Forum home Plants

Daff bulbs

Rob LockwoodRob Lockwood Posts: 376
edited June 2020 in Plants
Hi all.  I want to plant daff bulbs so they'll give a good show and will be ok for a few years so I don't have to move them every year.  Depth I'm fine with; however, every site you go to gives a different distance to plant apart - anything from "2 bulb widths apart" to 4"-8", with the RHS site weirdly not even giving a distance!
I understand that bulbs are different sizes depending on cultivar and will vary in size throughout their lives, which presumably largely accounts for the range and the wide variety of ranges given.
I also suspect it's ranges partly because, unlike seeds or plants, bulbs are more 3-dimensional, so when I plant sunflowers I plant so each stem's 30cm away from the next, but I guess this isn't the same case with bulbs where the distance given will be between the bulbs, not the stems?
So, how far apart do I plant them? :#:#:#   If I assume they'll all eventually get to a height to tip of 6cm and a diameter of 4cm (no idea what they are unfortunately - inherited from my Dad), does that help?!

Yours in confusion!  Rob


  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    Hello Rob. Are you intending planting them in borders or in grass to naturalise? 
  • Rob LockwoodRob Lockwood Posts: 376
    In borders Joy.  Raised beds to 30cm, pretty sandy soil, which I'll probably improve a bit.
  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    If they are old bulbs and you're not sure of what they are, I would regard the first year as a bit experimental and use it to find out what you have got. Take photographs when they are in flower so that you have some idea of which is which and put labels in where possible, avoiding stabbing through the bulbs. You shouldn't move them until the leaves had died back as they feed the bulb and next year's flowers.
    If every bulb is separate, I'd plant them in groups of 3 or 5 of similar looking specimens depending on size of bulb with 15 cm or more between groups. If the bulbs are made up of several still joined together, plant each one separately with at least 10cm between each. The bigger the bulb, the more space you can leave. If you don't intend to grow anything else in the bed you could just throw them around and bury them where they land. Providing that they are not too thickly planted the will have a natural look.
    You can't go far wrong if you plant them deep enough with the pointed end upwards!
    I had a bag full of bulbs which I collected from my huge garden when I sold the property (with the blessing of the buyer). I kept them in an onion sack over the summer, scraped a bed in the only bit of soil there was at the new house, threw them in, made sure that they were mostly the right way up then covered them up with soil and waited. They were all sorts of sizes and varieties. Once I could identify them, I planted them in small clumps to get a natural look. They spread over time but will not need moving for several years, if at all. I only pay more attention to spacing if they are new commercial bulbs.
    I hope this is of some help. It's a bit vague I'm afraid but it is a bit complicated when you can't see bulbs. When you do get flowers you will be more able to work out where you want them to go and it will be a bit like Christmas, waiting to see what you get!

  • Rob LockwoodRob Lockwood Posts: 376
    Thanks Joy!
Sign In or Register to comment.