Planting instructions

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:

Amaryllis belladonna
Calla aethiopica
Allium perennial
Amaryllis belladonna
Dutch Iris
Iris chrysographes
Iris ensata
Iris germanica
Iris sibirica
Japanese Anemone
Perennials general


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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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.


  • 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. Discover these and more at

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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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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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.


  • 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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  • 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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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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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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