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The Vandenberg Blog

Tips for the Best Spring Blooms (from Bulbs)

How to choose, plant and store bulbs so they thrive in the spring!


How do you prepare your garden for spring? Get it ready in the fall!

Planting spring bulbs in the fall ensures your garden is ready for those first signs of spring… when the early bloomers start to poke through the frosted ground. 

Are you an avid gardener looking for inspiration or someone just trying out their green thumb? Here are our favourite bulbs and when to plant them.

Everything you need to know about spring bulbs

Spring bulbs are exactly what they sound like… flowers that bloom in spring! They are typically the first flowers to bloom and usher in the first signs of spring. 

What are bulbs? - Bulbs are like a package with everything a flower needs to grow. They’re planted in the ground in the fall and lay dormant during the winter, storing all their energy for spring. Once spring hits and the temperature is just right, plants use their stored energy to grow and flower quickly. 

almost bloomed tulips

Common spring bulbs — Spring bulbs like crocuses, tulips and daffodils are often the first to bloom and usher in the first signs of spring. These bulbs are considered “hardy,” meaning they can withstand temperature drops and rainy weather. Perfect for the Lower Mainland!

  • Crocuses are often the first flowers to poke their heads out from the winter frost. These flowers come in lovely spring colours like lavender, white and yellow. They are also great for bee-friendly gardens! Crocuses should be planted roughly 3 inches deep and in groups of 3–9 bulbs. To find the best bulbs, look for large ones that are dry and firm. 
Crocuses flowers
  • Tulips are beautiful spring flowers and my personal favourite! (Maybe it’s my Dutch heritage talking…) With so many vibrant colours, you can't go wrong adding them to your garden for a pop of colour in early spring. You want to plant tulips roughly 5–7 inches deep and 4–5 inches apart. Look for bulbs that are firm, dry and around 5 inches in circumference — these are the best ones.
  • Daffodils are also an excellent choice for spring bulbs! There are a few varieties in both colour and shape. The most common being yellow and white with a trumpet shape. Planting daffodils about 3–6 inches deep and 4–5 inches apart with the pointy side up would be best for these spring blooms. The perfect bulb has a big round shape, is firm to the touch and has a papery covering. 

For all spring bulbs, it's best to avoid soft, mushy, imperfect or nicked bulbs. It's also best to plant them in your garden's sunny or partially shaded areas. Without sun, you won’t get the blooms you want!

When to buy and plant spring bulbs

When is the best time to buy your spring bulbs? When stock is high! Usually, around August or September, nurseries will be stocked with spring bulbs. It's also a good time to get them, so you're ready to plant as the weather gets colder. 

When should you plant your spring bulbs? Spring bulbs should be planted around mid to late fall. It's best practice to have your bulbs planted just before the first frost, which in the Lower Mainland is usually late October into November.

"Shock" or "chill" your bulbs before planting them to keep them dormant. This also stops them from blooming too early. To chill your bulbs, keep them in your fridge (preferably in a mesh bag) until ready to plant. This practice is great if you get your bulbs before you plan to plant them or when the weather isn’t cold enough!

Get ready for blooms!

Planting spring bulbs can be tricky. Knowing when and where to plant them can change each year depending on the weather and the layout of your garden. So, If you fancy yourself a DIYer, take these tips and run. But if you'd rather have some help, head on over to and reach out.