How to plant bulbs ‘in the green’

Spring flowers show the first positive signs that spring is just around the corner. There is nothing nicer than getting through the winter and seeing a mix of spring bulbs emerging in the garden. Winter Aconites (Eranthis) and Snowdrops (Galanthus) are the very first early bird bulbs to spring up.

However, both of these plants can take a while to get established if you plant them like Daffodils (Narcissi) in Autumn via semi-dry bulbs. Which can lead to gardening disappointment and frustration as you wait a few years for them to finally make an appearance. By buying your spring bulbs ‘in the green’ just after they have flowered you can ensure a fabulous display the next year, meaning you’re not waiting with fingers crossed.

I ordered a mix of different Galanthus (Snowdrops), Eranthis (Winter Aconites and Hyacinthoides non-scripta (English Bluebells) from Gee Tee bulb company to then naturalise these ‘in the green bulbs’ in my lawn at Garden Ninja HQ.


This guide is going to show you how to easily plant bulbs in the green without drama and the least fuss possible!

How to plant bulbs in a lawn the easy way

I like to call this method ‘the slit method’ which I’ve found ideal for naturalising and planting smaller bulbs like Snowdrops in the green. It doesn’t involve huge amounts of effort and I’ve always had great success.

Smaller bulbs usually don’t require as much depth as larger bulbs like Tulips and Daffodils which makes planting them mega easy. I always find Tulips better in containers as they naturally lose some of their vigour over time. Whereas Daffodils and other bulbs tend to bulk up and go for gold in the ground. It’s personal preference though.


The Slit Method

1. Using a sharp spade make a cut into your turf (or soil if planting in a border). Waggle the spade back and forth to make a slit wide enough to fit the bulbs. I find doing this just after rainfall the best way as the grounds nice and moist ready for the bulbs.


2. Split your bulbs in the green into batches of 3 or 5 bulbs at a time. Don’t be tempted to stick in 10’s or 20’s as they will just get congested and look odd. Start small and then the bulbs will bulk up over the years and not need to overly compete with each other for resources. ie water and nutrients.


3. Slide in your bulbs individually so that they are buried up to a depth that completely covers the lower white part of the stem. This white part shows the previous planting depth, it’s white because it doesn’t need much chlorophyll as it’s not going to photosynthesise being underground!


4. If you’re planting more then give the next batch at least 6-8inches between the first set you’ve just planted.


5. Once you’ve got 3 or 5 in then push the slit back together again covering the bulbs firmly. They may lean to one side initially but don’t worry they will recover. Always water them in thoroughly after planting. That’s it!

Bulbs in the green species

Here’s a list of the species of bulbs in the green I’ve planted to help you when searching online.

  • Galanthus nivalis (Snowdrops)
  • Galanthus flore pleno (Double Snowdrops)
  • Galanthus Elwesii (Snowdrops)
  • Hyacinthoides non-scripta (English Bluebells)
  • Leucojum Aestivum (Summer Snowflake)
  • Eranthis hyemalis (Winter Aconite)

Buying bulbs online in the green is a really quick and successful way of planting spring bulbs. I bought mine from Gee Tee bulb company who have an excellent range of bulbs in the green. Check out their website or speak to them on Twitter for more help and advice.


If you have questions or comments on spring bulbs why not let me know below? You can Tweet, Facebook or Instagram me. You can also follow me on Youtube where I’ve got plenty of garden guide vlogs!

Happy Planting!

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