Bulb Lasagna

A bulb lasagna is a clever way to use spring bulbs to create a potted flowering display that will last for weeks and weeks, with little to no maintenance required. A winning idea! 

Apparently, the term originates with Dutch bulb growers and means that the bulbs are planted in layers, like a lasagna, for a long succession of flowers.

The largest and latest-flowering bulbs go in the deepest, with the smallest and earliest-flowering in the top layer.

Bigger bulbs are spaced 1"-1.5" inches apart (or more depending on the bulb) and we use a 2" layer of potting soil between the layers. The emerging shoots of the bulbs in the lower layers will bend and grow around anything that is sitting over their heads.

Generally, we use 3 layers (see illustration below) but you can do more, or less, depending on the sizes/types of bulbs you choose, and the size of your container.

Join us for a Bulb Lasagna Workshop in Victoria on Saturday Oct 14, 2023. Click here for more.

Bulb Lasagna Gardener's KitBulb Lasagna Gardener's Kit

Layer A (deepest layer) - 8"-12" from the top of the pot

  • plant your largest, tallest-growing and latest flowering bulbs in this layer:  late-flowering tall tulips or tall narcissus, fritillaria imperialis, alliums
  • you should have a good 6"-8" of potting soil below this bulb layer for the roots to grow into
  • bulb spacing:  1"-2" apart for tulips & narcissus
  • cover with 2" of potting soil before adding the next layer to the pot

Layer B (mid-layer) - 4"-6" from the top of the pot

  • plant your early and mid-season bulbs in this layer: tulips, short narcissus, hyacinths
  • spacing:  1-1.5" apart for tulips & narcissus; we recommend using hyacinth as an accent plant, dotting just a few around the outside because of their large, strappy foliage that can overwhelm the bulbs coming up from the bottom layer
  • cover with 2" of potting soil before adding the next layer to the pot

Layer C (top layer) - 2" from the top of the pot

  • use this layer for small, early spring ephemerals like crocus, muscari, snowdrops, scilla, chionodoxa, species tulips, etc.
  • i like to do a mass plantings of one bulb to provide a solid block of nectar resources for early-emerging pollinators
  • spacing:  0.5"-1" apart
  • cover with 2" of potting soil


How many bulbs should I buy if I want to make a bulb lasagna?

Totally depends on the size of your pot!

Measure the diameter and depth of your pot and use the spacing/depth recommendations above to make a rough calculation of what you'll need for each layer.

Example:  Here's a recipe for a pot that has a 15"-18" diameter.

Layer A (bottom) - approx. 15 bulbs

Layer B (middle) - approx. 15 bulbs

Layer C (top) - 30-50 bulbs, depending on size of bulb

 Bulbs Gardener's Kit