How to Plant Bulbs in April

Updated February 21, 2017

Almost every gardener will tell you that bulbs need to be planted in fall or they will not flower in time for spring. This is because most bulbs require a blast of cold temperatures in order to get growing in the spring. However, bulbs can be planted in spring and still flower -- they will just flower later in the season. You simply have to re-create that blast of cold temperature that your bulbs never received. In fact, by manually manipulating your bulbs' environment, you can have blooming flowers year-round, even throughout winter.

Start with a container that has a drainage hole and is large enough to hold however many bulbs you plan on planting. The bulbs must be an inch apart from each other on all sides.

Fill your container two-thirds of the way with a 1:1 mix of peat moss or compost and potting soil. Water the soil and gently place your bulb in the soil with the sprout facing upward and the roots down. Never cram or force your bulb into the soil.

Cover the bulb with soil gently. Certain bulbs must be planted at certain depths to ensure quality flower production. Check the instructions for your bulbs. If you cannot find instructions, planting bulbs two times deeper than they are tall is usually acceptable. Water a second time. Wait for the soil to settle and cover any holes or areas where the bulbs are exposed.

Place the container in a cold area of your house, such as your basement, garage or refrigerator. The bulbs must remain at a temperature of 1.66 to 4.44 degrees Cor 12 or more weeks. Do not let the bulbs freeze.

Move the container to a slightly warmer area when shoots appear from the bulbs. You do not want to move the container to a much warmer area or the bulbs will bloom and die out quickly. Try moving the container to a cool garage where the temperature is about 10 degrees C. When the shoots turn green, you can move your bulbs into full sunlight.


If growing your bulbs indoors, be sure to rotate the container every week so the plant gets full coverage from the sun on all sides.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting container
  • Potting soil
  • Compost or peat moss
  • Bulbs
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About the Author

Lily Obeck is a copywriter based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She writes for print, online, outdoor and broadcast marketing, with expertise in health, education and lifestyle topics. Obeck holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Texas and works as a part-time children's library assistant.