better than throwing them out!

How to store bulbs safely

If you’re planning on keeping your bulbs to one side after they arrive at your door, then it’s good to know the best way of storing them so they don’t go bad.

Lay them out to dry after taking them out of their packaging for 24 hours. Then, pop them in a paper bag and store them somewhere cool, dry, and dark – until you’re ready to plant them outside. Check your bulbs for blemishes, mould, and squishiness before planting them out as this is a sign that they’re damaged and won’t flower.

Ready to plan your spring display? Shop your bulbs & tubers here!