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Nerine bulbs

I’ve planted some nerine bulbs last spring, at about 15cm - 20cm depth. They haven’t flowered and meanwhile I’ve found out that they need to be planted very shallowly in well draining soil. I’ve dug them up today and the bulbs look firm and healthy. Should I store them until spring and how do I do this? Or should I plant them in pots and keep outside?

Thank you.


  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,831
    I have buried some of our Nerine's quite deeply, and we have quite heavy soil, and they have always survived and flowered, so I usually ignore the rule about having them near the surface.  I give them a weekly feed from Spring to Autumn, and have grown them successfully in both pots and in the ground (always planted deeply).  The weekly feed might make the difference for you.

    It can take a few years before they start to flower prolifically @pitter-patter .  Are yours young bulbs?  If you have N. Bowdenii (which is hardy), then I would plant them either in the ground or in a pot, with good drainage, and mulch them.  If they are in a pot, and you have a greenhouse, it wouldn't do them any harm to store them there until Spring, but that shouldn't be necessary.  We let them get very congested in pots, before considering re-potting.
  • Our nerines were planted in our clay soil so not free draining many years ago. They were slow to multiply but this year have done really well.
    We haven't dug them up at all and they overwinter alright.
  • Thank you, @KeenOnGreen and @bertrand-mabel. I will plant them in the ground and incorporate some gravel. They are nerine bowdenii Mr John.
  • I planted Nerines in our front garden 5 years ago - they didn't come up and I assumed the bulbs had rotted.  Three years later they appeared and flowered a little, this year they've flowered really well - they just seemed to need time to get going.  I need to move them now though, so will probably have to wait for another 3 years for flowers!  I gave them a weekly feed with tomato feed form April to September. I've read that they like to be congested so shouldn't be planted too far apart. Mine are bowdenii too.
  • Summary of advice found online: Plant Nerine bowdenii bulbs in autumn. Prepare the soil by adding plenty of grit for drainage and plant bulbs just below the surface, 7-10cm apart. Mulch for the first winter until established and expect to wait a year or so for the bulbs to flower prolifically. They also grow very well in pots.

    Hence one shouldn't expect them to flower in the first year, and this was also my experience. It is also said they resent disturbance, but that ship has sailed for you. The advice is to plant them with the neck of the bulb visible, I'd follow that. But I dont' know whether it's best to store them in some loose almost-dry compost now and plant them in spring, or whether to plant them now. I think established bulbs will be better able to handle slightly wet conditions (still well-drained), so I'd probably let it depend on how much cold and wet you are expecting.
    My two bunches are spreading slowly now. Around here in Cambridgeshire they are used a lot in gardens.

  • Thank you, @justflowers and @micearguers. I’ve planted them already, in a relatively sheltered space with added grit. Will see how they do in the next few years. 
  • Can I dig some of mine up now and replant then in different place, or shall I have to wait till spring?
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