When to Lift Bulbs

When to Lift Bulbs

Should you lift your bulbs every year or can you leave them in? 

In general, bulbs can be left in the ground for several years before it impacts their flowering. You can take bulbs out and dry them over the season although there is no real advantage in doing this unless you want to move their position. 

If you would like your bulbs to naturalise (spread naturally on their own) just leave them in the ground and do not disturb them. However, with some varieties, particularly Irises and Lachenalias it is essential to lift them every 2-3 years otherwise their flowering will reduce.

If your bulbs are growing in containers or smaller areas, it is best to lift, check and replant them every three to four years. Simply dig up the bulbs, check their condition and remove any that are diseased or rotten. Divide them if need be (some may have multiplied) and plant them out again in the ground or back into containers with fresh Premium Bulb Mix.

When green foliage starts to appear through the soil, feed bulbs by applying a side dressing of Premium Bulb Fertiliser to promote healthy, vigorous blooms. Once they have finished flowering, feed bulbs again to support them in bulking up their stores for next season. 

At the end of the season (once the flowers have finished), the foliage (leaves) begins to brown and die down. Some people cut this foliage off too early and it is a major reason for reduced flower numbers next season. Leave them to brown and die down naturally to protect the plant and ensure maximum nutrients have been stored in the bulbs for the next season's flowering. 

 

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