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Bulb selection & site selection

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Choose firm bulbs with a smooth surface (here, Acidanthera bulbs)
Photo: Kevin Payravi

Bulb selection

Bulbs can be bought at nurseries and gardening centres. They are usually available during planting season. Large, firm and relatively heavy bulbs with a smooth surface are preferable. You should avoid bulbs that are damaged, mouldy or insect-infested. It is better to buy a small number of good-quality bulbs, which will produce large flowers, than a large quantity of cheaper small bulbs.

Even if they are in good condition when they are bought, bulbs can deteriorate very rapidly. They must be stored in a cool dry and well-ventilated place until they are ready to be planted.

In general, tender bulbs are planted outside as soon as any danger of frost is over, i.e. at the end of May or early June.

Site selection

In order to achieve good growth and interesting blooms, bulbs should generally be planted in a sunny area. They can be placed near a low wall, a staircase or in a rock garden. Their appearance is most striking when planted in small bunches.

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