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Bulb Growing Guide

5 Steps to Bulb Planting Success

  • Choose your selection of bulbs from a garden centre from mid-Feb to early April. Autumn is the best time to plant bulbs in New Zealand.
  • Prepare your soil with organic matter like compost and sheep pellets.
  • Add a layer of bulb mix and plant your bulbs at a depth twice their diameter.
  • Feed bulbs when planting, when stems begin to appear, when starting to flower and when dying down.
  • Keep the soil moist while bulbs are growing. 

Follow our full guide below for beautiful, blooming bulbs. 

Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths or freesias – whatever your bloom of choice may be, filling your piece of paradise with fragrant floral displays will bring joy on a daily basis. As summer eases its time think about bulbs. Autumn is the best time to plant and feed spring flowering bulbs.


The widest selection of bulbs will be available in store from mid-February to early April. Always select bulbs that are large and healthy, without marks or mouldy patches. Check out some of our bulb picks here >

Like building a house a good foundation is the key to success in your garden. The better the soil, the better your bulbs will grow. If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter like Tui Sheep Pellets and Tui Compost to your soil. Then you can add a layer of Tui Bulb Mix.

If planting in pots and containers, fill with Tui Bulb Mix.


Check individual bulb planting instructions and use the Kent & Stowe Hand Bulb Planter for easy planting.

Directions for planting in garden beds:

  • Loosen the soil and dig in Tui Bulb Mix.
  • Plant bulbs to a depth twice the diameter of the bulb.
  • Fill in with Tui Bulb Mix.
  • Press mix gently around your bulb.
  • Water your bulbs well when required and when shoots appear.

Directions for planting in pots and containers:

  • Partly fill your container with Tui Bulb Mix.
  • Plant bulbs to a depth twice the diameter of the bulb.
  • Fill your container with Tui Bulb Mix up to 3cm from the top.
  • Tap the container gently on the ground to settle the mix and press gently around the bulb.
  • Water your bulbs well when required and when shoots appear.


Feed your bulbs and they will reward you. Replenishing nutrients used by your bulbs ensures they will grow to their full potential. Select a fertiliser specially blended for your flowers like Tui Bulb Food which is specially blended for bulbs planted in garden beds. 

Feed your bulbs when planting, and when you start to see green growth. This will give them a store of food to call on during their growth. When the foliage on your bulbs start to die down, it is also important to side dress with Tui Bulb Food and let the foliage die away naturally.

Feed bulbs planted in containers with NovaTec Premium fertiliser.

Keep the soil moist while the bulbs are growing. Well watered, well nourished bulbs will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay.

Tui Tips:

  • Most bulbs should be pre-chilled in your fridge until the desired planting time, just make sure not to store them with your apples.
  • Protect your plants from the elements with layers of mulch, to help keep their roots moist.
  • Plant other flowers in the top of your container such as polyanthus, pansies and violas. These annuals flower in the cooler months and will extend your flowering season.
  • After flowering, bulbs will naturally die down, and foliage will wilt and go brown. This is an important part of the life cycle. It is at this stage the bulb is storing food for the following season. Most bulbs can stay in the ground for years with new bulbs forming from the parent bulb.