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Planting instructions / How to plant


Get the best out of your bulbs and plants by giving them the right care from the very beginning. It’s all about providing favourable conditions and planting correctly — when your bulbs are growing in conditions that they feel most at home in, they will thrive and put on a great show.

As a general rule, most plants and bulbs don’t like to be too wet unless they are a type that would naturally dwell in boggy areas. Many summer bulbs and plants don’t like to get too cold and simply keeping them frost free is enough to keep them happy.

If you’re not sure what conditions are right for your bulbs or plants, or just need some planting tips, you can look up planting instructions for all varieties here:

AUTUMN PLANTING
SPRING PLANTING

A
Allium
Amaryllis
Amaryllis belladonna
Anemone

B
Bellevalia

C
Calla aethiopica
Camassia
Chionodoxa
Colchicum
Corydalis
Crocus
Crocus sativus
Crocus speciosus
Cyclamen

D
Dutch iris

E
Eranthis
Eremurus
Erythronium

F
Fritillaria

G
Galanthus

H
Hermodactylus
Hyacinth
Hyacinthoides

I
Ipheion
Iris reticulata

L
Leucojum

M
Muscari

N
Narcissus
Nectaroscordum

O
Ornithogalum
Oxalis

P
Paeonia
Puschkinia

R
Ranunculus

S
Saxifraga
Scilla
Sternbergia

T
Tulip

U
Urginea

A
Acidanthera
Aconitum
Actaea
Agapanthus
Allium perennial
Amarine
Amaryllis belladonna
Amorphophallus
Anemone
Anemone (Japanese)
Anomatheca
Aquilegia
Arum
Astilbe
Astrantia

B
Babiana
Bare-root perennials
Bearded iris
Begonia
Belamcanda
Bessera
Bletilla

C
Caladium
Calla
Calochortus
Campanula
Canna
Chasmanthe
Chlidanthus
Chocolate Cosmos
Colocasia
Convallaria
Crinum
Crocosmia
Curcuma
Cyrtanthus

D
Dahlia
Daylily
Dicentra / Lamprocapnos
Dracunculus

E
Echinacea
Epimedium
Eucharis

F
Ferraria
Freesia

G
Galtonia
Geranium
Geum
Gladiolus
Gloriosa
Gloxinia / Sinningia
Glycyrrhiza
Gypsophila

H
Habenaria
Hedychium
Helianthus
Hosta
Hymenocallis

I
Incarvillea
Iris chrysographes
Iris ensata
Iris sibirica
Ixia

J
Japanese Anemone

K
Kniphofia

L
Leucocoryne
Liatris
Lily / Lilium
Lycoris

M
Mirabilis
Monarda

N
Nerine

O
Ornithogalum
Oxalis

P
Paeonia
Papaver
Perennials (general)
Perovskia
Persicaria
Polianthes
Polemonium

R
Ranunculus
Roscoea
Rudbeckia

S
Salvia
Sanguisorba
Sauromatum
Scadoxus
Schizostylis
Sidalcea
Sparaxis
Sprekelia
Stachys

T
Tacca
Tigridia
Triteleia
Trollius

V
Veronica

W
Watsonia

Z
Zephyranthes


→ ACIDANTHERA

Acidanthera planting instructions

  • Acidanthera (or Abyssinian Gladiolus) are half hardy and can tolerate temperatures down to around -5C. For most reliable results, they should be protected from frost.
  • Pot up in a cool greenhouse in spring between March and April. You can grow them on in temporary pots and plant them out into borders after risk of frost has passed. Alternatively, you can plant them directly outside in early May.
  • Plant the corms around 10-15cm deep in borders or patio containers.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart in borders, or closer together (5-8cm) in pots.
  • If planting in patio containers, use a free-draining compost such as multipurpose or soil-based compost with plenty of drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first season. Allow the soil to become almost dry before watering again.
  • Acidanthera flower in late summer.
  • Cut back flower stems to 3cm above ground level in autumn. Move containers with Acidanthera into a frost-free location for winter. In coastal areas with mild winters and sandy soil, they can often survive outside during winter.

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→ ACONITUM

Aconitum planting instructions

  • Plant your Aconitum (or Monkshood) bare roots outside during spring or autumn.
  • Select an area with moderately fertile, humus-rich soil, that is in full sun or part shade.
  • Set plants 50-70cm apart or individually in large containers.
  • Select an area with moderately fertile, humus-rich soil, that is in full sun or part shade; avoid any soil that becomes waterlogged.
  • If growing Monkshood in a pot, use well-drained soil mix of equal parts loam, leaf mould (or soil-less compost).
  • Water-in after planting and, while in growth, do not let the soil become dry.
  • For best foliage and flowers, apply a balanced fertiliser in April and again in July.
  • Deadhead as necessary, to prolong the flowering season.
  • After several years, lift and divide congested clumps in autumn or spring.
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ ACTAEA

Actaea planting instructions

  • Actaea are fully hardy to around -20C and can be planted straight outside in the spring. There is no need to protect them from frost in the winter.
  • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
  • Plant the roots with the crown or buds just below the soil surface. Plant directly into a prepared space in borders or pot up and grow on first.
  • Actaea are happy in clay or heavy soils. Choose a part of the garden with moisture retentive clay or loam soil and in partial shade for best results.
  • Space the plants 15-20cm apart
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first year.
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ AGAPANTHUS

Agapanthus, also called African Lily, are real sun lovers. They’re low maintenance too! If you have a hot, sunny area in the garden and want a plant which will thrive without much fuss at all, Agapanthus is a great choice. They don’t mind poor, light soil and can tolerate drought, which means means they rarely need watering once they’re settled in. These reliable perennials will form large clumps which flower more prolifically every year. Confined spaces like pots and narrow borders against sunny walls are the perfect place for them because they quite like to build up a dense root network and to feel restricted.

Agapanthus planting basics

Agapanthus are supplied as bare roots which can be planted directly into borders, patio pots or into temporary pots to grow on before planting out. They will initially concentrate their energy into growing a dense root network, after which they will start to produce flowers. In the first year, they may put all their energy into growing roots and leaves which means they will wait until the second year before they start to flower. Choose a sunny spot for your Agapanthus to grow, they really love the sun!

Agapanthus planting instructions

  • Agapanthus are hardy perennials and can be planted directly outside in spring. If temperatures are below freezing in spring, it is a good idea to start them off in pots in a sheltered location first while they are still young.  
  • You can plant Agapanthus bare roots between March and mid May.
  • When planting in containers, a soil-based compost is ideal.
  • Choose a spot for your Agapanthus plants which is in full sun.
  • It’s a good idea to soak the roots in water for a few hours prior to planting.
  • Plant the roots so that the crown is around 5cm deep. If your Agapanthus already have leaves or shoots, plant the roots with the leaves exposed above the soil surface.
  • Space the plants around 15-20 apart from each other.
  • Water-in thoroughly after planting and water regularly while in full growth. Don’t allow them to sit in wet soil while still dormant. Once the plants are established (after the first year) they will prefer to be dry most of the time.

Gracy’s tips

  • To encourage Agapanthus to establish quicker, you can plant them in small pots to begin with so that they start to feel confined sooner, subsequently concentrating on flowering earlier than if planted into spacious borders where there is more room for their roots to spread out.
  • Snip off the flowerheads after flowering before they go to seed to encourage the plants to concentrate energy on root growth and forming bigger clumps.
  • Some varieties are more resilient than others. In particularly cold areas, it is a good idea to move potted agapanthus into a cool but sheltered location for winter.

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→ ALLIUM

Alliums bridge the gap between spring and summer when your garden is short on colour. Even if it weren’t for this nifty trick, you’d still want to grow them. The strikingly geo-metrical flowerheads and often intense colours of Alliums ensure that they make a bold statement in any garden. Strange though it may seem, they are actually relatives of onion and garlic, but there’s nothing oniony about the sweet scent most varieties’ flowers give off. Allium varieties range from smallish, cute, and colourful plants to tall-stemmed, large-flowered stunners.

Allium planting basics

Alliums will flower much later than most of your spring flowering bulbs, but that’s to your advantage. Step one is to choose a sunny spot. Although they’re un-fussy and easy to grow, getting Alliums off to the best start possible pays off. Compost is perfect for improving almost any soil’s texture and structure, if you have a heavy or very light soil, start by digging plenty of compost in to improve the structure and nutrients.

Allium planting instructions

  • Alliums are fully hardy and will be happy outdoors throughout winter. They should be planted between September and December for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can open up the packets to let air circulate the bulbs and store them in a cool, dry place. They should be stored no later than early December as they may start to deteriorate by that time, they won’t store until the following year.
  • Allium bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
  • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
  • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position in full sun or very light partial shade.
  • Allium bulbs come in a wide range of sizes, some are as small as peas and others are bigger than baseballs. The size of the bulb determines the planting depth, they should be planted around 1-2 times as deep as the bulb is high.
  • Plant the bulbs with the pointed side facing upwards. Some allium bulbs will be flat on one side, this is normal.
  • The size of the bulbs also determines the spacing between bulbs. Small bulbs can be scattered into wide, shallow holes – a spacing of around 5cm for small allium bulbs is fine. Large bulbs should be planted individually into holes and will need to be about twice the bulb width apart from each other.
  • Cover back over with soil/compost. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless you have very mild winters and the soil becomes dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.

Gracy’s tips

  • Plant your Allium bulbs into groups of odd numbers: This will create a more dynamic and natural look in your garden!
  • If the weather is particularly dry during the growing season, Alliums will appreciate extra watering while in leaf.

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→ ALLIUM (SUMMER PERENNIAL)

Allium (summer perennials) planting instructions

  • Perennial alliums are hardy to around -20C and can be planted straight outside in the spring.
  • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
  • Plant the roots with the crown or buds just below the soil surface. Plant directly into a weed-free space in borders or pot up and grow on first to transplant as a potted plant later in the season.
  • Plant in free-draining soil in borders or containers in full sun. If planting in containers, you can use multipurpose or soil-based compost.
  • Space the plants 15-25cm apart from each other.
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first year.
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ NERINE & AMARINE

Welcome autumn with a splash of fresh, vibrant colour and impressive exotic-looking flowers, courtesy of Nerines and Amarines. These late-season delights are just what’s needed to extend the season of colour, timed to perfection to burst into bloom just as your summer plants may be beginning to fade. They’re the ultimate pick-me-up in the garden on a dull day, not to mention a sparkling gem of a plant on those golden, sunny autumn days. You’re in for a real treat!

Nerine / Amarine planting basics

Nerines and Amarines are frost-hardy perennial bulbs and will return with magnificent blooms every year. They can cope with winter temperatures down to -10C, if it’s likely to get colder than that it is a good idea to give them a little extra protection. They love to be baked in the summer sun and will do best in a clear spot with free draining soil. Plant the bulbs with their necks exposed - if fully submerged they may produce only leaves and no flowers. These late-season plants often remain dormant into summer before they start producing their first leaves, so don’t worry if they don’t show any signs of life straight away!

How to plant Nerines / Amarines

  • Nerines are fully hardy to around -15C and generally don’t require any frost protection over winter. Amarines are hardy to around -5C and may appreciate a dry foliage cover over winter.
  • Plant your Nerine or Amarine bulbs straight outside during mid-late spring in a free-draining soil.
  • Grow in borders or containers in a sunny or partially shaded spot with free-draining soil.
  • Plant shallowly with the necks of the bulbs exposed.
  • Plant in groups at a spacing of around 10-15cm between bulbs.
  • Water-in after planting.

Gracy’s tips

  • Nerines and Amarines bloom from around October to November. They’re a fantastic feature, especially when planted in clusters of three or more. Create a well-balanced display by repeating those clusters at roughly even spacings around the garden.
  • Over several years, Nerines and Amarines will multiply and form dense groups which you can split and replant in other spaces. The best time to divide them is in the spring.
  • Try them as cut flowers! With long stems and elaborate blooms, Nerines and Amarines make fantastic autumn cutting material.

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→ AMARYLLIS (HIPPEASTRUM)

Amaryllis planting instructions

  • Amaryllis (or Hippeastrum) are tender bulbs and must be kept away from frost. They are best grown indoors and will produce an impressive display of flowers during winter.
  • Between October and December, plant your bulb into a pot which allows around 3cm of space around the circumference of the bulb. The pot should have a drainage hole at the bottom and a tray underneath so draining water doesn’t spoil your surfaces.
  • Add multipurpose compost to the bottom of the pot until it is the right level for the bulb to be positioned so that the neck is exposed above the rim. Position the bulb on this layer of compost and fill around the sides of the bulb with more multipurpose compost, firming down as you go so that the bulb is secure. The compost should be up to the neck of the bulb but no higher.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water whenever the soil looks dry.
  • Position the pot in a warm, bright part of your home.

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→ AMARYLLIS BELLADONNA

Amaryllis belladonna planting instructions

  • Amaryllis belladonna are half hardy and can tolerate temperatures down to around -5C. It’s recommended to protect them from frost during harsh winters, and to start them off in sheltered conditions under cover at first.
  • Between March and April, pot up in a cool greenhouse or grow on in a part of the garden which is sheltered from harsh frosts. You can grow them on in temporary pots and plant them out into borders after risk of frost has passed.
  • Alternatively, you can plant Amaryllis belladonna directly outside in a sunny, sheltered position in early May.
  • Plant bulbs shallowly with the neck exposed.
  • Choose a sunny, sheltered position in a border with free-draining, preferably sandy soil.
  • They do grow quite tall so it is best to choose an eventual position for them in borders or a sturdy patio pot.
  • If planting in patio containers, use a free-draining loam-based compost.
  • Space the bulbs around 15-30cm apart.
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first season. Allow the soil to become almost dry before watering again.
  • Amaryllis belladonna flower in late summer.
  • Cut back flower stems to 3cm above ground level in autumn and cover the bulb with dry foliage, such as cut fern leaves, for winter.

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→ AMORPHOPHALLUS

Amorphophallus bulbifer planting instructions

  • Amorphophallus (or Devil's Tongue) bulbs are hardy down to -10C, so can be planted direct outside but may require winter protection. For best results in the first year, it is best to start them off under cover in the spring and move them outside once they have started to grow.
  • Plant your Amorphophallus bulbs straight outside during spring between April and May, in a rich but loose and free-draining growing medium. Alternatively, you can start them off indoors between March and May to give them a head start. If planting in containers, you can use multipurporse compost. Add plenty of bark or leaf mulch to the compost for best results.
  • Grow in borders or containers in a warm and sheltered but shaded position – under the canopy of a tree is ideal.
  • Plant the bulbs 5-10cm deep, with the emerging shoot or the slightly concave side facing upwards. If it is difficult to see which side is which, plant the bulb on its side and shoots will make their way upwards. Space the bulbs at least 15-20cm apart.
  • Water-in after planting and keep well hydrated throughout the growing season, not allowing the soil to dry out or become waterlogged. While the bulbs are still dormant in spring, only water when the soil appears to be drying out.
  • Amorphophallus may not flower every year. After flowering, spent flower stems can be cut back to ground level.
  • In mild areas, or if grown under the cover of trees, bulbs can be left in the ground with a thick mulch to protect them from frosts. In cooler or exposed areas, grow in containers and bring them inside to a frost-free place over winter.

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→ ANEMONE

A real super-plant for the spring and early-summer season, Anemones are wonderfully reliable and easy to grow, rewarding minimum effort with a colourful display of cheery blooms.

Classic Anemone varieties like ‘De Caen’, ‘St Brigid’ and Anemone blanda are unfussy characters, they’ll grow well in most gardens – just dot them around in pots, borders or even through grass and they’ll happily do their thing. One of their best characteristics is their ability to naturalise and pop up each year for another lovely show.

Italian and Israeli Anemones look impressive in the garden and come in a wide range of colours, they also make the most magnificent cut flowers. Unlike the older Anemone varieties, they are best in year one and don’t tend to naturalise or return each year. As they are bred in countries with warmer climates, they need a little protection from cold and wet winter and spring weather. For best results, it’s best to plant them in trays or pots in a cool greenhouse or cold frame during the cold months and transfer them outside in the spring when the weather is milder.

You can plant Anemones in autumn or spring, but remember that it is necessary to plant them in the same season that they are supplied while they are still fresh. Corms will lose their freshness a number of months after they are harvested leaving it too long before they are planted may affect their performance.

Anemone planting basics

Anemones are easy to grow and provide a lovely, bright display in most outside spaces, but they especially love growing in a sheltered sunny or partially shaded position in rich, well-drained soil or multi-purpose compost. They grow from small brown knobbly corms which can be planted in clusters in pots or borders to create natural-looking groups. If you are planting in spring, you can stagger your plantings and enjoy a fresh display of blooms which last right into summer.

Anemone planting instructions

  • Plant direct into outdoor pots and borders between March and June. Autumn or plantings are best started off in pots or trays in a sheltered location unless you are planting fully hardy Anemones which can go straight outside.
  • Soak the corms in plain water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
  • Plant straight away after soaking, positioning 3-5 corms in each planting hole at a depth of 3-5cm, then water-in.
  • Ensure the soil is kept lightly moist (but not soggy) after planting. Container-grown plants should be watered whenever the soil begins to look dry.

Gracy’s tips

  • Anemones will thrive in most well-drained soils. If growing in a container, choose a good-quality multi-purpose compost.
  • For maximum flowering in containers, mix slow-release fertiliser granules into the potting mix prior to planting.
  • Plant Anemone corms in clusters to create colourful groups. Plant plenty so you can afford to snip a few to display in the home too!

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→ ANOMATHECA

Anomatheca planting instructions

  • Anomatheca are half hardy and can tolerate temperatures down to around -5C. They are best protected from frost and require mild to warm temperatures to come out of dormancy. It is advisable to start them off indoors or in a greenhouse in the spring.
  • For best results, pot up and grow on in a greenhouse between March and April, they can then be transplanted outside in early summer. Alternatively, you can plant them directly outside in May.
  • Plant the corms around 10-15cm deep in borders or pots.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart in borders, or closer together (5-8cm) in pots.
  • Choose a position in full sun with free-draining soil.
  • If planting in patio containers, use a free-draining compost such as multipurpose.
  • Water-in after planting continue to water regularly when in growth.
  • Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering. Don’t allow dormant bulbs to sit in wet, soggy and cold soil.
  • Cut back flower stems to 3cm above ground level in autumn. Move containers with Anomatheca into a frost-free location for winter. Bulbs planted in borders should be covered with a mulch over winter in mild areas or lifted and stored in a cool but frost-free place until the following spring.

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→ AQUILEGIA

Aquilegia planting instructions

  • Aquilegia are fully hardy and can be planted directly outside in the spring. You can plant them directly into a clear, cultivated space in borders or into temporary pots to grow on and plant out as potted plants later.
  • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
  • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the crown or buds just below the surface or any top growth or leaves exposed.
  • Choose a position which is in full sun or partial shade.
  • Space the plants 15-20cm apart
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth. Once established they only very occasionally need additional water.
  • Remove flowering stems once the flowers have faded.
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ ASTILBE

Astilbe planting instructions

  • Astilbe are hardy to around -20C and therefore don’t require any frost protection over winter. They can be planted straight outside in the spring.
  • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
  • Plant the roots with the crown or buds just below the soil surface. Any leaves which have grown should be exposed above the soil surface. You can plant directly into a clear, well-dug space in borders or into patio containers.
  • Astilbe prefer poorly-drained soil. They do well in moist soils close to water or any moisture-retentive soil. In containers they can be planted in loam-based or multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position which is in shade or partial shade.
  • Space the plants 20-25cm apart from each other.
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth.
  • Deadhead after flowering.
  • Cut back stems down to 3cm above soil level in autumn.
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ ARUM

Arum planting instructions

  • Arum are hardy to around -20C and can be planted straight outside in the spring. They don’t require any frost protection over winter.
  • Plant the tubers directly into a cleared space in a border or pot them up to grow on outdoors for a few months first. Potting them up first helps them to establish without competition or risk of disturbance.
  • Arum italicum grow best in a humus-rich, well-drained soil. If planting in containers, you can use soil-based compost or multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position which is in full sun, partial or dappled shade.
  • Space the tubers 10-15cm apart from each other.
  • Plant around 10-15cm deep with the growing tip facing upwards.
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth during the first season and during hot, dry weather.

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→ ASTRANTIA

Astrantia planting instructions

  • Astrantia are full hardy and can be planted straight outside in the spring.
  • Either plant the roots directly into a clear, prepared space in the border in spring or pot them up into temporary pots to grow on and plant out as potted plants later.
  • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
  • Choose a part of the garden with free draining soil which is in full sun, partial shade or shade.
  • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the buds or crown just below the surface and with any top growth exposed.
  • Space the plants 15-20cm apart
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first year.
  • Cut stems down to 3cm above soil level in autumn.
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ BABIANA

Babiana planting instructions

  • Babiana are tender perennials and won’t tolerate frost. They are best started off in a greenhouse in the spring and protected from freezing winter conditions.
  • Pot up in individual 9cm pots or cell trays between March and May and grow them on in a cool greenhouse. They can be transplanted outside from May onwards. Alternatively, you can plant them directly into patio containers to grow on in a greenhouse in spring, or you can plant them straight outside in borders in May.
  • Plant the corms around 10-15cm deep in borders or pots.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart in borders, or closer together (5-8cm) in pots.
  • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
  • If planting in patio containers, use a free-draining compost such as multipurpose.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth.
  • Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering. Don’t allow dormant bulbs to sit in wet, soggy and cold soil.
  • Cut back flower stems to 3cm above ground level in autumn. Move containers with Babiana into a frost-free location for winter. Bulbs planted in borders should be lifted and stored in a cool but frost-free place until the following spring.

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→ BARE-ROOT PERENNIALS

Give your plants the great start and get set for a rewarding display which returns year after year!

From Astrantia to Rudbeckia, Epimedium to Echinacea, hardy perennials come in all shapes, sizes and colours and can happily fill various spaces around the garden. When it comes to longevity and reliability in flowering plants, hardy perennials are truly the garden staple, sitting quietly in beds and borders throughout the year before bursting into life for a fabulous flowering season which just gets better every year.

Choose the right spot for your perennials and they will return each year, bigger and stronger each time. Generally speaking, hardy perennials are unfussy, undemanding and tough. On the whole the ideal planting position is in a free-draining soil in full sun or partial shade. Some varieties prefer a cool position in shade, including Convallaria, Dicentra and Epimedium. Another exception from the general rule is Astilbe which likes a damp, poorly drained soil.

Bare-root perennials planting basics

Hardy perennials are happy to be out in the elements through all seasons without much fuss, but a little nurture at first goes a long way towards growing plants which establish quickly and healthily. While bare roots can grow well if planted directly into beds, they are at risk of becoming lost among neighbouring plants, being disrupted during regular spring weeding and even being pecked out and discarded by birds looking for worms! We recommend planting bare root perennials into temporary pots in the spring and growing them on in a sheltered part of the garden first so they can establish a stronger root system and a bit of top growth, undisturbed and without competition.

How to plant bare-root perennials

  • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting
  • Plant your bare roots into temporary pots with a multipurpose compost in spring and grow-on in a sheltered spot outdoors
  • Choose a pot which comfortably fits the bare roots. Some have a noticeable crown which should be just below the soil surface with any top growth exposed. Some varieties are a length of root which should be planted lengthways and shallowly (1-2cm deep).
  • Plant out into borders or permanent containers in late spring or early summer once in full growth. Choose a position in sun or shade depending on the variety.

Growing perennials in pots

Perennials can be great for pots and will provide a low maintenance display which returns every year. Unless you have very large containers, it’s a good idea to choose perennials which aren’t too tall so that they don’t make a top-heavy display. Hardy geraniums make particularly good container plants as they are fairly drought tolerant and tend to have a low growing, mounding habit. A soil-based compost is best for potted perennials as it is more robust and holds moisture for longer. Where multipurpose compost loses its freshness and starts to shrink down over time, a soil-based compost has a dense structure and heaviness to it which should suit most perennials, especially if they are intended to stay there for some time.

Planning your planting scheme

Thinking about plant heights, habits and colours plays a part in where they should sit in your border. Taller varieties should be positioned towards the back, whereas more compact or low-growing perennials should be nestled in at the front where they can be seen. Whether you have a special colour scheme or a full colour palette, you’ll want to make sure that your colours are evenly spaced too. If you have multiples of one plant variety, they’ll make a bigger impact if planted in groups of three or more.

Most importantly for the success of the plant is to take note of its preferred conditions. Those which prefer a shady position may not cope in full sun, and vice-versa. If your plant isn’t thriving, it is likely that it doesn’t like the conditions it is growing in. The good thing about perennials is that they are happy to be moved around, so if they look unhappy, simply dig up the clump in autumn and replant it immediately in a part of the garden with different conditions.

Perennials through the season

  • In year one

Perennial plants grown from bare roots often take a year to establish before they start to make a big impression. In the first year, you can expect to see a modest display of flowers and foliage, but each year thereafter they come back with around twice the impact!

  • Maintenance

Many hardy perennials are strong and fairly self sufficient once established. Through the summer months during hot, sunny spells it’s likely they’ll need watering in the evenings to perk them up after a day in the sun. Flowering perennials should be deadheaded when necessary, they will look much tidier without their old flower heads and may even treat you to a second flush later in the season! Tall perennials may benefit from staking, especially if in an exposed site. In autumn, simply cut the stems right down to the ground – new stems will grow back the following spring.

  • Divide and multiply!

Multiply your perennials by dividing them! Dividing established clumps of perennials helps to promote healthy growth the following year, you also gain extra plants for free. Many hardy perennials are clump forming, meaning that over time they form a larger and larger ‘clump’ and root network which can be lifted, divided and replanted to fill other gaps around the garden. The best time to do this is in autumn.

Gracy’s tips

  • Flowering perennials often attract pollinators – avoid spraying your blooms with insecticides which could harm your local bees.
  • Get creative with colour combinations, planting groups of dark flowers next to groups of vibrant flowers for a bold contrast.

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→ BEARDED IRIS

Bearded iris planting instructions

  • Bearded iris (Iris germanica) are fully hardy to -20C and therefore can be planted directly outside in the spring and won’t need frost protection in the winter.
  • Plant directly in a clear space in a sunny border or into patio containers filled with a soil-based compost.
  • Plant the rhizomes horizontally with the top half exposed above the soil surface.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly until the roots have anchored into the ground. Once settled in, bearded iris prefer to be in fairly dry soil.
  • Space the rhizomes 15-20cm apart
  • Remove flower stems after flowering.
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ BEGONIA

There are many different varieties of flowering Begonias that you can grow from tubers. They are divided into groups according to their special characteristics. Some are upright and others have a cascading growth habit which makes them perfect for hanging baskets and pots. Some varieties have gorgeously scented flowers, many have big double blooms whereas others have masses of dainty single flowers. Whichever variety you choose, you can be sure of a long flowering season that lasts until the autumn chill sets in.

Begonia planting basics

Unlike most bulbs which have pointed tips, Begonias are bowl shaped and have a hollow spot at the top – the more rounded side should be planted facing downwards. The tuberous bulbs are easy to grow, but they don’t like soggy conditions, so choose a spot in the garden with well-drained soil or a free-draining potting mixture. Your Begonias will want light shade and protection from harsh winds.

How to plant Begonia tubers

  • Begonias are tender bulbs and require protection from frost. For best results, start them off in temporary pots in a greenhouse in March or April to give them a head start. They can then be transplanted outside in May.
  • Begonia tubers can also be planted directly outside into borders or containers in May.
  • When planting in containers, multipurpose compost is the ideal choice of growing medium.
  • Plant the tubers shallowly with the dipped side facing upwards – the top of the tuber should be around 1-2cm below the soil surface.
  • Space the tubers around 15-20 apart from each other in a container display, or 20-30cm apart in borders.
  • Water-in thoroughly after planting and water regularly while in full growth. Don’t allow them to sit in wet soil while still dormant.

Gracy’s tips

  • While Begonias do best out of direct sunlight, they do like good light. A spot that gets morning sun will suit them well, or they can be grown in bright, filtered light indoors or out.
  • Keep pinching out dead flowers to extend the flowering season and to keep the display looking fresh.
  • Wait until frost is forecast or for the plants to become dormant before lifting and storing the tubers. For pot displays, you can just discontinue watering and store the pot away until next spring.

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→ BELAMCANDA

Belamcanda planting instructions

  • Belamcanda are fully hardy, tolerating temperatures down to -20C. They can be planted directly outside in the spring and won’t require and winter protection in most areas.
  • Plant directly into a clear, well-dug space in a border between March and May. Alternatively, you can pot them into temporary pots and grow them on outdoors to allow them to establish some initial growth without competition, then transplant later in the season.
  • Belamcanda prefer heavy soils and can also be grown successfully in clay soil.
  • Plant the bulbs around 10-15cm deep in borders, pots or patio containers.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart in borders, or closer together (5-8cm) in pots.
  • Choose a position in full sun, partial or dappled shade.
  • If planting in patio containers, you can use multipurpose or soil-based compost.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth in the first year.
  • Remove the flower stems after flowering and cut back foliage to ground level in autumn.

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→ BELLEVALIA

Bellevalia planting instructions

  • Bellevalia are fully hardy and prefer to be outdoors throughout winter. They should be planted between September and early December for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short while. They may start to deteriorate from December onwards so it is best to get them planted before then - they won’t store until the following year.
  • Bellevalia bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
  • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
  • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.
  • Plant the bulbs around 5-10cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other.
  • Cover back over with soil/compost. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless you have very mild winters and the soil becomes dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.
  • Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. After flowering, the spent flowers can be snipped off, but allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year.

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→ BESSERA

Bessera planting instructions

  • Bessera (or Coral Drops) are tender perennials and must be kept away from frost, they require mild to warm conditions to sprout. They are best started off in a greenhouse in the spring and protected from freezing winter conditions.
  • Pot up in individual 9cm pots or cell trays between March and May and grow them on indoors or in a greenhouse. They can be transplanted outside from May onwards. Alternatively, you can plant them directly into patio containers and grow on in a greenhouse in spring, or you can plant them straight outside in May.
  • Plant the bulbs around 5-10cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart in borders, or closer together (5-8cm) in patio pots.
  • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
  • If planting in patio containers, use a free-draining compost such as multipurpose.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth.
  • Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering. Don’t allow dormant bulbs to sit in wet and cold soil.
  • Bessera flower in late summer, cut the flower stems to 3cm above ground level in autumn. Move containers with Bessera into a frost-free location for winter. Bulbs planted in borders should be lifted and stored in a cool but frost-free place until the following spring.

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→ BLETILLA

Bletilla planting instructions

  • Bletilla are half hardy perennials and can tolerate temperatures down to between -5C to -10C. They can be planted directly outside between March and May providing the weather is mild, if it is possible that temperatures will dip lower than -5C it is safest to start them off in a cool greenhouse.
  • Plant into patio containers or temporary pots to grow on in a cool greenhouse from March onwards. They can be moved outside in May. You can also plant Bletilla bulbs directly outside in borders or containers in May.
  • Plant the bulbs around 5cm deep with the shoots facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart in borders, or closer together (5-8cm) in patio pots.
  • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
  • If planting in patio containers, use a free-draining compost such as multipurpose.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth.
  • Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering while the bulbs are dormant and if temperatures are still cool. Don’t allow dormant bulbs to sit in wet and cold soil.
  • After flowering, remove the flower stems to 3cm above ground level in autumn. Move containers with Bletilla into a frost-free location for winter. Bulbs planted in borders should be lifted and stored in a cool but frost-free place until the following spring, alternatively you can cover them with around 5cm of dry mulch for winter.

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→ CALADIUM

Caladiums bring the colours of the tropics to your own growing space and create a fresh and vibrant, exotic planting style to heighten your summer. These lush and leafy plants make a big impact with leaves alone, forming a dense mound of heart-shaped foliage with dashes of zingy, eye-popping colour. Caladiums combine both leaves and colour into one neat and rounded plant, perfect for packing into exotic planting schemes beneath palms or for showing off in pots, indoors or out.

Caladiums are happiest and their leaf colours are most vibrant in a shady but warm environment, whether that’s in your home or in a suitable part of the garden during the summer months. Think jungle conditions, most importantly a place with reliably moist soil which is out of the glare of the midday sun. What better way to brighten up a shady spot?

Caladiums are tender tropical plants and need to be protected from frost, so it is important to start them off either in a greenhouse or in your home in the spring. In a warm indoor environment and with a little water to start them off, they’ll soon begin to establish some growth. Given this head-start, they provide an instant impact when planted outside after risk of frost has passed. If you don’t have time or the growing space to start your Caladiums off indoors, you can plant them directly outside from May onwards, into a rich, moisture retentive soil. When summer kicks in they will soon catch up with those grown on earlier.

Step-by-step

  • Plant your Caladium bulbs in spring and grow on in warm, frost-free conditions or plant straight outside after risk of frost has passed.
  • Grow in borders or containers in partial to full shade in a rich soil.
  • Plant the bulbs around 5-10cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs 25-35cm apart from each other.
  • Water-in after planting and keep well hydrated throughout the season.
  • Caladium bulbs started indoors can be transferred outside from May onwards.

Growing Caladiums in pots

With a naturally rounded and even habit, Caladiums look great in pots. Forming a wide, bushy plant in one season, a 30cm (12in) pot is around the right size for one plant. The benefit of growing your Caladiums in pots is that they can easily be moved around to suit the display or fill gaps as the season progresses. Growing in pots means you can simply move it to a sheltered environment for winter without having to lift the bulbs. Choose a humus-rich soil or compost for your pots and remember to water them regularly, pots can dry out quickly in the summer. Include a dish under your pot if you are growing them indoors.

Caladiums as house plants

Enjoying lower light levels and a warm environment, Caladiums make excellent house plants! Caladiums are not evergreen, but they can be encouraged to stay in leaf well into autumn when grown indoors. The tropical conditions that your Caladium will love can be achieved in various parts of the home, particularly rooms which have higher humidity levels such as kitchens and bathrooms. Choose a space which is bright and receives plenty of daylight – close to a window or patio doors is ideal but be careful to avoid a spot which becomes a suntrap.

Caladiums enjoy a fairly moist soil but don’t like to be in boggy, wet conditions. After watering, drain any excess water out of dish below. Water regularly while in growth, but only when the surface of the compost begins to feel dry. Encourage further healthy growth by treating your Caladium plant to a misting of water from time to time. In winter, allow it to die back and store out of the way until the following spring. There is no need to water it while dormant.

Create a contrast

Choosing the right planting partners for Caladiums helps to achieve that fully immersive tropical feel you might be going for. Available in such a wide range of colours, you can create a contrasting and varied planting scheme with just Caladiums, but there are other plants which suit their favoured conditions too, including Colocasia, Astilbe and Calla aethiopica. Vibrant dahlias and begonias can also put on a good show in shadier parts of the garden and provide a fabulous additional colour pop.

Caring for Caladiums

Once you’ve got your Caladiums off to a good start, they are fairly low maintenance for the rest of the season. The main thing to keep on top of is watering, particularly during hot, dry spells. The best time to water your plants is in the evening, which reduces the risk of scorch on the leaves and also give the plants all night to absorb plenty of water.

Before the first frosts in autumn, move potted caladiums indoors to a shed, cool greenhouse or into your home and allow them to die back naturally. Caladiums which are planted in borders can be lifted and stored at this time too. Do to this, carefully use a spade to dig out the bulb, cut off the foliage and store them in pots or trays of loose, dry compost for the winter to be potted again in the spring. The bulbs will not require additional watering once dormant, watering can commence again when the plants start to regrow the following spring.

Gracy’s extra notes

  • If growing Caladiums as houseplants, improve their colour intensity and overall health by watering with rainwater.
  • These architectural plants are great for containers. Use them on patios or balconies to create a lush view through the doors.
  • Create a high-rise display with potted Caladiums so you can admire them up close, use them as a table centrepiece or position them on tiered plant stands.

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→ CALLA / ZANTEDESCHIA

Callas (or Zantedeschia) are bright, colourful and really easy to grow. A popular choice with florists and all who love cut flowers, they’re also remarkably easy to grow. The best thing about growing your own, is that you can enjoy them in the garden as well as snipping some for your own cut flower arrangements. These elegant funnel-shaped blooms provide high-impact displays whilst requiring very little in terms of maintenance – ideal for pots and borders, you can pop these bulbs in wherever suits you and they will look great all summer long.

Calla planting basics

Callas like a rich but free-draining soil. If planting in containers, multipurpose compost is ideal. In borders, just make sure the soil isn’t too heavy by digging in a little compost or mulch first to aid drainage. Containers should be at least 20cm in diameter for one bulb. It is good to plant them in groups of three or more, in which case, you would need a pot which is around 30-40cm in diameter. Your Callas want bright, indirect light, but not full sun. Morning sun is quite mild, and your plants will be quite happy to get it, but afternoon sun is too strong for them and it can make the flowers fade quicker than they should.

How to plant Calla bulbs

  • Callas are tender bulbs and require frost-free conditions in the spring. You can give them a head start by potting them up in March or April and growing them on in a greenhouse to transplant later, or you can plant them directly outside in early May.
  • Calla aethiopica is a hardy perennial variety, this type can be planted directly outside into pots or borders with moisture retentive soil.
  • Grow in borders or containers in a bright position with filtered sunlight or partial shade.
  • Ensure the soil is free-draining.
  • Plant the tubers shallowly covered by around 1cm of soil.
  • Plant with the ‘eyes’ facing upwards. If you’re not sure which is the correct way, you can plant them on their sides.

Gracy’s tips

  • With the exception of the white species-type calla (Calla aethiopica), which will even grow with its roots submerged in water, good drainage is the key to growing great callas. In their natural habitat, they tolerate poor soils, but they will still benefit from light feeding during the growing season
  • After flowering, Callas will go dormant. Taper off watering and store them when the leaves have yellowed completely.
  • Callas produce multiple flower stems per bulb. In a position with filtered sunlight, their colour tends to last throughout most of the summer season.

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→ CALLA AETHIOPICA

Calla aethiopica planting instructions

  • Calla aethiopica are hardy to around -10C and will be fine outdoors without frost protection throughout winter in most areas. You can plant Calla aethiopica in autumn or spring, but they must be planted in the season that they are supplied while fresh. They won’t store until the following season.
  • Plant between September and early December (when supplied in autumn) or between March and May (when supplied in spring). If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short while, but within a few weeks of receiving them is best and no later than early December (for autumn bulbs) or mid May (for spring bulbs). For best results, plant them as soon as possible to avoid deterioration in storage.
  • Calla aethiopica bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
  • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
  • Unlike other Calla varieties, Calla aethiopica specifically likes heavy, moisture-retentive soils and don’t mind soils with clay content. They are often grown in damp, boggy borders or as marginal pond plants.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.
  • Plant the tubers shallowly, covered by around 1cm of soil with any buds or eyes facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 15-20cm apart from each other, they can be slightly closer in pots.
  • Water them thoroughly after planting to settle them in and continue to water regularly if the soil becomes dry.
  • Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. If it is likely it will get very cold (below -10C) you can cover them with dry foliage or mulch over winter.
  • After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it.

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→ CALOCHORTUS

Calochortus planting instructions

  • Calochortus are tender perennials and must be kept away from frost. They are best started off in a cool greenhouse in the spring and protected from freezing winter conditions.
  • Pot up in individual 9cm pots or cell trays between March and May and grow them on in a cool greenhouse - they can be transplanted outside from May onwards. Alternatively, you can plant them directly into patio containers and grow on in a greenhouse in spring, or you can plant them straight outside in May.
  • Plant the bulbs around 5-10cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart in borders, or closer together (5-8cm) in patio pots for a fuller display.
  • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
  • If planting in patio containers, use a free-draining compost such as multipurpose.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth.
  • Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering while the bulbs are still dormant, and don’t allow the dormant bulbs to sit in wet and cold soil.
  • After flowering, remove the flower stems but leave the foliage intact. Move containers with Calochortus into a frost-free location for winter. Bulbs planted in borders should be lifted and stored in a cool but frost-free place until the following spring.

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→ CAMPANULA

Campanula planting instructions

  • Campanula are hardy to around -20C and can be planted straight outside in the spring. They don’t require any frost protection over winter.
  • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
  • Plant the roots with the crown or buds just below the soil surface or any leaves exposed. You can plant directly into a prepared space in borders or into patio containers. Alternatively, you can plant them into temporary pots to grow on and plant out later in the season.
  • Campanula grow best in a free-draining soil. If growing in containers you can use a multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position which is in full sun or partial shade.
  • Space the plants 20-25cm apart from each other.
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth.
  • Deadhead after flowering.
  • Cut back stems down to 3cm above soil level in autumn.
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ CAMASSIA

You can create a really dazzling late spring display with the beautiful upright flower spikes of Camassia. Plant this perennial classic in autumn for an effortlessly sophisticated display which will grace your garden every year. Naturally a meadow dweller, they love a spot with cool, moist soil and look fabulous as they peep above the long grass. They’re also great for planting in borders. If you have a partially shaded border, you can achieve that idyllic cottage-style look by grouping them together in statement groups where they’ll bring a beautiful and natural splash of colour to the space.

A few planting basics

Happiest in cool, moist soil, find the right spot for your Camassias and you can enjoy their starry beauty year after year! These elegant plants look most at home dotted around randomly in a wild, grassy area. They can also thrive in mixed borders too as long as the soil doesn’t become too dry. For the best effect in borders, plant them in groups so their subtle flowers can make a bigger impact.

Planting instructions

  • Plant in Autumn for flowers in late spring
  • Suitable for growing in borders or through grass
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial shade with soil which remains cool and relatively moist through the year
  • Create a natural look in meadows by planting bulbs individually
  • If planting in groups, allow 10-15cm of space between bulbs
  • Plant the bulbs 10-15cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards

Gracy’s tips

  • After flowering, allow the foliage and the stem to die down naturally as this is putting energy into the bulb for next year’s flowers. The second year should be even better than the first!
  • There is no need to lift or store your Camassia bulbs, they are fully hardy and best left in the ground through the year.
  • Camassias make unusual cut flowers are and great for a tall vase. For a longer vase life, they’re best cut when bottom blooms are open and the top are still in bud.

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→ CANNA

Cannas are all about big, impressive leaves. If want to create the tropical look in your garden, you’ll love these exotic plants which flaunt lush, vibrant foliage all summer long. The icing on the cake is a   bright burst of flowers from the top of the stem in late summer.

Canna planting basics

Cannas are found growing wild in South Africa – they love heat and sun. Find a spot for them in a sunny border or in a large pot in a sunny patio space and they will be happy. Cannas are a tropical plant and won’t tolerate frost – if you have a greenhouse or conservatory, you can give them a head start by potting them up indoors in the spring and allowing them to grow on for a couple of months before planting out in early summer. They need well-drained soil and don’t like to get waterlogged. If you have a heavy soil type, it’s a good idea to dig in plenty of compost or mulch before planting for best results.

How to plant Canna rhizomes

  • Cannas are tender plants and require frost-free conditions in the spring. Stars them off in March or April in temporary pots indoors to transplant after risk of frost has passed, or plant directly outside in May.
  • Plant the rhizomes 5-10cm deep and horizontally with any visible buds or shoots facing upwards.
  • When planting out, choose a position in full sun in a free-draining soil.
  • Allow around 25-30cm between plants in borders or 20cm if planting in containers.

Gracy’s tips

  • Cannas are not hardy and won’t survive winter outdoors. You can lift the rhizomes on or just after the first frost and store them in a cool environment.
  • Try combining your cannas with dahlias, they make a great pair!
  • As fairly tall plants, they’re perfect for planting in groups in the middle and towards the back of borders.

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→ CHASMANTHE

Chasmanthe planting instructions

  • Chasmanthe are tender perennials and must be kept away from frost. They are best started off indoors or in a greenhouse in spring and protected from freezing winter conditions.
  • For best results, grow them on in warm conditions in the spring to give them a head start in the growing season. Pot up in individual 9cm pots or cell trays between March and May and grow them on in a greenhouse. You can transplant temporarily potted Chasmanthe outside from May onwards. Alternatively, you can plant them directly into patio containers and grow on in a greenhouse in spring, or you can plant them straight outside in May.
  • Plant the bulbs around 5-10cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart in borders, or closer together (5-8cm) in patio pots for a fuller display.
  • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
  • If planting in patio containers, use a free-draining compost such as multipurpose or soil-based with added sand.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth.
  • Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering while the bulbs are still dormant. Don’t allow the dormant bulbs to sit in wet and cold soil in the spring.
  • Chasmanthe can take a year to establish before flowering and the bulbs are best left undisturbed. For best results, Chasmanthe are best grown in containers where they can be moved to a sheltered location for winter without the need to disturb them. Bulbs planted in borders should be lifted and stored in a cool but frost-free place until the following spring.

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→ CHIONODOXA

Chionodoxa planting instructions

  • Chionodoxa are fully hardy will be fine outdoors without frost protection throughout winter. They should be planted between September and early December for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short while. They may start to deteriorate from December onwards so it is best to get them planted before then - they won’t store until the following year.
  • Chionodoxa bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders, lawns or patio containers.
  • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
  • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.
  • Plant the bulbs around 5-10cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other or slightly closer in pots. If planting in groups or natural clusters, you can dig a wide, shallow planting area and scatter the bulbs into it, then cover over with soil.
  • If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and the soil becomes dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.
  • Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year. The stems and leaves are small and don’t need to be removed at all unless they look untidy.

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→ CHLIDANTHUS

Chlidanthus planting instructions

  • Chlidanthus are tender perennials and must be kept frost-free in order to thrive. They are ideally started off indoors in spring and can be moved outside in the summer.
  • Grow indoors in spring, potting up in individual 9cm pots or cell trays between March and May. You can transplant Chlidanthus outside from May onwards. Alternatively, you can plant them directly into patio containers and grow them on in a warm greenhouse in spring, or you can plant them straight outside in May.
  • Plant the bulbs around 5-10cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart in borders, or (5-8cm) in patio pots, or one per 9cm pot if growing on to transplant later.
  • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
  • If planting in patio containers, use a free-draining compost such as multipurpose or soil-based with added sand or grit.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth when the soil appears to be dry. Don’t allow the dormant bulbs to sit in constantly wet soil.
  • Chlidanthus are best grown in containers where they can be moved to a sheltered location for winter. Bulbs planted in borders should be lifted and stored in a cool and frost-free place until the following spring.
  • After flowering, remove the stems but leave the foliage intact. Cut back foliage to ground level in autumn before moving them indoors.

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→ CHOCOLATE COSMOS

Chocolate Cosmos planting instructions

  • Chocolate Cosmos are half hardy and can tolerate temperatures to -5C. In mild or coastal areas they can usually be planted directly outside in spring, but it is safer to start them off in sheltered conditions.
  • Plant your tubers into temporary pots in spring and grow-on in a sheltered spot outdoors or in a cool greenhouse – they can be transplanted into the garden after May. Alternatively, plant the tubers directly into a clear, cultivated space in borders in late April to early May.
  • Dig a whole to the same depth as the tubers so that they are planted with the crown just below the soil surface. Any shoots can be partially covered, or if they already have some leaves emerging this can be left exposed.
  • Choose a location in full sun or partial shade with rich but free-draining soil.
  • Space the plants 25-30cm apart
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth.
  • Cut back stems and foliage to 3cm above ground level in autumn. The tubers can be lifted and stored in temporary pots through winter, in frost free-conditions.

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→ COLCHICUM

Colchicum planting instructions

  • Colchicum flower in October, they are fully hardy and prefer to be outdoors throughout winter. They should be planted between September and early October for flowers in the first year. They can also be planted between October and early December although they will have missed their flowering time in the first year and will wait until the second year to flower. If planting after October, they will have shoots – they should be planted at the normal depth with the shoots intact, the shoots may be long enough to be exposed above the soil level. They will continue to grow normally.
  • Colchicum bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
  • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
  • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial shade.
  • Plant the bulbs around 5-10cm deep with the pointed side or shoots facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other.
  • Cover back over with soil/compost. Water them in after planting to settle them. Unless it is very mild and dry, they will not require any further watering through winter. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry. If growing them indoors, water whenever the soil looks dry.
  • After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year.
  • Colchicum are fully hardy and will be fine outside without frost protection throughout winter.

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→ COLOCASIA

Also known as Elephants Ears, Colocasia put on an impressive show of large, heart-shaped leaves which unravel continuously, one after another throughout the summer. You won’t believe how much can grow out of one bulb! Each large leaf is held at the top of a sturdy upright stalk, forming a strong and stately plant. Grow them as an impressive summer annual and create a real talking point in the garden. These fascinating plants are marvellously exotic - if you’re creating a tropical planting scheme, you’ve made the right choice!

Colocasias love being in moist soil, which means you can use them to make a feature out of a tricky area of damp or boggy ground. They will also thrive in an ordinary border and containers too, as long as it doesn’t become too dry in summer. These versatile tropical plants are happy in sun or shade, which makes them suitable for growing in virtually any part of the garden. Whilst they grow a little quicker in sun, they maintain a fresher, more vibrant leaf colour in shade.

How to plant Colocasia

Colocasias are tender tropical bulbs and need to be protected from frost. Therefore, it’s important to start them off indoors, preferably in a warm environment such as your home, a conservatory or heated greenhouse. They can take a while to sprout but usually wake up when provided temperatures of around 17-25°C. Waiting until April or May to plant your Colocasia bulbs is a good option if the growing space available is not warm enough in March. If you don’t have time or space to grow on your Colocasias in the spring, you can plant them straight outside when the weather is mild and risk of frost has passed. Once you’ve planted your bulbs, give them a little water regularly to get them started, but not too much at first as they may rot if still dormant. When they are in full growth they will be happy in a consistently moist or wet soil.

Step-by-step

  • Plant your Colocasia bulbs in spring. Colocasias need warmth to start growing, start them off in a place which is consistently around 17-25°C.
  • You can also plant them straight outside in a warm position after risk of frost has passed. Colocasia bulbs started indoors can be transferred outside at this time too.
  • Grow in borders or containers in sun or shade in a rich, reliably moist or wet soil.
  • Plant the bulbs shallowly with the top of the bulb level with the soil surface, the side with rings or papery layers should be facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs 25-35cm apart from each other when planting out.
  • Water-in after planting and keep well hydrated throughout the season.

Growing Colocasia in pots

Colocasia bulbs grow happily in pots. They can grow to be quite large over the summer, so it’s best to choose a sturdy container which won’t topple over with the weight of the plant. We recommend a container which is around 30-40cm (12-14in) in diameter. For Colocasia, choose a loam-free compost to fill your pot - a good quality multipurpose compost is ideal. If growing Alocasia, choose a soil-based compost. These bulbs like a moist soil, so to save water it is worth reducing drainage by putting a dish underneath your pot. Water your plant whenever the soil surface starts to look dry.

Colocasia as house plants

Tropical Colocasia and Alocasia make impressive house plants, their tall, upright stems and large leaves with intense colouring are a statement feature in the home or office. You’ll need a good space for them to thrive, close to a window or patio doors. Reaching a height of up to 1.5m, they’re best positioned on the floor or a low plant stand.

Colocasia plants grown indoors require regular watering. Top up their water whenever the surface of the soil starts to look dry. They look great in a large terracotta pot, around 30-40cm (12-14in) in diameter, or positioned inside a waterproof indoor plant container. Tropical bulbs love warm, humid conditions which you can mimic by misting with water from time to time. Colocasia die back in the autumn and become dormant. At this point, remove the old foliage and move the container to a cool but frost free place for winter. There is no need to water it while dormant.

Caring for Colocasia

Throughout the season, Colocasia require very little in terms of maintenance. Regular watering is key, then any damaged or tatty leaves can be removed if and when needed. Watering your plants in the evening avoids the risk of scorch marks developing on the beautiful leaves, it also gives the plants all night to absorb plenty of moisture.

These tropical bulbs will not tolerate frost, so if you would like to keep the bulbs for next year they should be moved to a frost free place in autumn. Container-grown Colocasias can simply be moved into a shed or cool greenhouse for winter. Once the foliage starts to die back, snip it off and let the bulbs remain dormant in their pots. Those which are growing in the ground should be carefully dug up and stored in trays or pots surrounded by a loose compost. If you have an Alocasia, it can remain evergreen if kept at room temperature so you can bring it in and enjoy it as a houseplant for the winter months.

Contrasting combinations

With such striking leaves in summer, you can really get creative with Colocasia combinations. These fantastic foliage plants look great with vibrant flowers – for a tropical theme, try pairing them with zesty, long-flowering plants like dahlias and begonias. Other tropical bulbs like Bessera and Gloriosa will also work well to heighten any exotic, leafy display. If you’re growing it as a marginal pond plant, try a chic combination with white-flowered Calla aethiopica.

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→ CONVALLARIA

Convallaria planting instructions

  • Convallaria are hardy to around -20C and can be planted directly outside in spring. They won’t require any winter frost protection in most areas.
  • Soak the roots (or pips) in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
  • Clear and dig-over a space in a border for your Convallaria pips. Plant them with the roots downwards and the buds or crown just below the soil surface. Any leaves which have already grown should be exposed above the soil surface. Alternatively, you can pot them up and grow them on outdoors for a few months before planting out later in the season.
  • Convallaria thrive in shade and will do well in an area with free-draining soil and which is in full or dappled shade.
  • Plant in borders or containers. If planting in containers, you can use multipurpose or soil-based compost.
  • Space the plants 5-10cm apart from each other.
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth.
  • The leaves will die back fully in autumn, they can be removed at this stage if necessary.
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ CORYDALIS

Corydalis planting instructions

  • Corydalis are fully hardy perennials and will be fine outdoors throughout winter. They don’t require frost protection. They should be planted between September and mid-November for best results, but can also be planted into December providing the bulbs are still fresh and healthy. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a few weeks. They won’t stay fresh beyond early December or store until the following year.
  • Corydalis tubers can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
  • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate some compost, grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
  • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose or soil-based compost.
  • They grow well in sun or shade – ideally they like a position in partial or dappled shade.
  • Plant the bulbs around 10-15cm deep with the ‘eyes’ facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 15-20cm apart from each other or slightly closer in containers for a full display. They look best planted in groups or clusters in borders.
  • Cover back over with soil/compost after planting. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and dry.

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→ CRINUM

Crinum planting instructions

  • Crinums are fairly hardy and can tolerate temperatures to -10C. In mild areas with free-draining soil, Crinum bulbs can be planted directly outside in spring. In colder areas, you can start them off in pots and grow them on in a sheltered location first or wait until the weather is milder before planting directly outside.
  • Plant the bulbs directly into borders between March and May in mild areas, or wait until April/May in cooler areas.
  • Dig a hole to nearly the same depth as the bulb and plant it with the neck exposed.
  • Choose a border with free-draining, sandy or loamy soil which received full sun throughout most of the day.
  • Space the plants 15-20cm apart from each other.
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first year. In future years once settled in, they will only require additional watering when the weather is very hot and dry.

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→ CROCOSMIA

Crocosmia planting instructions

  • Crocosmia (or Montbretia) are fully hardy, tolerating temperatures down to -15C. This means that they can be planted directly outside in the spring in most areas.
  • Plant directly into a clear, well-dug space in a border between March and May. You can also plant them in patio containers.
  • Crocosmias like a rich, free-draining soil and can also tolerate heavier soil types which have a higher clay content.
  • Plant the bulbs with the shoots facing upwards, around 10-15cm deep in borders or patio containers.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart in borders, or closer together (5-8cm) in pots.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial shade.
  • If planting in patio containers, it’s best to use soil-based compost or multipurpose with added loam.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth in the first year. Once established, they will not require additional watering unless it is very dry.
  • Crocosmias usually take a year to establish before they flower, in the first year they may only produce leaves.
  • Remove the flower stems after flowering and cut back foliage to ground level in autumn.

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→ CROCUS

Crocuses are among the first signs of spring, sometimes even popping their delicately beautiful blooms up above a carpet of snow.  No matter whether you choose gold, purple, blue or white crocuses, you’re sure to be in for a treat this spring. Combine them with early tulips or daffodils for even more visual excitement. Mankind has a long relationship with these flowers.

Crocus planting basics

When you plant crocuses, there is a very good chance that you will be enjoying them for many years, so choose the perfect spot to get the most out of your bulbs. The position should be sunny, or only have light shade, and the soil should be well-drained. Compost helps to improve drainage in clay soil and helps sandy soils to retain the moisture your bulbs will need.

How to plant Crocus bulbs

  • Crocuses are fully hardy and will be fine outdoors throughout winter. They should be planted between September and November for best results, but can be planted as late as December if stored correctly. They must be planted in the same year that they were supplied, while fresh – they won’t store until the following year. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can open up the packets to let air circulate the bulbs and store them in a cool, dry place until December at the latest.
  • Crocus bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
  • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
  • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.
  • Crocus bulbs should be planted 10-15cm deep with the shoots facing upwards.Towards the end of the planting season, the shoots may already have started to grow – they should be planted at the usual depth with the shoots kept intact below the surface.
  • Crocus look great planted in small clusters or groups. Space the bulbs between 5-15cm apart from each other.
  • Cover back over with soil/compost. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless you have very mild winters and the soil becomes dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.
  • Allow the foliage to turn yellow before removing it and leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year.

Gracy’s tips

  • If you have mild winters and still want to be sure of Crocus blooms, chill your bulbs for 12 weeks in the refrigerator before planting and shift planting time to winter.
  • Consider planting Crocus bulbs in your lawn to create a springtime flower meadow or plant generous swathes in flower beds. You need not lift and store bulbs during dormancy.

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→ CROCUS SATIVUS

Crocus sativus (Saffron Crocus) planting instructions

  • Crocus sativus flower in November, they are fully hardy and prefer to be outdoors throughout winter. They should be planted between September and mid October for flowers in the first year. They can also be planted between mid-October and early December although they will have missed their flowering time in the first year and will wait until the second year to flower. If planting after October, they will have shoots – they should be planted at the normal depth with the shoots intact, the shoots may be long enough to be exposed above the soil level. They will continue to grow normally.
  • Crocus sativus bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers. You can also enjoy growing them in pots indoors.
  • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
  • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial shade.
  • Plant the bulbs around 10-15cm deep with the pointed side or shoots facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other.
  • Cover back over with soil/compost. Water them in after planting to settle them. Unless it is very mild and dry, they will not require any further watering through winter. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry. If growing them indoors, water whenever the soil looks dry.
  • After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year. It may not be until April the following spring that the grassy foliage turns yellow and can be removed.
  • Crocus sativus are fully hardy and will be fine outside without frost protection throughout winter. It is best to top up with some fresh bulbs for flowers in the second year, while the original bulbs sometimes skip the second year of flowering while they grow bulblets which will take over.
  • Harvest the three red stigmas of crocus sativus with tweezers on the day the flowers open, you can dry the stigmas on a piece of kitchen towel for around 2 weeks before storing in an air-tight container to use as a spice.

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→ CROCUS SPECIOSUS

Crocus speciosus planting instructions

  • Crocus speciosus flower in October, they are fully hardy and prefer to be outdoors throughout winter. They should be planted between September and early October for flowers in the first year. They can also be planted between October and late November although they will have missed their flowering time in the first year and will wait until the second year to flower. If planting after October, they will have shoots – they should be planted at the normal depth with the shoots intact, the shoots may be long enough to be exposed above the soil level. They will continue to grow normally.
  • Crocus speciosus bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders and patio containers. They can also be grown in grass.
  • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
  • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial shade.
  • Plant the bulbs around 10-15cm deep with the pointed side or shoots facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other. They look great planted in clusters, groups or swathes.
  • Cover back over with soil/compost. Water them in after planting to settle them. Unless it is very mild and dry, they will not require any further watering through winter. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry. If growing them indoors, water whenever the soil looks dry.
  • After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year.
  • Crocus speciosus are fully hardy and will be fine outside without frost protection throughout winter.

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→ CURCUMA

Curcuma planting instructions

  • Curcuma are tender perennials and must be kept away from frost. They are best started off indoors or in a warm greenhouse in spring and can be moved outside for summer.
  • Plant into pots which comfortably fit the rhizomes between March and May and grow them on in a greenhouse. You can continue to grow them indoors through the season or transplant outside once in growth after May.
  • Spread out the rhizomes and plant them around 10-15cm deep with the central rhizome shallower.
  • If planting out in the summer, space the plants around 15-20cm apart in borders.
  • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
  • If planting in patio containers, use a free-draining compost such as multipurpose.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth.
  • Allow the soil to become almost dry before watering again while the bulbs are still dormant.

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→ CYCLAMEN

Cyclamen planting instructions

  • Cyclamen are fully hardy and will be happy outdoors throughout winter without any frost protection. They should be planted between September and late November for best results in the first year. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short while. They may start to deteriorate from mid November onwards so it is best to get them planted before then - they won’t store until the following year.
  • Cyclamen flowers in autumn, often they will produce some blooms in the first year after planting. In spring they will produce attractive leaves. They flower every autumn in larger clumps each time.
  • Cyclamen tubers are large and quite flat. They can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers, they look great under trees and cope well in dry areas.
  • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage and to help the roots to anchor when settling in.
  • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.
  • Plant the tubers shallowly with the top just level with the soil surface, a hole which is around 5cm deep and wide enough to fit the tuber is usually sufficient. Any buds, eyes or shoots should be facing upwards, this is usually on the domed side.
  • Space the tubers around 10-15cm apart from each other or dotted around in beds or areas under trees.
  • Cover back over with soil/compost after planting. It’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them and to continue watering regularly in autumn if the weather is mild and dry. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and dry.

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→ CYRTANTHUS

Cyrtanthus planting instructions

  • Cyrtanthus are tender perennials and must be kept away from frost, they require mild to warm conditions to sprout. They are best started off indoors or in a warm greenhouse in the spring.
  • Plant bulbs into pots between March and May and grow on indoors or in a heated greenhouse until they have sprouted. You can keep them indoors throughout the season, or move them outside when the weather is warm in the summer.
  • Plant the bulbs around 5-10cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other.
  • If planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
  • If planting in pots, use a free-draining compost such as multipurpose.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth. Avoid overwatering when the bulbs are still dormant – allow the soil to become almost completely dry before topping up with water.
  • Remove flowers stems after flowering and keep potted indoors for winter.

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→ DAHLIA

Thanks to varieties ranging from giant dinner-plate dahlias to compact gallery dahlias just 30-35cm tall, your garden can be a colour extravaganza during summer – whether you have extensive borders or pots to fill. They’re wonderfully low maintenance for the amount they give back – aside from the possible need to stake them if they have very large flowers, they’ll provide you with continuous blooms during summer and autumn with very little of fuss. And when you succumb to temptation and pick a few for the vase, the plants will eagerly replace the cut stems with new flowering shoots.

Dahlia planting basics

Dahlias love rich, well-drained soil in full sun. They’ll still give you lovely blooms without a lot of soil preparation, but enriching the soil by digging in a mulch when planting will give you even better results. Like most bulbs and tubers, they don’t like poorly drained soil, so dig in plenty of compost or topsoil to raise the level of your garden beds slightly if you have heavy soil.

How to plant Dahlia tubers

  • Dahlias are half hardy, which means that should be kept frost free over winter and during spring.
  • For best results, start your dahlia tubers in temporary pots in a greenhouse in March or April to grow on to transplant outside later in the season – this will give them a head start.
  • Alternatively, you can plant the tubers directly outside in May.
  • Plant with the stump of last year’s stem facing upwards. The tuber should be fully submerged but with the stump just below the soil surface.
  • Plant one tuber per 8-10” pot if growing on during spring. When planting outside, space the tubers around 30-50cm apart from each other. Compact varieties don’t need so much space.
  • Water-in thoroughly after planting and continue to water regularly once in full growth, but only when the soil appears to be nearly dry.

Gracy’s tips

  • Deadhead your dahlia regularly with secateurs to encourage more blooms throughout the season.
  • If you’re planting a tall variety with big blooms, it’s a good idea to secure a stake next to it while it’s still small – the leaves will then cover and hide the stake.
  • Dahlias can grow very well in patio containers. Tall varieties require a sturdy pot which is around 40-50cm in diameter. Compact dahlias will be happy in pots which are around 30cm in diameter. Multipurpose compost is ideal for planting dahlias in pots.

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→ DAYLILY / HEMEROCALLIS

Daylily planting instructions

  • Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are hardy to -15C and can survive outside without any winter protection. This means you can plant daylilies directly outside in the spring either in pots or borders.
  • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out.
  • Plant your bare roots into temporary pots in spring and grow-on in a sheltered spot outdoors to plant out later as a potted plant. Alternatively, plant directly into a clear, cultivated space in borders.
  • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with any buds just below the surface and any top growth or leaves exposed.
  • Choose a space in the garden which receives full sun or partial shade.
  • Space the plants 15-20cm apart
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ DICENTRA / LAMPROCAPNOS

Dicentra planting instructions

  • Dicentra (new official name: Lamprocapnos) are full hardy down to around -15C and can be planted directly outside in the spring. They will not require winter protection in most areas.
  • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out
  • You can give your plants a good start by plant the bare roots into temporary pots in spring and grow-on in a sheltered spot outdoors to plant out as potted plants later in the season once established. Alternatively, you can plant them and mark them in a clear space directly into borders.
  • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the buds or crown just below the surface and any top growth or leaves exposed.
  • Choose a position in partial or full shade for your Dicentra.
  • Space the plants 20-30cm apart
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth
  • Cut back foliage and stems to 3cm above soil level in the autumn.
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ DRACUNCULUS

Dracunculus planting instructions

  • Dracunculus are half hardy, tolerating temperatures down to -5C. It is safest to start them off in frost-free conditions in spring, although in mild or coastal areas they can usually be planted directly outside.
  • Plant directly into a clear, well-dug space in a border or patio container between March and May. If temperatures are likely to dip below -5C during spring, you can start them off in pots in a cool greenhouse or wait until early May to plant them directly outside.
  • Dracunculus like rich, free draining soil and a sheltered position in full sun or partial shade.
  • Plant the bulbs with the shoots facing upwards, around 5-10cm deep in borders or patio containers. If planting in containers, you can use multipurpose compost.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth in the first year. Avoid giving them too much water while the bulbs are still dormant allow the soil to dry out a little before watering again.
  • Dracunculus sometimes take a year to establish before they flower, in the first year they may only produce leaves.

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→ DUTCH IRIS

Dutch iris planting instructions

  • Dutch iris are fully hardy perennial bulbs, tolerating temperatures down to -15C. This means that they can be planted directly outside in the spring in most areas.
  • Plant directly into a clear, well-dug space in a border between March and May. You can also plant them straight into patio containers.
  • Dutch iris like a free-draining soil but can also tolerate soils those with clay content. Choose a position which is in full sun or partial shade.
  • Plant the bulbs with pointed side facing upwards, around 10-15cm deep in borders or patio containers.
  • Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other.
  • If planting in patio containers, it’s best to use soil-based compost or multipurpose with added loam.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth in the first year. Once established, they will not usually require additional watering unless it is very dry.
  • Remove the flower stems after flowering and cut back foliage to ground level in autumn. They bulbs can stay outdoors in their planted positions without any frost protection.

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→ ECHINACEA

Echinacea planting instructions

  • Echinacea are hardy to around -15c and don’t require any frost protection over winter in most areas.
  • You can plant Echinacea outside in spring either directly into a clear, prepared space in borders or into temporary pots to grow on first.
  • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out
  • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the buds or crown just below the surface or any leaves or shoots exposed.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial shade.
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth
  • Echinacea should be planted at a spacing of around 15-20cm apart.
  • Deadhead after flowering and cut down stems to 3cm above soil level in autumn.
  • Echinacea form larger clumps with more flowering stems over the years.
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ EPIMEDIUM

Epimedium planting instructions

  • Epimedium are fully hardy and can tolerate temperatures to around -20C, therefore they can be planted directly outside in spring with no need for frost protection.
  • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
  • Plant directly into a weed-free, freshly dug space in borders, or pot them up into temporary pots to plant when in growth out later in the season.
  • Plant with roots downwards and the buds or crown just below the soil surface. Any leaves which have already grown should be exposed above the soil surface.
  • Epimedium thrive in partial or dappled shade and will do well in an area with free-draining soil.
  • Space the plants 20-30cm apart from each other to allow room for them to spread over time.
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first year.
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ ERANTHIS

Eranthis planting instructions

  • Eranthis (or Winter Aconites) are fully hardy will be fine outdoors without frost protection throughout winter. They should be planted between September and mid November for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short while. They may start to deteriorate from November onwards so it is best to get them planted before then - they won’t store until the following year.
  • Eranthis bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers. They look great under trees and deciduous shrubs.
  • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
  • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.
  • Plant the bulbs around 5-10cm deep. It doesn’t matter which way up they go, as it is not usually possible to tell which is the top and which is the bottom – they will find their own way.
  • Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other or slightly closer in pots. If planting in groups or natural clusters, you can dig a wide, shallow planting area and scatter the bulbs into it, then cover over with soil.
  • If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and the soil becomes dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.

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→ EREMURUS

  • Plant your Eremurus roots directly outside from mid to late autumn.
  • Choose a sunny spot in a sheltered border with free-draining soil.
  • Soak the roots in water for 2-3 hours prior to planting.
  • Plant the crown 15-20cm deep with the roots facing downwards and any visible shoots or ‘eyes’ facing upwards, just below the soil surface.
  • Space the plants around 15-20cm apart.
  • Cover back over with soil and water-in.
  • Leave dormant over winter without any additional watering. Foliage will start to emerge the following spring.

Quick tips

  • Eremurus produce tall flower spikes in during summer.
  • After flowering, snip off the flower stem at the base leaving just the foliage.
  • These drought tolerant plants love well drained soil. They prefer to be dry than too wet!
  • Clear a space around the crowns so that they receive plenty of sunlight, doing this will increase the number of flower spikes.
  • Eremurus flower spikes make amazing cut flowers for a tall vase.
  • These perennial, hardy plants grow back every year, establishing over time to form bigger and more impressive groups. After few years, you can start to divide congested clumps to maintain a healthy and even display. To do this, the roots should be lifted, separated and replanted in autumn.

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→ ERYTHRONIUM

Erythronium planting instructions

  • Erythronium are fully hardy and will be fine outdoors throughout winter without frost protection. They should be planted between September and early November for best results, they will quickly start to dry out from November onwards and may become non-viable as a result. They won’t store until the following year.
  • Erythronium grow from bulbs which are long, pointed and cream in colour. They can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
  • If you have a heavy soil, dig out any clay and replace with compost or loam. Alternatively you can incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage. If planting in containers, you we recommend peat-free multipurpose compost.
  • Erythronium bulbs benefit from a soak in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting to rehydrate them.
  • Choose a position in full or partial/dappled shade. They do very well in damp areas in deep shade.
  • Plant the bulbs on their sides (lengthways) around 5-10cm deep.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other.
  • Cover back over with soil/compost after planting. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and dry.
  • Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year. As the leaves are very fine, they may not need removing at all unless they look untidy.

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→ EUCHARIS

Eucharis planting instructions

  • Eucharis are tender perennials and must be kept away from frost or prolonged cold conditions. They require mild to warm conditions to sprout and are best started off in a heated greenhouse or indoors in the spring.
  • Plant into pots between March and May and grow them on indoors or in a warm greenhouse. They can be grown indoors throughout the season or transplanted outside from May onwards. Alternatively, you can plant them straight outside in May.
  • Plant the with the neck of the bulb exposed.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other.
  • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
  • If planting in patio containers, use a free-draining compost such as multipurpose.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth. Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering. Don’t allow dormant bulbs to sit in wet and cold soil.
  • Remove the flower stems after flowering, the leaves can remain intact until they die back. Move containers with Eucharis into a frost-free location in autumn Bulbs planted in borders should be lifted and stored in a frost-free place until the following spring.

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→ FERRARIA

Ferraria planting instructions

  • Ferraria corms are tender perennials and must be protected from frost. They can be enjoyed outdoors during the summer months or kept as an unusual indoor plant.
  • Plant your Ferraria bulbs between March and May and grow on in warm, frost-free conditions until they have sprouted. Once they have sprouted, they can be moved to a cool greenhouse or windowsill. If you intend to plant them in the garden, plant them into a warm, sheltered spot after risk of frost has passed in your area and summer temperatures are consistently mild.
  • Ferraria corms look like smooth pebbles. Plant with the slightly pointed side facing upwards, and the flat or concave side facing downwards. If it is difficult to see which side is which, plant the corm on its side and shoots will make their way upwards.
  • It is best to wait until they have sprouted before planting out. When planting out, Grow in borders or containers in full sun or partial shade and with a gritty, free-draining soil. If planting in containers, we recommend peat-free multipurpose compost with added grit.
  • Plant the bulbs 1-2cm deep in individual pots, or in a larger pot at a spacing of 10-15cm.
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated while in growth, not allowing the compost to dry out or become waterlogged at any point. Don’t allow the bulbs to sit dormant in cold or constantly wet soil.
  • To overwinter the bulbs, lift before temperatures cool down in the autumn and allow to dry off in a warm place for a few days, before trimming off any remaining foliage. Then store in dry sand in a cool, dark, but frost-free place before replanting the following spring. If grown in pots, you can simply move the pots back indoors or into a frost-free location for winter. In this case, you can stop watering the container during winter.

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→ FREESIA

Freesia planting instructions

  • Freesia are tender perennials and must be kept away from frost. They must be started off in a greenhouse in the spring and protected from freezing winter conditions.
  • Pot up in individual 9cm pots or cell trays between March and May and grow them on in a cool greenhouse. They can be transplanted outside from May onwards. Alternatively, you can plant them directly into patio containers to grow on in a greenhouse in spring, or you can plant them straight outside in borders in May.
  • Plant the bulbs around 10-15cm deep in borders or pots.
  • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart in borders, or closer together (5-8cm) in pots.
  • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
  • If planting in patio containers, use a free-draining compost such as multipurpose.
  • Water-in after planting continue to water regularly when in growth.
  • Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering. Don’t allow dormant bulbs to sit in wet and cold soil in spring.
  • Cut back flower stems to 3cm above ground level in autumn. Move containers with Freesia into a frost-free location for winter. Bulbs planted in borders should be lifted and stored in a cool but frost-free place until the following spring.

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→ FRITILLARIA

Fritillarias, or fritillaries as they are sometimes called, are among the most diverse plants you can hope to find. From tall Crown Imperials to dainty michaelovskyi Fritillarias, it’s hard to believe that they all belong to the same plant genus. Whatever your preferences, you’re sure to find Fritillaries to suit you. No matter which fritillarias you choose, they can naturalise and even self-seed under the right conditions. Use the low growing varieties towards the front of beds or borders and the tall ones to create dramatic accent points in your garden or at the back of a border.

Fritillaria planting basics

Like most bulbs, fritillaries like a well-drained, well-composted soil and a sunny or lightly shaded position, but Snakes' Heads don’t mind wet conditions. Grouping your bulbs helps them to show off to the best effect, even when you prefer the mixed flower bed, country garden look. The smaller varieties, particularly the Snakes Head Fritillary, work well when dotted about in lawn for a natural meadow look.

How to plant Fritillaria bulbs

  • Fritillaria are fully hardy and are happiest outdoors throughout winter. They should be planted between September and December in the same year that they were supplied, while fresh. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can open up the packets to let air circulate the bulbs and store them in a cool, dry place. The longer they are stored, the higher the chance of deterioration - they should be planted in autumn and won’t store until the following year.
  • Fritillaria bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
  • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
  • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.
  • Some Fritillaria varieties are small and grown from small bulbs, others can be quite large. It is normal for them to have an odour. The size of the bulb determines the planting depth, they should be planted around 1-2 times as deep as the bulb is high.
  • Plant the bulbs with the pointed side facing upwards. Some Fritillaria bulbs don’t have a pointed side, such as crown imperials - they should be planted with the dipped or hollow side facing upwards. If you are not sure, you can plant it on its side and let it find its own way.
  • Small bulbs can be scattered into wide, shallow holes or planted in individual holes around 5-10cm apart from each other. Large bulbs should be planted individually into holes and will need to be about twice the bulb width apart from each other.
  • Cover back over with soil/compost. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless you have very mild winters and the soil becomes dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.
  • Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. The spent flowers can be snipped off, but allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year.

Gracy’s tips

  • The taller Fritillaries make good cut flowers, but they do have a slightly foxy scent. If you cut them, be sure to leave more than half of the stem on the plant to feed the bulb.
  • Unless you keep your garden very wet in summer, try leaving your Fritillarias on the ground. They like being left undisturbed and should do even better in their second year.

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→ GALANTHUS

Galanthus (Snowdrops) planting instructions

  • Snowdrops are fully hardy and will be fine outdoors throughout winter without frost protection. They should be planted between September and mid November for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short while. They may start to deteriorate from mid November onwards so it is best to get them planted before then - they won’t store until the following year.
  • Snowdrop bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
  • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
  • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade. They looks great under trees, shrubs and in woodland areas or dotted around in clusters in flower beds. You can also grow them through grass.
  • Plant the bulbs around 5-10cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other. Plant in groups for a natural effect.
  • Cover back over with soil/compost after planting. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.
  • Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year. As the leaves are very fine, they may not need removing at all unless they look untidy.

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→ GALTONIA

Galtonia planting instructions

  • Galtonia bulbs are half hardy and can tolerate temperatures down to -5C. They can be planted directly outside in mild areas, but it is safest to start them off in a sheltered location such as a cool greenhouse or under cover in the garden.
  • In mild areas, plant your Galtonia bulbs straight outside between late March and May, in a fertile but well drained soil. Alternatively, start them off in pots in a cool greenhouse and transplant into the garden later in the season.
  • Choose a position in borders or containers in a sheltered spot with full sun. If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
  • Plant with the tip of the bulb facing upwards, sitting just below the soil surface.
  • The bulbs can be spaced around 40-50cm apart, or between 25-40cm apart for a denser display.
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated while in growth – it is important not to let the soil dry out at any point.
  • If you live in a mild area and have well-drained soil that does not become waterlogged in the winter, they can be left in the ground throughout the year with a thick mulch to protect them from winter frosts.

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→ GERANIUM

Geranium planting instructions

  • Geranium are fully hardy and can be planted directly outside in the spring, they don’t require any frost protection over winter.
  • Plant them straight into a clear, cultivated space in borders in spring or into patio containers. Alternatively, you can plant them into temporary pots to grow on without competition for a few months before planting out later in the season.
  • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out or potting up.
  • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the buds or crown just below the surface and any top growth or leaves exposed.
  • Choose a position in full sun or partial shade for your geraniums. They prefer a free-draining soil. If planting in containers, you can use soil-based or multipurpose compost.
  • Space the plants 20-30cm apart
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first year. Once established, geraniums typically don’t need much additional water.
  • Cut back stems and foliage down to ground level in autumn. You can also cut them back in mid-summer after flowering which sometimes encourages them to flower again in late summer if the weather is favourable
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ GEUM

Geum planting instructions

  • Geum are hardy to around -20C. They can be planted straight outside in the spring and don’t require and frost protection.
  • Either plant Geums directly into a prepared space in borders, which has been dug over and cleared of weeds. Alternatively, you can plant them straight into patio containers or into temporary pots to grow on before planting out.
  • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out or potting up.
  • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the buds or crown just below the surface and any top growth or leaves exposed.
  • Choose a position with free-draining soil in full sun for your Geums. If planting in containers, you can use soil-based or multipurpose compost.
  • Space the plants roughly 30cm apart from each other.
  • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first year.
  • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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→ GLADIOLUS

Give your borders into the summer spirit with the help of gorgeous gladioli.  They provide a real lift in a planting scheme – they’re upright and impressive with big blooms available in almost every colour or the rainbow. Whatever your style, you can find a gladiolus variety which will fit in comfortably. They’re remarkably easy to grow too, all they need is a sunny spot with well-drained soil. And if you like growing for the vase, you are in for a treat. Glads last very well in the vase and won’t need any special treatment to do so even if you pick them just as the first buds start showing colour.

Gladiolus planting basics

Before planting your bulbs, add plenty of compost or well-rotted manure to the soil. If you have poorly drained soil, the added mulch will help you to build up your beds for better drainage. Plant your gladioli en-masse or dot clusters of bulbs about in mixed borders. Space them about 10cm apart and plant them about 10cm deep.

How to plant Gladiolus bulbs

  • Gladiolus are half hardy (apart from Gladiolus byzantinus which is fully hardy) and will grow well if planted directly outside in late spring or started off in a sheltered place in early spring to plant out later in the season. Gladiolus byzantinus can be planted directly outside in spring.
  • Grow in borders in full sun and in a free-draining soil. If planting in containers you can use multipurpose compost.
  • Plant the bulbs 10-15cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
  • Space the bulbs around 10cm apart from each other.
  • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in full growth. There is no need to water regularly before they start to grow.

Gracy’s tips

  • In areas with mild areas, your bulbs will survive over winter without lifting provided you give them a thick mulch. Otherwise, lift your bulbs after the foliage has browned off and store them in frost-free conditions over winter.
  • You will notice that there is an old, spent bulbs and a new one. Whilst the bulbs are in winter storage and are dry, you can discard the spent bulb and keep the new bulb to replant.

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→ GLORIOSA

Gloriosa planting instructions

    • Gloriosa are tender perennials and should be kept away from frost. They must be started off indoors or in a greenhouse in the spring and will need to be lifted in autumn for winter storage.
    • Plant between 1-3 tubers into 10-14” pots with multipurpose compost between March and May and grow them on indoors or in a heated greenhouse. You can also plant the tubers directly outside into borders or patio containers in May.
    • Plant the bulbs lengthways as a depth of around 5cm deep. One end of the tuber should be pointed or pink – this is the growing tip.
    • Space the bulbs around 15cm apart from each other, or at a further spacing in borders.
    • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
    • Water-in after planting continue to water regularly when in growth. Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering. Don’t allow the tubers to sit in wet soil.
    • Cut back stems to 3cm above soil level in autumn before the first frost. Move containers with Gloriosa into a frost-free location for winter. Bulbs planted in borders should be lifted and stored in a cool but frost-free place until the following spring.

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      → GLOXINIA

      Gloxinia planting instructions

      • Gloxinia are tender perennials and therefore need to be protected from frost. They can be grown outdoors during the summer or as a house plant. If growing as an outdoor plant, it is necessary to start them off indoors in the spring first.
      • Plant your Gloxinia tubers between March and May and grow on in warm, frost-free conditions. In your home or a greenhouse is ideal.
      • Enjoy as a houseplant, or transplant (or move pots) outside to a warm, sheltered spot after risk of frost has passed in your area and summer temperatures are consistently mild.
      • Choose a spot that is bright but out of direct sunlight – a north or east facing window is ideal. Keep away from hot, dry air produced by heat sources.
      • Plant the tubers shallowly with the concave part or shoots facing upwards, covered by about 1cm of soil. You can use a multipurpose or soil-based compost.
      • Space the tubers about 10-15cm apart from each other or grow in individual 12cm pots.
      • Water-in after planting, and keep well hydrated throughout the growing season, not allowing to dry out or become waterlogged at any point.
      • Remove spent flowerheads to encourage steady flower production during the season.
      • Move outdoor Gloxinia into a frost-free location in autumn before temperatures drop.

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      → GLYCYRRHIZA

      Glycyrrhiza planting instructions

      • Soak the Glycyrrhiza (or Yunnan Liquorice) roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out.
      • Plant your Glycyrrhiza bare roots into temporary pots in spring and grow-on in a sheltered spot outdoors.
      • Choose a pot which comfortably fits the bare roots.
      • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the shoots just below the surface or any top growth exposed.
      • Plant in borders or containers in early summer once in full growth.
      • Space the Yunnan Liquorice plants 15-25cm apart.
      • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth.
      • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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      → GYPSOPHILA

      Gypsophila planting instructions

      • Gypsophila are fully hardy and can tolerate winter temperatures down to -20C. This means you can plant them directly outside in pots or borders without the need for frost protection.
      • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out.
      • Plant your bare roots into temporary pots in spring and grow-on outdoors to transplant later when established. Alternatively, you can plant them directly into prepared borders.
      • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the woody stems exposed
      • Space the plants 20-30cm apart.
      • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth.
      • Cut the stems down to 3cm above soil level in autumn.
      • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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      → HABENARIA

      Habenaria planting instructions

      • Habenaria are fairy hardy once established, but are best started off indoors in sheltered, warm conditions to avoid the dormant tuber from sitting in cold, wet conditions. The tubers are naturally small (seed size).
      • Plant the tubers into pots with multipurpose compost, orchid compost or a mixture of both, you can also include moss. The tubers should be planted between March and May indoors in cool or warm conditions.
      • Plant the tubers around 1-2cm deep – usually they have a slightly pointed side which should be facing upwards. If this is not visible you can plant it on its side.
      • Plant one bulb per 9-12cm pot, or a few bulbs in a larger pot at a spacing of 10-15cm.
      • If planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in partial sun and with free-draining soil. It is best to wait until they are in full growth before planting outside. When moving from indoors to outdoors, you will need to acclimatise them to outdoor conditions gradually, bu putting them outside during the day, then bringing them in again at night for two weeks before eventually leaving them in their final positions.

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      → HEDYCHIUM

      Hedychium planting instructions

      • Hedychium are tender perennials and should be kept away from frost. They must be started off indoors or in a greenhouse in the spring and will need to be lifted in autumn for winter storage.
      • Plant each rhizome into an 8-10” pots with multipurpose compost between March and May and grow them on indoors or in a heated greenhouse. You can also plant the tubers directly outside into borders or patio containers in May.
      • Plant the rhizomes lengthways as a depth of around 5-10cm. plant with the side which has most buds or ‘eyes’ facing upwards.
      • If planting directly outside in May, space the bulbs around 30-60cm apart from each other. If planting in containers, you can plant them at a close spacing of 15-20cm.
      • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil. If you have grown on your Hedychium in a greenhouse during spring, you can plant it outside in May – it is best to harden it off first by putting outside only during the daytime for two weeks before eventually planting out.
      • Water-in after planting continue to water regularly when in growth. Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering. Don’t allow the dormant rhizomes to sit in wet soil.
      • Cut back stems to 3cm above soil level in autumn just after the first frost. Move containers with Hedychium into a frost-free location for winter. Bulbs planted in borders should be lifted and stored in a cool but frost-free place until the following spring. If you have a sandy, free-draining soil and typically have mild winters, you can leave them outside for winter covered with a thick mulch.

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        → HELIANTHUS

        Helianthus planting instructions

        • Helianthus are fully hardy and can be planted directly outside in pots or borders without the need for frost protection.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out.
        • Plant your bare roots into temporary pots in spring and grow-on outdoors to transplant later when established. Alternatively, you can plant them directly into a well-dug, weed-free space in borders.
        • Choose a position which receives full sun during the day.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the buds or crown just below the soil surface. Any top growth or leaves should be left exposed.
        • Space the plants 20-30cm apart.
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → HERMODACTYLUS

        Hermodactylus planting instructions

        • Hermodactylus are fully hardy and will be happy outdoors throughout winter without frost protection, but they do appreciate a sheltered spot. They should be planted between September and early November for best results, although they can be planted until December providing they are still firm and fresh. They won’t store until the following year.
        • Hermodactylus grow from tubers which are small, elongated and yellow/cream in colour with a brown outer layer. They can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
        • They struggle with clay soil. If you have a heavy soil, it is best to grow in containers instead with multipurpose compost. In borders you can incorporate lots of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
        • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade. They look great in stone planters and gravel gardens.
        • Plant the tubers on their side (lengthways) at a depth of around 3-5cm.
        • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other or 5-10cm apart in pots for a full display. If planting in beds, group them into clusters to make a bigger impact.
        • Cover back over with soil/compost after planting. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.

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        → HOSTA

        Hosta planting instructions

        • Hostas are hardy and can tolerate winter temperatures down to -20C. This means you can plant them directly outside in pots or borders.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out
        • Plant your bare roots into temporary pots in spring and grow-on outdoors, or plant directly into a well-dug, weed-free space in borders.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the buds or crown just below the surface or any top growth exposed.
        • Choose a position in full shade or partial shade for your hostas with a rich, free-draining soil. If planting in containers, you can use soil-based or multipurpose compost.
        • Space the plants 20-30cm apart
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth
        • The leaves will die back in autumn and can be removed.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → HYACINTH

        Hyacinths are among the most sweetly scented of the spring flowers, and they’re available in more colours than you would ever have believed! They’re easy and reliable outdoor plants and can be grown indoors in good light. As bedding plants, they make a great edging or plant for walkways and entrances as well as containers and mixed borders. Did you know that you can get yellow, red, and even near-black Hyacinths? You can also get rare varieties with double florets!

        Hyacinth planting basics

        The Dutch growers who got your bulb to peak flowering size have taken care to give you bulbs that are ready to produce their best flowers. All they need from you is a sunny or lightly shaded position and well-drained soil. If you have a heavy soil or soil with a higher clay content, improve it first with lots of well-rotted compost or choose a freely draining potting medium.

        How to plant Hyacinth bulbs

        • Hyacinths are fully hardy and prefer to be outdoors throughout winter. They should be planted between September and November for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place which is out of reach of squirrels and mice. They may start to deteriorate from December onwards so it is best to get them planted before then - they won’t store until the following year.
        • Hyacinth bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
        • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
        • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.
        • The bulbs will naturally be a purplish colour. Plant the bulbs around 10-15 deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other.
        • Cover back over with soil/compost. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless you have very mild winters and the soil becomes dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.

        Gracy’s tips

        • You can re-flower your hyacinths, but forced hyacinths won’t do as well. Cut off the flower when it browns. Lift your bulbs only after all the foliage has yellowed and store in a cool, dry place and replant the following autumn.
        • Pre-chilled bulbs (8 weeks in the fridge) grown indoors will flower much earlier than outdoor planted Hyacinths. Grow them in a bulb glass or in well-drained pots with a good potting mix.

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        → HYACINTHOIDES

        Hyacinthoides (Bluebells) planting instructions

        • Hyacinthoides (or Bluebells) are fully hardy will be fine outdoors without frost protection throughout winter. They should be planted between September and early December for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short while. They may start to deteriorate from December onwards so it is best to get them planted before then - they won’t store until the following year.
        • Hyacinthoides bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
        • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
        • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Choose a position in partial/dappled shade.
        • Plant the bulbs around 10-15cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other or slightly closer in pots.
        • Cover back over with soil/compost. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless you have very mild winters and the soil becomes dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.

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        → HYMENOCALLIS

        Hymenocallis planting instructions

        • Hymenocallis are tender perennials and must be kept away from frost. They require mild to warm conditions to sprout and are therefore best started off in a heated greenhouse or indoors in the spring.
        • Plant into pots between March and May using multipurpose compost, and grow them on indoors or in a warm greenhouse. They can be grown indoors throughout the season or transplanted outside from May onwards. Alternatively, you can plant them straight outside in May.
        • Plant the with the neck of the bulb exposed.
        • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other in borders or containers. They don’t need a lot of space, one bulb usually fits into a 6” pot where it will be happy through the season. You could fit three in a 12” pot.
        • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil..
        • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth. Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering. Don’t allow the bulbs to sit in wet soil whilst dormant.

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        → INCARVILLEA

        Incarvillea planting instructions

        • Incarvillea are hardy to around -10C and can be planted directly outside in spring in most areas. If spring temperatures are cooler than -10C, they can be potted up and grown on in a cool greenhouse first.
        • Plant the tubers into temporary pots in spring and grow-on in a sheltered position to transplant later when established. Alternatively, you can plant them directly into a well-dug, weed-free space in borders providing the soil is not frozen.
        • Choose a position which receives full sun.
        • Plant the tubers 5-10cm deep with any buds or shoots facing upwards. If they are already in leaf, the leaves should be exposed above the soil surface.
        • Space the plants 15-20cm apart.
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth.

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        → IPHEION

        Ipheion planting instructions

        • Ipheion are fully hardy and will be happy outdoors throughout winter without frost protection. They should be planted between September and mid November for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short while. They may start to deteriorate from mid November onwards so it is best to get them planted before then - they won’t store until the following year.
        • Ipheion bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
        • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
        • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade. They look great in stone planters and gravel gardens.
        • Plant the bulbs around 5-10cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other. They look best when planted in groups or clusters.
        • Cover back over with soil/compost after planting. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.

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        → IRIS CHRYSOGRAPHES / ENSATA / SIBERICA

        Iris chrysographes, Iris ensata & Iris siberica planting instructions

        • These iris varieties are fully hardy and can be planted directly outside in the spring. They don’t require winter protection in most areas.
        • Plant the rhizomes directly into clear, well-dug borders or start them off in temporary pots in spring and grow-on outdoors, then transplant later in the season as potted plants.
        • Plant the rhizomes so that they are fully submerged in the soil, around 5cm deep with any shoots or emerging leaves exposed above soil level.
        • Both varieties enjoy a position in full sun. Iris chrysographes and iris ensata prefer a moist soil and can be grown as a marginal pond plant. They also grow well in beds with reliably moist soil, it is a good idea to add mulch to the area first. Iris siberica also like a reliably moist soil, but not boggy.
        • Space the bulbs 15-20cm apart
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth.
        • Cut the stems down to 3cm above soil level in autumn.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → IRIS RETICULATA

        Iris reticulata planting instructions

        • Dwarf iris are fully hardy and will be happy outdoors throughout winter without frost protection. They should be planted between September and mid November for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short while. They may start to deteriorate from mid November onwards so it is best to get them planted before then - they won’t store until the following year.
        • Dwarf iris bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders, rockeries or patio containers.
        • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
        • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade. They look great in stone planters and gravel gardens.
        • Plant the bulbs around 5-10cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other. If planting in beds, group them into clusters for a higher impact.
        • Cover back over with soil/compost after planting. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.
        • Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year. As the leaves are very fine, they may not need removing at all unless they look untidy.

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        → IXIA

        Ixia planting instructions

        • Ixia is a tender bulb and must be protected from frost.
        • Plant your Ixia bulbs in spring and grow on in bright, frost-free conditions. Then, transplant into the garden in May.
        • Alternatively, plant straight outside after risk of frost has passed.
        • Grow in borders or containers in a sunny, sheltered spot.
        • Plant the bulbs 10-15cm deep.
        • Space the bulbs about 10-15cm apart.
        • Plant the bulbs with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated during the summer.

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        → JAPANESE ANEMONE

        Japanese Anemone planting instructions

        • Japanese Anemones are hardy and can tolerate winter temperatures down to -20C. This means you can plant them directly outside in pots or borders in spring.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out.
        • Plant your bare roots directly into clear, well-dug borders or start them off in temporary pots in spring and grow-on outdoors, then transplant later in the season as potted plants.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the shoots just below the surface and any top growth exposed.
        • Choose a position in partial, dappled or full shade.
        • Space the plants 15-20cm apart
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → KNIPHOFIA

        Kniphofia planting instructions

        • Kniphofia (or Red Hot Poker) are hardy to around -15C and can be planted directly outside in spring without the need for frost protection.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out.
        • Prepare a weed-free space in a borders for your Kniphofia plants, alternatively you can pot them up and grow them on first to plant out when in growth later in the season.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the buds or crown just below the surface. Any emerging leaves should be left exposed above soil level.
        • Choose a sunny position for your Kniphofia plants.
        • Space the plants 25-30cm apart.
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first year.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → LIATRIS

        Liatris planting instructions

        • Liatris are hardy perennials and can tolerate temperatures to around -20C. They can be planted directly outside in spring without the need for frost protection.
        • Plant the corms directly into a clear, cultivated space in borders or sturdy containers during spring.
        • Plant the corms around 15cm deep with the buds facing upwards. Any green leafy growth which may have already emerges can be left exposed abover the soil surface.
        • Choose a space in a sunny border with free-draining soil, or container. If planting in a container, you can use multipurpose compost or soil-based compost.
        • Space the corms 10-20cm apart.
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated once in growth.
        • Remove the flower stems after flowering leaving the leaves intact. The leaves can be cut back in autumn.

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        → LEUCOCORYNE

        Leucocoryne planting instructions

        • Leucocoryne are tender bulbs and must be protected from frost.
        • Plant your Leucocoryne bulbs in spring and grow on in frost-free conditions or plant straight outside after risk of frost has passed.
        • Grow in borders or containers in full sun.
        • Plant the bulbs 15-20cm deep
        • Space the bulbs about 10-15cm apart
        • Plant with the pointed side facing upwards
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated while in growth.

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        → LEUCOJUM

        Leucojum planting instructions

        • Leucojum are fully hardy and prefer to be outdoors throughout winter. They should be planted between September and late November for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short while. They may start to deteriorate from mid November onwards so it is best to get them planted before then - they won’t store until the following year.
        • Leucojum bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
        • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
        • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.
        • Plant the bulbs around 10-15cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other or slightly closer in pots.
        • Cover back over with soil/compost after planting. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.
        • Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. After flowering, the spent flowers can be snipped off, but allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year.

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        → LILY / LILIUM

        Lilies have long been a popular choice - their magnificent, large and vibrant blooms plus incredible scent are of course a big attraction. When you grow them, you’ll find that they are very easy and low maintenance for something which looks so fabulously exotic. They’re versatile too – some are extremely tall and create an amazing immersive display, others look great in border and container displays. Wherever you grow them, they’ll be a real focal point in the garden, making a big impact to start the summer season with a bang. Lilies are categorised as trumpet, Oriental and Asiatic – all with their own unique charm.

        Lily planting basics

        Lilies are very easy to grow from bulbs. Simply plant them directly into rich, well-drained soil in spring or containers and leave them to it! If you’re growing tall varieties, planting them with stakes will prevent you from damaging your bulbs if the blooms need some support later in the season. In general, they’ll give you the best effect when you plant your bulbs in groups of 3-5 bulbs.

        How to plant Lily bulbs

        • Lilies are fully hardy and can tolerate winter temperatures down to around -15C, which means you can plant them directly outside in borders or containers in the spring between March and May. There is no need to protect them from frost over winter.
        • Choose a position in full sun or partial shade.
        • Ensure the soil is well dug and free draining. If planting in containers, multipurpose compost or soil-based compost is ideal.
        • Plant the bulbs around 15-20cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs around 15-20cm apart.
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated once in growth. Avoid over watering while the bulbs are still dormant.

        Gracy’s tips

        • You can grow lilies in full sun, but then your mulch will be very important since lilies like cool soil temperatures.
        • After flowering, start tapering off watering to allow your bulbs to go dormant and to prevent rot. Cut out dead flower stems so that the plant pours its energy into replenishing the bulb.
        • Unless your winters are very cold, your lily bulbs should survive their winter dormancy without lifting.

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        → LYCORIS

        Lycoris planting instructions

        • Lycoris are tender perennials and must be kept away from frost. They require mild to warm conditions to sprout and are therefore best started off in a heated greenhouse or indoors in the spring.
        • Plant into pots between March and May using multipurpose compost, and grow them on indoors or in a warm greenhouse. They can be grown indoors throughout the season or transplanted outside from May onwards. Alternatively, you can plant them straight outside in May, although they will be behind those started off indoors earlier in the season.
        • Plant the with the neck of the bulb exposed.
        • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other in borders or containers.
        • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
        • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth. Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering. Don’t allow the bulbs to sit in wet soil whilst dormant.

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        → MIRABILIS

        Mirabilis planting instructions

        • Mirabilis (or Four O'Clocks / Four O'Clock Flowers) are half hardy and can tolerate winter and spring temperatures down to around -5C. They are best protected from light frosts and require mild to warm temperatures to come out of dormancy. It is advisable to start them off indoors or in a cool greenhouse in the spring, or to wait until late April before planting them directly outside.
        • For best results, pot up and grow on in a greenhouse between March and April, they can then be transplanted outside in early summer. Alternatively, you can Mirabilis plant them directly outside in late Aril or early May.
        • Plant the bulbs around 15-20cm deep in borders or pots with the pointed side facing downwards and the crown level with the soil surface. Any shoots can be left exposed above the soil surface.
        • Space the bulbs around 20-25cm apart in borders.
        • Choose a position in full sun with free-draining soil.
        • If planting in patio containers, we recommend using a peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Water-in after planting continue to water regularly when in growth.
        • Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering. Don’t allow dormant bulbs to sit in wet, soggy and cold soil.
        • Cut back flower stems to 1” above ground level in autumn. Move containers with Four O'Clocks into a frost-free location for winter or lift and store the bulbs in a cool but frost-free place until the following spring. In mild/coastal areas, Mirabilis planted in borders should be covered with a mulch over. Mirabilis bulbs will not require watering during winter storage.

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        → MONARDA

        Monarda planting instructions

        • Monarda are hardy to -15C, which means you can plant them directly outside in pots or borders in spring and there is no need to protect them from frost over winter.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
        • Plant directly into a weed-free space in a border in spring. Alternatively, to avoid disturbance, you can pot them up into temporary pots to grow on for a few months first.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the crown or buds just below the surface and any top growth or leaves exposed.
        • Plant in borders or sturdy containers in full sun or partial shade.
        • If planting in containers, use multipurpose or soil-based compost.
        • Space the plants 20-30cm apart
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first season. Once established, they will only need watering when the soil is very dry.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → MUSCARI

        Muscari, commonly known as Grape Hyacinths, are easy to grow bulbs which naturalise over the years, creating a fabulous effect every spring when they burst into gorgeous swathes of colour. Reliably flowering from early to mid Spring, their cheery blooms bring the garden to life and also provide a plentiful and valuable source of nectar for pollinators. They grow happily in most places and they’re compact too, which makes them a great choice for urban gardens and pots. Plus, if you like home-grown cut flowers, a bunch of these make a very pretty posy!

        Anemone planting basics

        Tough and reliable Muscari tolerate many kinds of conditions. If you have an area which is in full sun or partial shade, whether it’s exposed or secluded, in borders, pots or through grass, these low-growing treasures will pop up each year with the minimum of fuss. Over the years they naturalise and eventually create a colourful carpet. Plant them in close groups or swathes to start with so that their dainty flowers can create a big impact!

        How to plant Muscari bulbs

        • Muscari are fully hardy and don’t require frost protection over winter.
        • Plant in autumn for flowers in spring.
        • Suitable for growing in borders or pots.
        • Choose a position in full sun or partial shade.
        • Create a natural look by planting in close groups.
        • Plant the bulbs 5-10cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Allow around 5cm space between the bulbs.

        Gracy’s tips

        • Muscari now come in a host of gorgeous colours. If planting more than one colour, group the colours together in separate drifts to create a bold, eye-catching effect.
        • You can plant Muscari in pots, borders, in rockeries or through grass. There is no need to lift or store your bulbs after flowering, simply leave them in the ground and they will return each year.
        • After flowering, allow the foliage to turn yellow before removing it. You can lift and divide established clumps of Muscari after flowering and while the foliage is still green.

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        → NARCISSUS

        Narcissi (or Daffodils) have inspired poets and brightened up spring gardens for hundreds of years. They’re tough, reliable plants, and the bulbs are likely to settle into your garden, reblooming every year. They’re great in containers and you can get an early show by forcing them to flower indoors. Some cultivars flower earlier in spring than others, so you can plant varieties that flower at different times to extend the flowering season

        Narcissus planting basics

        Narcissi are among the easiest bulbs to grow, but a few quick tips will get them off to a great start. Pick a sunny or lightly shaded area with freely draining soil. If you have a heavy soil, adding compost helps to improve drainage, so dig in about one spade of compost to every three spades of soil. You’re ready to begin planting your bulbs!

        How to plant Narcissus bulbs

        • Narcissi are fully hardy and are perfectly happy to be outdoors throughout winter. They should be planted between September and November for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place which is out of reach of squirrels and mice. They will start to deteriorate from December onwards so it is best to get them in by then. They won’t store until the following year.
        • Narcissus bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
        • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand into the planting area to aid drainage.
        • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.
        • Plant the bulbs around 10-15 deep with the pointed side facing upwards. Varieties with large bulbs may need to be planted a little deeper (the hole should be 2-3 times as deep as the bulb is high). Likewise, varieties with smaller bulbs may need to be a little shallower.
        • As a general rule, space the bulbs 1-2 times the width of the bulb apart from each other. For large varieties this will be a further spacing, for smaller bulbs they can be closer. Most varieties will perform well with a spacing of around 10cm between bulbs.
        • Cover back over with soil/compost. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless you have very mild winters and the soil becomes dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.
        • Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. The spent flowers can be picked off, but allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year.

        Gracy’s tips

        • Dot daffodils about in lawns to create a meadow effect or plant them in groups of seven to ten to make an attractive splash of colour!
        • If you have planted your daffodils in patio containers, once the foliage has started to turn yellow you can replant the bulbs directly into the garden to free-up your pots for summer bulbs.
        • The flowers will look towards the sun, so keep that in mind when planting in semi shade. The best Narcissi for forcing in pots are Paperwhites – other indoor narcissus varieties are also available on our website in autumn.

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        → NECTAROSCORDUM

        Nectaroscordum planting instructions

        • Nectaroscordum are fully hardy and will be happiest outdoors throughout winter. They don’t require frost protection. They should be planted between September and mid-November for best results, but can also be plated into December. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a few weeks but ideally no later than early December. They won’t store until the following year.
        • Nectaroscordum bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
        • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
        • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose or soil-based compost.
        • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade. You can also grow them through rough grass.
        • Plant the bulbs around 15-20cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs around 15-20cm apart from each other or slightly closer in containers for a full display. They looks great planted in swathes and clusters or dotted around.
        • Cover back over with soil/compost after planting. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.
        • Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year.

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        → ORNITHOGALUM

        Ornithogalum planting instructions

        • Ornithogalum are tender perennials and therefore should be kept away from frost. Whilst they can be planted in autumn or spring, it is necessary to plant them in the same season that they are supplied while still fresh and viable, they won’t store until the next season. When planting in autumn or spring, they can be started off in a cool greenhouse. Spring varieties can also be planted directly outside in early May. They will need winter protection in order to return the following year.
        • Plant into pots with multipurpose compost between September and November (if supplied in autumn) or March and May (if supplied in Spring) and grow them on in a cool greenhouse or coldframe. They can be moved outside from May onwards.
        • Plant 15cm deep in borders, patio containers or temporary pots (if intended to plant out later).
        • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
        • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other in borders or containers.
        • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly once you see the leaves appear or if the soil becomes very dry. Don’t allow the bulbs to sit in wet, cold conditions for long periods of time.
        • Ornithogalum flower in late summer. Remove the stems after flowering, the leaves can remain intact until they die back in autumn. Move containers with Ornithogalum into a frost-free location for winter. Bulbs planted in borders should be lifted and stored in a frost-free place until the following spring. If you have sandy or free-draining soil, often the bulbs can survive winter outside in a mild winter.

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        → OXALIS

        Oxalis planting instructions

        • Some Oxalis varieties, such as ‘Iron Cross’, are fully hardy and can be planted directly outside without frost protection. Others, such as triangularis, regnellii and the candy cane varieties are half hardy and are best started in mild conditions or in a cool greenhouse in spring or autumn.
        • Oxalis varieties are fresh at the time they are supplied. Whilst they can be planted in spring or autumn, they should be planted in the season that they were supplied to you, whilst still fresh.
        • The bulbs are naturally small. Plant them into pots with multipurpose compost between March and May and grow them on in a cool greenhouse or coldframe. They can be moved outside from May onwards. Alternatively, you can plant the bulbs straight outside in May. Hardy varieties can be planted directly outside from March onwards.
        • Plant the bulbs 5-10cm deep into patio containers or temporary pots (if intended to plant out later). Any shoots which have already emerged should be kept intact and facing upwards. If they are long enough they will be a little exposed, if not yet long enough the shoots should be below the soil surface when planting.
        • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun or partial shade with free-draining soil. Space the plants around 10-15cm apart from each other in borders or containers.
        • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly once you see the leaves appear or if the soil becomes very dry. Don’t allow the bulbs to sit in wet, cold conditions for long periods of time.
        • Move half-hardy varieties to a frost-free location for winter, this can be an area in the garden which is under cover or a cool greenhouse.

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        → PAPAVER

        Papaver / Oriental Poppy planting instructions

        • Papaver (or Oriental Poppies) are hardy and can tolerate winter temperatures down to -20C. This means you can plant them directly outside in pots or borders in spring.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out.
        • Plant your oriental poppy bare roots directly into maintained borders or into temporary pots in spring to grow-on outdoors for transplanting later in the season.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the crown or buds just below the surface and any top growth exposed.
        • Choose a position in borders or containers in full sun or partial shade. If planting in containers, you can use multipurpose or soil-based compost.
        • Space the plants 20-30cm apart
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth
        • Remove stems after flowering, leaving the foliage at the base intact.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → PAEONIA (PEONY)

        What better way to welcome summer than with a fabulous flurry of petal-packed peony blooms? Flowering from late spring into summer every year, reliable peonies provide a pop of colour to bridge the two seasons. What’s more, they require very little maintenance in return. Itoh and herbaceous peonies can be planted and cared for in the same way. These beautiful fully hardy perennials will become a long-term addition to the garden, over time establishing into strong, bushy plants which will thrive in your borders for years!

        A few planting basics

        You can plant peonies in autumn or spring, but always in the same season that they are sent to you so that they are fresh when planted. In the first year they remain fairly compact but over time these plants can fill a space up to 1.2m. Peonies are happiest in a border in sun or partial shade, choose a suitable spot and dig over the soil before planting to ensure it is loose and soft for planting. You can also grow peonies in large patio containers in a soil-based compost.

        Planting instructions

        • Plant your peony roots outside in autumn or spring (when they’re supplied) as soon as possible on arrival.
        • Peonies are fully hardy and do not require frost protection.
        • Grow in borders or 12-14” containers in full sun or partial shade.
        • Plant the root around 5-10cm deep with any visible buds facing upwards.
        • Space your peony roots around 60-90cm apart.
        • Water-in after planting and while they’re in growth in the first year.

        Gracy’s tips

        • Peonies are perennial and the foliage fully dies back in autumn. As soon as this happens, snip the stems down to around 15cm above ground level.
        • Be careful not to overwater your peonies as this can make the leaves curl. Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering.
        • Looking for a suitable combination plant? Try interplanting your peonies with alliums for a high impact late-spring show!

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        → PEROVSKIA

        Perovskia planting instructions

        • Plant your Perovskia (or Russian Sage) outside during spring or autumn. Select an area with moderately fertile soil, in full sun.
        • Set plants about 30cm apart, or individually in large containers.
        • If growing in a pot, use a well-drained soil mix of equal parts loam and soil-less compost.
        • Water-in after planting and, regularly throughout the first year in position.
        • In late March cut back the plant to about four buds from the soil. Then apply a balanced fertiliser, followed by a mulch 5-7cm deep, of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → PERSICARIA

        Persicaria planting instructions

        • Persicaria are hardy to -20C, which means you can plant them directly outside in pots or borders in spring and there is no need to protect them from frost.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
        • Plant directly into a prepared and dug-over space in a border in spring. Alternatively, to avoid disturbance, you can pot them up into temporary pots to grow on for a few months first to plant out later in the season.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the crown or buds just below the surface and any top growth or leaves exposed.
        • Plant in borders with free-draining soil or containers in full sun or partial shade.
        • If planting in containers, use multipurpose or soil-based compost.
        • Space the plants 15-25cm apart
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first season. Once established, they will only need watering when the soil is very dry.
        • Cut back flower stems to 3cm above ground level in autumn.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → POLIANTHES

        Polianthes planting instructions

        • Polianthes (or Tuberose) are tender perennials and require warm conditions to sprout. They are therefore best started off in a heated greenhouse or conservatory in the spring. They must be kept away from frost.
        • Plant into pots between March and May using multipurpose compost and grow them on indoors or in a warm greenhouse. They can be grown indoors throughout the season or transplanted outside from May onwards. Alternatively, you can plant them straight outside in May, although they will be behind those started off indoors earlier in the season.
        • Plant the tuberose bulbs 10-15cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other in borders or containers.
        • When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.
        • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth. Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering, they don’t like to sit in constantly wet soil.
        • Polianthes flower in late summer. If planted directly outside, they may not start to grow leaves until mid summer. If started off in warm conditions in spring, they should flower towards late summer.
        • Remove the stems after flowering, the leaves can remain intact until autumn. Move containers with Polianthes into a frost-free location in autumn, just before the first frost. Bulbs planted in borders should be lifted in autumn before the first frost and stored in a frost-free place until the following spring.

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        → POLEMONIUM

        Polemonium planting instructions

        • Plant your Polemonium (or Jacob's Ladder) outside during spring or autumn. Select an area with moderately fertile, humus-rich soil, in full sun or part shade.
        • Set plants about 25cm apart, or individually in large containers.
        • If growing in a pot, use a well-drained soil mix of equal parts loam and leaf mould (or soil-less compost).
        • Water-in after planting and, while in growth, do not let the soil become dry.
        • For best foliage and flowers, apply a balanced fertiliser in April and again in July.
        • Cut back the plant after flowering to encourage a second flush of bloom, or leave to enjoy the foliage.
        • After several years, lift and divide congested clumps in autumn or spring.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → PUSCHKINIA

        Puschkinia planting instructions

        • Puschkinia (or Russian Snowdrops) are fully hardy will be fine outdoors without frost protection throughout winter. They should be planted between September and late November for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short while. They may start to deteriorate from late November onwards so it is best to get them planted before then - they won’t store until the following year.
        • Puschkinia bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
        • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
        • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.
        • Plant the bulbs around 10-15cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other or slightly closer in pots. If planting in groups or natural clusters, you can dig a wide, shallow planting area and scatter the bulbs into it, then cover over with soil.
        • If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and the soil becomes dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.
        • Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it – whilst it is still green it is feeding the bulb for next year. The stems and leaves are small and may not need to be removed at all unless they look untidy.

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        → RANUNCULUS

        When you see these spectacular blooms, you’ll find it hard to believe they’re actually buttercups! Flaunting remarkably luxurious and intricate petal-packed flowers during spring and early summer, these are a world apart from their little yellow wildflower relatives. But their humble origin is partly what adds to their charm, making them easy to grow and resilient as well as incredibly beautiful. Ranunuculus have long been adored by gardeners and florists alike for their brilliant qualities – bred to perfection to produce the most stunning blooms, you’ll just love them in the garden as well as the vase!

        A few planting basics

        Ranunculus are grown from corms which look like claws. Thriving in a sunny spot, the lovely big blooms these plants produce will appreciate a warm, sheltered spot away from strong winds to keep them in top condition. Ranunuculus are half hardy, for best results it’s a good idea to start them off in pots and then transplant out into their final positions from mid spring. They’re particularly well suited to growing in patio containers, but also do very well at the front of a mixed flower border with rich, free-draining soil.

        How to plant Ranunculus

        • Ranunculus are half hardy and will need to be grown in a sheltered location over winter or in early spring.
        • Soak the ‘claws’ in plain water for 3-12 hours prior to planting.
        • Plant them directly into a sunny, sheltered border or patio container between April-June. If planting earlier, start them off in pots or cell trays in an unheated greenhouse to transplant out later in spring.
        • Plant the ‘claws’ facing downwards, approximately 3-5cm deep, and water-in.
        • After planting, keep the soil around your ranunculus plants hydrated but not soggy, and maintain regular watering throughout the growing season whenever the soil is dry.

        Gracy’s tips

        • Choose a good-quality multi-purpose compost when growing ranunculus in pots. If growing in borders, mix in a little compost to the area to create a rich, crumbly growing medium.
        • To encourage maximum flowering, mix in a slow-release granular fertiliser to the potting mix prior to planting, then feed fortnightly with a liquid feed during the growing season.
        • Deadhead or cut flowers for indoor displays regularly to encourage further flowering!

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        → ROSCOEA

        Roscoea planting instructions

        • Roscoea are hardy perennial bulbs and can tolerate temperatures down to -15C. This means that they can be planted directly outside in the spring in most areas and don’t require winter frost protection.
        • Plant directly into a clear, well-dug space in a border between March and May. You can also plant them straight into patio containers.
        • Roscoea don’t mind heavy soils with some clay, they can also be planted in rich, free-draining loamy soils. Choose a position which is in full shade or partial shade.
        • Plant with the crown facing upwards and tubers pointing downwards, around 5-10cm deep in borders or patio containers.
        • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other.
        • If planting in patio containers, it’s best to use soil-based compost or multipurpose with added loam.
        • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly once in growth in the first year.
        • Remove the flower stems after flowering and cut back foliage to ground level in autumn. They bulbs can stay outdoors in their planted positions without any frost protection over winter.

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        → RUDBECKIA

        Rudbeckia planting instructions

        • Rudbeckia are hardy and can tolerate winter temperatures down to -15C without any cover or additional protection. This means you can plant them directly outside in pots or borders in spring.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out.
        • Plant your bare roots into temporary pots in spring and grow-on in a sheltered spot outdoors. You can then plant them out as potted plants later in the season once in growth. Alternatively, plant directly into a clear space in borders.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the buds or crown just below the surface or any top growth exposed.
        • Choose a planting space in full sun or which is in shade for only a short part of the day.
        • Space the plants 15-20cm apart.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → SALVIA

        Salvia planting instructions

        • Salvia are fully hardy and can be planted directly outside in the spring. There is no need to protect Salvia from frost.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out.
        • Plant directly into a clear space in borders in spring. To help them establish quicker, you can pot them up into temporary pots first and allow them to grow on without competition for a few months.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the buds or crown just below the surface or any top growth exposed.
        • Choose a sunny position for Salvia with free-draining soil. If you are planting in containers, you can use multipurpose or soil-based compost. Salvia are drought tolerant and prefer to be kept fairly dry once they have settled in.
        • Space the plants 15-20cm apart
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated until they have properly anchored their roots.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → SANGUISORBA

        Sanguisorba planting instructions

        • Sanguisorba are fully hardy to -20C, which means you can plant them directly outside in pots or borders in spring and there is no need to protect them from frost.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
        • Plant directly into a clear, weed-free space in borders in spring. Alternatively, to avoid disturbance, you can pot them up into temporary pots to grow on for a few months first to plant out later in the season.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the crown or buds just below the surface and any top growth or leaves exposed.
        • Plant in borders with free-draining soil or containers in full sun or partial shade. If planting in containers, use multipurpose or soil-based compost.
        • Space the plants 15-25cm apart
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first season.
        • Cut back flower stems to 3cm above ground level in autumn.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → SAUROMATUM

        Sauromatum planting instructions

        • Sauromatum tubers are hardy down to -5C, which means that they can be planted directly outside in spring but may require some frost protection. It is safest to start them off in a cool greenhouse or coldframe in spring to ensure they are kept frost free while young.
        • Plant your Sauromatum tubers directly outside between March and May in a fertile, humus-rich but well-drained soil. In colder areas or if cold weather is still likely, start them off in pots in a cool greenhouse or sheltered, covered part of the garden and then plant them out later in the season as potted plants.
        • When planting outside, choose a sheltered position in shade or partial shade. If planting in a container, you can use multipurpose compost or soil-based compost.
        • Plant the tubers 5-10cm deep with the shoot or side with a bud facing upwards.
        • Space the tubers about 15-20cm apart from each other.
        • Water-in after planting and keep well hydrated while in growth Don’t allow the bulbs to sit in constantly wet conditions while still dormant and while the weather is still cold.
        • You can apply a liquid fertiliser after flowering to replenish the tuber.
        • To overwinter the tubers in colder areas, lift in the autumn and allow to dry off in a warm place for a few days, before trimming off any remaining foliage. Then store in in a cool, dark, but frost-free place before replanting the following spring. In mild areas with well-drained soil that does not become waterlogged in the winter, they can be left in the ground with a thick mulch or covering of dry leaves to protect them from frosts.

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        → SAXIFRAGA

        Saxifraga planting instructions

        • Saxifraga are fully hardy will be happy outdoors without frost protection throughout winter. They should be planted between September and early November for best results. They can be planted a little later providing the bubs are still fresh and plump, but no later than December. They won’t store until the following year.
        • Saxifraga bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers. As the bulbs are naturally small, it is best to start them off in pots so they can establish without competition. They can be grown on outdoors until they are ready to be planted out.
        • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
        • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • When planting out, choose a position in partial/dappled shade. They looks great edging borders, in rockeries or in stone planters.
        • Plant the bulbs around 2-3cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other.
        • If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and the soil becomes dry.
        • Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. Deadhead after flowering. The leaves will stay green throughout the year and will spread over the years.

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        → SCADOXUS

        Scadoxus planting instructions

        • Scadoxus (or Blood Lily) corms are tender and must be protected from frost. They are best started off in warm, bright indoor conditions in the spring.
        • Plant your Scadoxus bulbs between March and May and grow on in warm, frost-free conditions to plant out after risk of frost has passed. You can also plant them directly outside in early May into a warm, sunny spot. Scadoxus sometimes take several weeks to sprout, so don’t be concerned if they don’t start to grow straight away.
        • When planting in containers, we recommend using a peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • When planting out, choose a position in borders or containers in full sun or partial shade, in a fertile but well-drained soil. If planting the bulbs directly outside in May, it’s best to choose the sunniest part of the garden so that they receive the right level of warmth to come out of dormancy.
        • Plant the bulbs with the tip facing upwards, sitting just below the soil surface.
        • Space the bulbs about 15-20cm apart from each other.
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated while in growth, not allowing the compost to fully dry out or become waterlogged at any point. While the bulbs are still dormant, only apply additional water when the soil becomes dry on the top and ensure it can drain out of the pot easily. The bulbs don’t like to sit in boggy conditions.
        • To overwinter the bulbs, lift before temperatures cool down in the autumn and allow to dry off in a warm place for a few days, before trimming off any remaining foliage. Then store in a cool, dark, but frost-free place before replanting the following spring. Alternatively, you can stop watering the container and leave in a dry, frost free place until spring.

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        → SCHIZOSTYLIS

        Schizostylis planting instructions

        • Schizostylis (or Kaffir Lily) rhizomes are hardy down to -10C, so can be planted direct outside in spring but may require winter protection in colder areas.
        • Plant your Schizostylis rhizomes straight outside between March and May. They are best planted as soon as possible while fresh, providing the soil isn’t frozen.
        • Soak the rhizomes in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
        • Choose a spot in full sun or partial shade and which is sheltered from wind.
        • Grow in borders or containers - they prefer a moist but well-drained soil and are often grown close to water in soil which doesn’t become fully dry during summer. If planting in containers, we recommend using a peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Plant the rhizomes 10-15cm deep, with visible shoots facing upwards.
        • Space the rhizomes about 15-20cm apart or slightly closer in pots for a full display.
        • Water-in after planting, and keep well hydrated throughout the growing season, not allowing to dry out at any point.
        • Schizostylis may take a year to establish before flowering, then will return every year.
        • In cooler areas, it is advisable to protect them with a thick mulch in the winter.

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        → SCILLA

        Scilla planting instructions

        • Most Scilla are fully hardy will be fine outdoors without frost protection throughout winter. Scilla peruviana prefers a sheltered spot but can still cope with temperatures down to -10C. They should be planted between September and late November for best results. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a short while. They may start to deteriorate from late November onwards so it is best to get them planted before then - they won’t store until the following year.
        • Scilla bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
        • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
        • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.
        • Plant Scilla peruviana bulbs around 10-15cm deep with the pointed side or shoots facing upwards. Scilla peruviana often starts to grow shoots in autumn, the shoots should be kept intact and the bulbs should be planted at the normal depth. If the shoots are long enough, they may be exposed above the soil surface after planting, otherwise it is fine for them to be covered after planting as they will continue to grow. Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other.
        • Other Scilla varieties grow from smaller bulbs which should be planted at a depth of around 5-10cm. Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other. Plant them in individual holes or dig a wide hole and scatter a handful of bulbs into it before covering over.
        • If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and the soil becomes dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.
        • Leave the bulbs planted in the ground throughout the year. After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it – whilst it is still green it is feeding the bulb for next year.

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        → SIDALCEA

        Sidalcea planting instructions

        • Sidalcea are fully hardy and can be planted directly outside in spring.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
        • Plant your bare roots directly into a clear space in borders or into temporary pots in spring to grow-on outdoors for transplanting later in the season. Potting them up first is recommend as it gives them a chance to establish with minimal disturbance or competition.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the crown or buds just below the surface. Any emerging leaves or top growth should be left exposed.
        • Choose a position in borders or containers in full sun or partial shade.
        • Space the plants 15-20cm apart
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first year.
        • Cut stems down to 3cm above soil level in autumn.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → SPARAXIS

        Sparaxis planting instructions

        • Sparaxis corms are tender and must be protected from frost. They should be grown on indoors or in a greenhouse in the spring, or planted directly outside after risk of frost has passed.
        • Plant your Sparaxis corms between March and May and grow on in warm, frost-free conditions. Growing them on first will give them a head start, they can then be planted out in a sunny, sheltered spot after risk of frost has passed in your area. Alternatively, they can be planted directly outside in early May.
        • Choose a spot in full sun with a fertile but very well-drained soil. If growing in containers, we recommend using multipurpose compost with a little added sand or grit to aid drainage.
        • Plant the corms 15-20cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the corms about 10-15cm apart from each other.
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated while in growth. While the bulbs are still dormant, it is best to allow the soil to become almost dry before watering again.
        • After flowering, spent flowerheads can be cut back, but allow foliage to die down naturally to replenish the corms.
        • To overwinter the corms, lift them before temperatures cool down in the autumn and allow to dry off in a warm place for a few days, before trimming off any remaining foliage. Then store in a cool, dark, but frost-free place before replanting the following spring.

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        → SPREKELIA

        Sprekelia planting instructions

        • Sprekelia (or Jacobean Lily) corms are tender, and must be protected from frost. They should be grown in frost-free conditions in the spring and will require winter storage.
        • Plant your Sprekelia bulbs between March and May and grow on in warm, frost-free conditions to plant out after risk of frost has passed in your area. Alternatively, you can plant them directly outside in early May, although they will be behind those started off earlier in the season.
        • Grow in borders or containers in a sunny, sheltered spot, in a fertile but well-drained soil. If planting in containers, we recommend using a peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Plant shallowly, with neck of the corm exposed.
        • Space the corms about 10-15cm apart from each other.
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated while in growth, not allowing the soil to fully dry out or become waterlogged at any point. Whilst the bulbs are still dormant, allow the soil to become almost dry before watering again.
        • Sprekelia are perennial, but may not flower every year. Apply a liquid fertiliser after flowering to replenish the corms.
        • To overwinter the corms, lift them before temperatures drop in the autumn and allow to dry off in a warm place for a few days, before trimming off any remaining foliage. Then store in a cool, dark, but frost-free place before replanting the following spring. Alternatively, you can leave the container in a cool but frost-free place and cease watering while the corms are dormant.

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        → STACHYS

        Stachys planting instructions

        • Stachys are fully hardy and can be planted directly outside in spring, there is no need to protect them from frost over winter.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting.
        • Either pot up your bare roots to grow on for a few months before planting out – this allows them to establish some growth without competition – or plant them directly into a clear, well-dug area in borders.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the crown or buds just below the surface. Any emerging leaves or top growth should be left exposed.
        • Choose a position in borders or containers in full sun or partial shade.
        • Space the plants 15-20cm apart
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth in the first year.
        • Cut stems down to 3cm above soil level in autumn.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → STERNBERGIA

        Sternbergia planting instructions

        • Sternbergia flower in October, they are fully hardy and prefer to be outdoors throughout winter. They should be planted between September and early October for flowers in the first year. They can also be planted between October and early December although they will have missed their flowering time in the first year and will wait until the second year to flower. If planting after October, they will have shoots – they should be planted at the normal depth with the shoots intact, the shoots may be long enough to be exposed above the soil level. They will continue to grow normally.
        • Sternbergia bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
        • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
        • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Choose a position in full sun or partial shade.
        • Plant the bulbs around 10-15cm deep with the pointed side or shoots facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs around 5-10cm apart from each other. They look great planted in clusters, groups or swathes.
        • Cover back over with soil/compost. Water them in after planting to settle them. Unless it is very mild and dry, they will not require any further watering through winter. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry. If growing them indoors, water whenever the soil looks dry.
        • After flowering, allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year.
        • Sternbergia are fully hardy and will be fine outside without frost protection throughout winter.

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        → TACCA

        Tacca planting instructions

        • Tacca (or Bat Flower) rhizomes are tender, tropical and must be protected from frost. They need warm, indoor conditions to sprout.
        • Plant the rhizome indoors in spring, to give it the consistent warmth it needs to come out of dormancy – between 20-25C is necessary.
        • Tacca nivea rhizomes are thick and greenish-yellow in appearance. Soak the Tacca rhizome in water for 2-3 hours before planting. Tacca black rhizomes are purplish-brown, long and thin – they may be curved, and may look slightly shrivelled.
        • Plant Tacca nivea rhizome upright in a pot with the remnants of the previous season’s foliage and about 1cm of the rhizome itself exposed above the soil surface. Plant the Tacca black rhizome diagonally in a pot at an angle of 45 degrees, with the remnants of the previous season’s foliage and about 1cm of the rhizome itself exposed above the soil surface.
        • Good drainage is essential, so plant the rhizome in a 50/50 mix of potting compost and orchid bark or perlite.
        • Water well after planting and allow the water to drain through the pot. Keep well-watered throughout the season, not allowing the compost to dry out or become waterlogged at any point.
        • Tacca can take around 12 weeks after planting to produce leaves. The warmer the conditions the quicker they will sprout. Once leaves appear, keep the pot out of direct sunlight – a north or east facing window is ideal.
        • Bat flower plants require high humidity so keep the pot away from dry air produced by heating sources – position the pot in a humid part of the house, or spray the plant regularly with a fine mist of water.
        • Grow as a houseplant, or move the pot outside to a sheltered, shaded spot when the leaves have sprouted - after all risk of frost has passed in your area and when summer temperatures are consistently warm.
        • Your Tacca will need to be moved back inside in autumn and kept in a warm, bright location for winter.

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        → TIGRIDIA

        Tigridia planting instructions

        • Tigridia (or Tiger Flower) bulbs are tender and must be protected from frost. They should be started off in a cool greenhouse or cool, bright position indoors in the spring.
        • Plant your Tigridia bulbs between March and May and grow on in bright, frost-free conditions. Growing them on will give them a head start, alternatively you can plant them directly outside in early May. Grow under cover all summer, or plant out in a warm, sheltered spot after risk of frost has passed in your area and summer temperatures are consistently mild.
        • Choose a spot in full sun and grow in a fertile but very well-drained soil. If growing in containers, add sand or grit to potting/multipurpose compost.
        • Plant the bulbs 15-20cm deep, with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs about 15-20cm apart from each other, they can be slightly closer when grown in containers for a full display.
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated while in growth. While the bulbs are still dormant, allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again.
        • After flowering, spent flowerheads can be removed but leaving any foliage intact.
        • To overwinter the bulbs, lift before temperatures cool down in the autumn and allow to dry off in a warm place for a few days, before trimming off any remaining foliage. Then store in dry sand in a cool but frost-free place before replanting the following spring.

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        → TRITELEIA

        Triteleia planting instructions

        • Triteleia (or Triplet Lily) bulbs are hardy down to -5C and will require some frost protection. It is safest to start them off in cool, frost-free conditions. In mild areas, they can be planted direct outside in spring but may require frost protection.
        • Pot up the bulbs in a cool greenhouse between March and late April and grow them on to plant out as potted plants later in the season. Alternatively, plant directly outside from late April onwards or after risk of frost has passed.
        • Choose a spot in full sun, and grow in light, sandy, fertile soil. If growing in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost and you can add sand or grit to aid drainage.
        • Plant the bulbs 8-10cm deep, with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs about 10-15cm apart from each other. For a full display in pots, you can plant them a little closer.
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated while in growth. While the bulbs are dormant, allow the soil to become almost dry before watering again – they don’t like to sit in cold, wet conditions whilst dormant.
        • To overwinter the bulbs in colder areas, lift after flowering and allow to dry off in a warm place for a few days, before trimming off any remaining foliage. Then store in in a cool, dark, but frost-free place before replanting the following spring.
        • In mild areas with well-drained soil that does not become waterlogged in the winter, they can be left in the ground with a thick mulch to protect them from frosts.

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        → TULIP

        The wonderful tulips we know today were bred from a handful of wild species that came from Eurasia and North Africa. Carolus Clusius introduced tulips to European gardeners in the sixteenth century after getting bulbs from an ambassador who had first seen them in the gardens of Sulayman the Magnificent. Tulips typically flower in April, although some late season varieties can emerge closer to May, early season tulips (such as botanical tulips) usually start flowering around March.

        Tulips are one of the most reliable ways of introducing a bucket-load of colour to your garden in spring. There are so many combinations and styles you can achieve with them, which is part of what makes growing them so much fun!

        Tulip planting basics

        Your tulip bulbs have been groomed for years by expert growers to give you the very best results. They’re very easy to grow, but a few basics ensure gardening success. Choose a sunny or partially shaded spot with well-drained soil and prepare your bed with plenty of added compost (about one spade of compost for every three spades of soil). Now it’s time to get planting and make magic happen!

        How to plant Tulip bulbs

        • Tulips are fully hardy and are perfectly fine to be outdoors all winter. They should be planted between October and mid December for best results. If you receive your bulbs in September, it is best to wait until the weather is cool before planting them, until then you can store them in a cool, dry place which is out of reach of squirrels and mice.
        • Tulip bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.
        • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand into the planting area to aid drainage.
        • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade.
        • Plant the bulbs around 15-20cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the bulbs around 10cm apart from each other in containers for a full display. You can allow a little more space between bulbs in borders.

        Gracy’s tips

        • For the best impact, mass plant your tulips or group them in drifts of seven to ten bulbs. You can create a fantastic display by interplanting with Grape Hyacinths.
        • When planting in containers, choose a well-drained pot and plant your bulbs close together without them touching each other. You can also layer bulbs to create a succession of blooms in one pot! Large bulbs are planted deeper, with smaller bulbs closer to the surface.

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        → TROLLIUS

        Trollius planting instructions

        • Trollius are hardy and can tolerate winter temperatures down to -20C. This means you can plant them directly outside in pots or borders in spring and they don’t require any frost protection.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out.
        • Plant your bare roots into temporary pots in spring and grow-on in a sheltered spot outdoors to transplant later in the season, or plant directly into cultivated, weed-free borders.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the buds or crown just below the surface and any top growth exposed.
        • Plant in borders or containers in full sun or partial shade.
        • Space the plants 15-20cm apart.
        • Water-in after planting and keep hydrated when in growth.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → URGINEA

        Urginea planting instructions

        • Urginea are half hardy, tolerating temperatures down to -5C provoding they are in a sandy, free-drianing soil. They will require frost protection over winter. They should be planted between September and late-November for best results, but can also be plated into December. If you’re not ready to plant them as soon as you receive them, you can store them in a cool, dry place for a few weeks but ideally no later than early December. They won’t store until the following year.
        • In areas with very mild winters, Urginea bulbs can be planted directly outside in borders with free-draining soil or patio containers. It is safest to start them off in pots and grow them on in a cool greenhouse or coldframe over winter.
        • If you have a heavy soil or soil with a high clay content, it is a good idea to incorporate plenty of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.
        • If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose or soil with added sand.
        • Bulbs which have been grown on in pots over winter can be planted outside from around late April.
        • When planting out, choose a sheltered position in full sun with well-drained soil.
        • Plant with the neck of the bulb exposed.
        • Space the bulbs around 15-20cm apart from each other if planting in groups, or at a further spacing throughout borders.
        • If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it remains very mild and dry throughout autumn and winter. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.
        • Urginea flower in late summer/early autumn.
        • After flowering, remove the flowers but allow the leaves and stem to fully die back or turn yellow before removing it, as this is feeding the bulb for next year.
        • In mild areas, the bulbs can be covered with a thick mulch or dry cut foliage for winter. In cooler areas, the bulbs should be lifted in autumn and stored in cool, dry and frost-free conditions for winter.

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        → VERONICA

        Veronica planting instructions

        • Veronica are hardy down to around -10C, it is safe to plant them directly outside in spring. They rarely need additional frost protection in winter unless temperatures will likely be below -10C.
        • Soak the roots in water for 3-6 hours prior to planting out.
        • Plant directly into a clear space in borders in spring. To help them establish quicker, you can pot them up into temporary pots first to plant out later in the season.
        • Plant the roots so that they are fully submerged with the buds or crown just below the surface or any top growth exposed.
        • Choose a sunny position with free-draining soil. If you are planting in containers, you can use multipurpose or soil-based compost.
        • Space the plants 15-20cm apart
        • Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly whenever to soil appear to be dry.
        • Read further general instructions about planting bare-root perennials

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        → WATSONIA

        Watsonia planting instructions

        • Watsonia (or Bugle Lily) is a tender corm and must be protected from frost.
        • Plant your Watsonia corms in spring and grow on in warm, frost-free conditions to plant out after risk of frost has passed in your area. Growing them on first will give them a head start. Alternatively, you can plant them directly outside in early May.
        • Choose a sheltered spot in full sun with free-draining, humus-rich soil, or a container. If planting in a container, you can use multipurpose compost or soil-based compost.
        • Plant the corms around 15-20cm deep with the pointed side facing upwards.
        • Space the corms 15-20cm apart or slightly closer together in pots.
        • Water-in the bulbs after planting and keep hydrated once in growth, not allowing the soil to dry out completely or to become waterlogged. The soil should be lightly moist, don’t allow dormant bulbs to sit in cold, wet soil.
        • After flowering, spent flowerheads can be cut back and the foliage can be left intact until it dies back in autumn.
        • To overwinter, lift in the autumn after flowering and allow corms to dry off in a warm place for a few days, before trimming off any remaining foliage. Then store in a cool, dark, but frost-free place before replanting the following spring.
        • In mild areas with free-draining soil, they can be left in the ground with a thick mulch to protect them from frosts.

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        → ZEPHYRANTHES

        Zephyranthes planting instructions

        • Zephyranthes (or Rain Lily) is a tender bulb and must be protected from frost. They can be started off indoors or in a heated greenhouse between March and May and then transplanted outside later in the season. Alternatively, you can plant them directly outside in early May.
        • Choose a position in sheltered borders or containers in full sun, in a very well-drained soil or compost with added grit. If planting in containers, we recommend using peat-free multipurpose compost.
        • Plant the bulbs 10-15cm deep, with the shoots facing upwards. Any green leafy growth which may have already emerged can be left exposed above the soil surface.
        • Space the bulbs about 5-10cm apart from each other.
        • Water-in well after planting and keep hydrated at all times while in growth. While the bulbs are still dormant, allow the soil to almost dry out before watering again.
        • To overwinter the bulbs, lift in the autumn after flowering and allow to dry off in a warm place for a few days, before trimming off any remaining foliage. Then store in a cool, dark, but frost-free place before replanting the following spring.

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