Bulbs bring spectacular colour to gardens across the seasons, but especially in spring. From cheery daffodils to elegant tulips, blowsy gladioli to demure snowdrops, there are bulbs for all styles and growing conditions. A container of miniature bulbs will brighten up even the smallest space, while some dramatic dahlias or cannas will make a big splash in even the grandest of borders.


Planted when dormant, bulbs may look unassuming, but after just a few months they’ll reward you with exquisite flowers. It includes a wide range of flower shapes, colours and sizes as this is a large and diverse group.


Most bulbs like a sunny spot with soil that drains well. They prefer moist soil during the growing season, but often need drier conditions when the foliage dies back and they become dormant.


Those from Mexico, such as dahlias, may not survive the winter outside, especially if the tubers are subjected to frost, or grown in heavy clay soil that remains wet overwinter. If planted at the wrong depth or the wrong time, bulbs may fail to flower.

Did you know?

Most people think of bulbs as spring performers, but there are bulbs for every season, including lilies in summer, nerines in autumn and snowdrops in winter.

Growing guide

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.