How To Water Bulbs

Updated/Fact-Chacked on May 16, 2022 by John

Water is an essential requirement for the proper growth of all living things, including flowers.

As important as bulb watering is, it’s devastating when you do not properly do it. You must neither water your bulbs too much nor water them too little. You must properly and moderately water them, otherwise, they might die off.

However, it can feel a little confusing when some plants seem to soak up the water like a sponge, while others only need a light sprinkle a couple of times a month.

>> Complete Guide to Plant Watering

How then should you water your bulbs?

The watering requirement varies according to different types of bulbs and where the bulbs are planted. We will guide you through how to water your different bulbs.

Spring-Flowering Bulbs

To water spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, alliums and crocus bulbs –

  • After planting at the end of Autumn, water the tulip bulbs deeply into the soil. Ensure the water penetrates through to the root.
  • Water once more before the frosts. Thereafter, you can abandon watering the bulbs again until Spring.
  • During Spring and when your bulbs begin growing, you should water them once every week. This helps them when flowering. However, you don’t need to water the bulbs when there’s rainfall.
  • Keep watering the bulbs once a week until the foliage dies off.
  • You should not water the bulbs in the summer when dormant.
  • You may need to water bulbs more if planted under grass as they will be competing for water and nutrients with your lawn.

Summer-Flowering Bulbs

To water summer-flowering bulbs like gladiolus, iris, freesia, and crocosmia bulbs –

  • Ensure you water them thoroughly when planting. The water must penetrate through the entire root.
  • Keep watering when the new foliage shows up.
  • When blooming, water the gladiolus once a week. You don’t need to water whenever there is recent rainfall though.
  • Continue watering once a week, except when there is rain.
  • You should stop watering when the foliage dies off

Watering Paperwhites

Paperwhite is a fast-growing bulb but the flower does not last very long. To water paperwhites:

  • Ensure that you water straight after planting.
  • Regularly water so the soil is damp but not soggy.
  • Once the paperwhites flower, mix the water with a 5 percent alcohol solution.

Watering Amaryllis

Amaryllis is also an indoor bulb, like Paperwhites. However, watering Amaryllis is different from watering Paperwhites. To water Amaryllis:

  • After planting, do not always water the bulbs after the planting. Rather, occasionally water the bulbs. This is unlike Paperwhites.
  • Later on, you can then water your bulbs using tepid tap water. However, this should be moderate. Do not apply excessive water to the bulbs and never let the pot sit in a saucer of water.

Watering Bulbs In Containers

  • When planting your bulbs in pots like tulips, soak the soil in the container thoroughly with water. However, do this moderately and do not turn the container into a pool.
  • During Winter, water the soil weekly. You should not water when the soil has frozen up.
  • During the Spring season, water the bulbs daily.


Bulbs are easy to grow. As part of their care, there are different ways to water different bulbs. How you water and how much you water is key to how well your flowers will grow and thrive.