The 9 Best Bulb Planters of 2022

Our favorite is the Edward Tools Bulb Planter

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The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

A bulb planter may not seem like an essential tool for every gardener, but if you’re fighting your soil type to plant flower bulbs each year, then a bulb planter can make the process much more comfortable and overall easier to complete. "There are so many tools that work well for bulb planting, but choosing the right one depends a lot on the number of bulbs you’re planting and where you’re planting them," says Erin Schanen, Troy-Bilt’s gardening partner, a master gardener volunteer and creator of The Impatient Gardener blog and YouTube channel.

We researched the best bulb planters that would help with planting efficiency and provide a comfortable user experience throughout the process. We also considered each product’s ease of use, handle length, blade type, and blade length. Our favorite planter is the Edward Tools Bulb Planter, which features a contoured handle, a soil plug release mechanism, and a 4-inch blade with depth markers. 

Read on for the best bulb planters on the market.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Edward Tools Bulb Planter

4.9
Edward Tools Bulb Planter with squeeze handle and contoured grip

Amazon

What We Like
  • Ergonomic handle 

  • Depth markers

  • Easy handle-release mechanism 

  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Not best for heavy-duty jobs

  • Not great for users with limited mobility or joint discomfort  

The Edward Tools Bulb Planter is our best overall pick because it’s made from durable reinforced stainless steel and has a comfortable grip that also functions as the soil release mechanism. While this bulb planter is certainly designed for smaller projects, rather than seeding a whole yard, we think its high-quality design and durable materials make it a reliable choice for any recreational bulb planting. The side of this planter has depth markings in both centimeters and inches, so you'll know exactly how deep you’re planting your bulbs. 

The handle is rounded for a comfortable grip, and it squeezes to release the soil plug from each hole. This bulb planter is made from reinforced steel, so it can push through compact soil without collapsing or bending, but we don’t recommend using it on clay or rocky soil, as it may not be strong enough. We also don’t recommend this tool for anyone who has limited mobility or joint discomfort, because the short handle, paired with the squeeze mechanism, may not be comfortable to use. 

The lifetime warranty offered for this product makes us confident that it’s a worthy—and incredibly affordable—investment. It's also sold by one of Amazon’s small business sellers, so you can feel good about supporting a local company.

Price at time of publish: $12

Material: Steel | Length: 4-inch blade | Type of Blade: Cone | Weight: 10.6 ounces

Best Budget: Husky 9-Inch Stainless Steel Bulb Planter

husky planter with contoured handle and squeeze handle

The Home Depot

What We Like
  • Rubber grip

  • Serrated edge

  • Peg hole on handle

What We Don't Like
  • Not best for larger landscaping jobs

This bulb planter from Husky is very similar to our best overall pick, but its main difference is the even more affordable price tag. Its rubber grip makes it a comfortable tool to use for an extended period of time while planting bulbs in a small garden or raised bed. It also has a similar squeeze mechanism that releases the soil plug back into its hole after placing a bulb. 

The serrated edge and depth markers take all the intense labor and guesswork out of planting bulbs. Our favorite feature of this planter is the built-in peg hole, which allows it to be hung on a hook or peg board after each use. Just like our best overall pick, we don’t recommend using this tool for larger swaths of your yard, but it’s an affordable and well-designed option for smaller projects. 

Price at time of publish: $10

Material: Steel | Length: 9 inches | Type of Blade: Cone | Weight: 8.48 ounces

Best Short-Handled: The Dirt Snatcher Bulb Planter

The Dirt Snatcher with unique soil plug release handle

The Home Depot

What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Rubber grip

  • Unique corer lever

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Not great for users with limited mobility or joint discomfort

If you’re crouching in a garden bed all day, the tool you’re using should work with you to make the planting process easier. Enter: The Dirt Snatcher. This unique bulb planter has a squeeze mechanism that lifts the dirt plug out of each hole and easily replaces it once you’ve arranged your bulb. Its rubber grip is contoured to fit your fingers for an especially comfortable and controlled planting experience. 

Although this design is more expensive, we think its innovative function justifies the higher price tag. Though this squeeze handle is still not ideal for users with limited mobility or joint discomfort, we think it overall improves the user experience of a traditional bulb planter. The shovel-tipped blades also make it easier to dig into the dirt than with a traditional cone blade.

Price at time of publish: $21

Material: Nickel-coated steel | Length: 11 inches | Type of Blade: Corer | Weight: 19.2 ounces

Best Stand-Up : Perfect Garden Tool 39-Inch Steel Bulb Planter

Perfect Garden Tool patented middle step bulb planter with wide handle

The Home Depot

What We Like
  • Patented middle step

  • Solid planter blade

  • Wide handle

  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • May not be best for taller users

A stand-up bulb planter is a great option for anyone who is looking to protect their back and knees from bending in flower beds all day. This 39-inch bulb planter from Perfect Garden Tool has a solid, arrow-shaped planter blade that eliminates the need to discard soil plugs and makes it easy to carve out a 7-inch deep hole quickly. This stand-up bulb planter also allows you to easily plant bulbs in a larger garden or even aerate a lawn. 

The wide middle step plate makes it easier to keep your balance while pressing down on the planter. We also appreciate the wide handle on this tool, so you can grip it with both hands, since it is heavier than a short-handled bulb planter. Although this planter is 39 inches tall, it may not be tall enough to be comfortable for taller users. This tool’s design and size also make it one of the most expensive picks in our roundup, but we think its user-comfort-oriented design makes it worthy of a splurge.

Price at time of publish: $35

Material: Steel | Length: 39 inches | Type of Blade: Solid | Weight: 96 ounces

Best Auger: TCBWFY Auger Drill Bit for Planting, 3- x12-Inch and 1.6- x 16.5-Inch Bits

Auger Drill Bit with two lengths and widths for universal bulb planting

Amazon

What We Like
  • Two lengths and widths allow you to plant in more types of soil

  • Practically no physical labor required

  • Fits standard drill sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Not best for young users

A power drill allows you to quickly create plenty of holes for all your seeding needs. This drill bit set from TCBWFY includes two different bits: a 3 x 12-inch bit and a 6 x 16.5-inch bit. The extra length on both bits allow you to drill as deep as necessary into the soil, but there are no depth markers included, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t drill too deep. This type of bulb planter is ideal for someone who doesn’t love to spend an entire afternoon gardening, or for someone who prioritizes efficiency. "A good 3-inch auger with a 24-to-28-inch shaft on an 18-volt drill works wonders with very little bending over," suggests Schanen. "Care should be taken when using augers in clay soil, or soil with tree roots or stones, as they can get out of control and cause wrist or arm strain."

If you have young helpers in the garden, this tool may not be the best for them to use. These drill bits fit most standard hex drill drivers (0.37-inch and 0.3-inch drivers specifically) and don’t require extensive effort to install or connect to your drill. 

Price at time of publish: $22

Material: Alloy steel | Length: 12 and 16.5 inches | Type of Blade: Drill bit | Weight: 27.2 ounces

Best Multipurpose: ProPlugger 5-in-1 Lawn and Garden Tool

ProPlugger 5-in-1 gardening tool for weeding, planting, and more

Amazon

What We Like
  • 5-in-1 weeding, planting, and transplanting tool

  • Efficient design

  • Intuitive depth markers

What We Don't Like
  • Soil plugs may fall out with especially dry dirt

The thought of purchasing yet another tool that only serves one purpose and takes up space in a toolshed is a valid concern, so we’re always looking for multipurpose tools. The ProPlugger 5-in-1 Lawn and Garden Tool is the answer to all your clutter concerns and lawn and garden needs. From picking up weeds with deep roots to transplanting creeping grass, this tool does it all and is comfortable to use for extended periods of time. This standing design has two step levers on either side of the central barrel, so you can step on it with both feet or just use your dominant foot. 

Rather than releasing soil plugs after each hole, this tool functions by collecting them in its central pole and can be dumped upside down to discard all of them once it's full. Our only concern with this design is that crumbly, dry soil may not stay in the barrel of this tool, which would create more of a mess than help. However, we appreciate the labor-saving idea behind this tool’s design. The two blades on the bottom also act as depth markers for two and four inches. Pressing the planter into the ground until it's flush with the step levers equals a 6-inch hole. Overall, we think this tool is a great option for gardeners who are looking for a tool that can weed, aerate, seed, and transplant plantings all with a single action.

Price at time of publish: $40

Material: Welded carbon steel | Length: 34.5 inches | Type of Blade: Cone | Weight: 88 ounces

Best With Depth Markings: Berry&Bird Garden Bulb Planter with 6-Inch Depth Marks

Berry and Bird bulb planter with 6-inch depth markings

Amazon

What We Like
  • 6-inch blade

  • Serrated edge

  • Two-year warranty

What We Don't Like
  • No plug-release mechanism

  • Wooden handle may deteriorate over time

A bulb planter that features depth markings is an exacting gardener’s best friend, especially if soil-freeze warnings are a concern in your region. This tool from Berry&Bird features a 6-inch blade that’s clearly marked with centimeter and inch measurements. While it’s much more traditional in design, meaning there’s not a fancy plug-release mechanism or other helpful features, this tool is well made and will last several seasons for a recreational gardener. And in case your tool does arrive with any faulty parts, it’s backed by a two-year warranty. 

The serrated edge makes it easy to insert into soil and swiftly pick up soil plugs with a twisting motion. The wooden handle is ergonomically carved, so you can comfortably grip it while working. We are slightly worried about the comfort of this handle while using it for extended periods of time, and it may deteriorate if exposed to harsh weather conditions. However, assuming you store it in a tool shed or deck box that covers it from rain and snow, we feel confident that this bulb planter is a great basic planting tool with clearly marked depth measurements.

Price at time of publish: $24

Material: Stainless steel | Length: 12.6 inches | Type of Blade: Cone | Weight: 22.4 ounces

Best for Clay Soil: Bully Tools 10-Inch Steel Hand Seeder

Bully Tools bulb planter with rubber grips and angled blade

Lowe's

What We Like
  • Curved edge makes it easier to enter hard soil

  • Durable handle

  • Rubber-gripped handles

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Clay soil can be difficult to plant in, but certain bulbs, like daffodils and grape hyacinth, are more forgiving about their growing needs. This bulb planter from Bully Tools is the ideal tool for boring deep into compacted clay to plant bulbs or other seedlings. It has a curved, shovel-like edge, which makes it easier to initially enter rocky or clay soil, and the durable steel handle won’t give way or bend while you’re pressing into the soil. The rubber-gripped handles make it comfortable to use for a longer period of time, but we recommend wearing gloves if your hands are especially prone to blisters. 

While this bulb planter is very simple in design, its weight and durable construction make it a great option for harder soils. It is more expensive than other options on the market, but we think its effectiveness makes it worth the splurge, given the effort it saves you in combating difficult planting conditions. 

Price at time of publish: $42

Material: Steel | Length: 26.3 inches | Type of Blade: Cone | Weight: 48 ounces

Best for Lawns: Yard Butler Bulb & Garden Planter

Yard Butler bulb planter with cone blade and padded handles

Amazon

What We Like
  • 6-inch blade

  • Durable foot bar

  • Rubber-gripped handles

What We Don't Like
  • No serrated edges

Planting bulbs in your yard or seeds can be quite the endeavor, so we recommend purchasing a long-handled planter like this tool from Yard Butler. The 37-inch handle prevents you from stooping over and straining your back and knees while working. A durable foot bar and rubber-gripped handles also make for a comfortable user experience. Just like with our best for clay soil pick, we recommend wearing gardening gloves if you’d like to prevent blisters. 

Unlike our other picks, this tool does not have a serrated edge to penetrate soil, but we think it’s still fit for most grassy lawns with standard soil. To use this tool, simply press onto the foot bar until it’s flush with the ground—creating a 6-inch hole—and twist the tool to lift up the soil plug. It doesn’t get much easier than that, especially if you don’t have a power drill to use an auger bit.  

Price at time of publish: $49

Material: Steel | Length: 37 inches | Type of Blade: Cone | Weight: 62.24 ounces

Final Verdict

A bulb planter can drastically improve and even automate your planting experience. Our favorite planter is the Edward Tools Bulb Planter, which has a comfortable contoured handle and easily releases soil plugs back into the hole, after you’ve added your bulb. If you’re looking for an even more budget-friendly option, we recommend the Husky 9-Inch Stainless Steel Bulb Planter. It’s similar in design to our best overall pick, but it has a rubber grip for even more long-term comfort while planting in your garden.

What to Look for in a Bulb Planter

Type

"If you have just a handful of bulbs, a simple, handheld bulb planter or even a trowel will do the job," says Erin Schanen, Troy-Bilt®’s gardening partner, a master gardener volunteer, and creator of The Impatient Gardener blog and YouTube channel. "But bulbs are best planted in large quantities, and that’s where a really good tool comes in handy." Most short-handled bulb planters function through a squeezing motion, which releases the soil plug removed from the hole. If you have limited mobility in your hands, a short-handled bulb planter may not be the best option for you.

A long-handled or stand-up planter is a great option for people who don’t want to bend over low-profile flower beds or work on their knees in a garden. "Stand-up bulb planters with T-handles work well for some applications, but look for one with a strong joint between the shaft and the bulb cylinder, as they are prone to bending," adds Schanen. Long-handled planters pierce the ground as you step on them with your foot and then twist the handle to create a hole at your desired depth. 

While the first two options are more manual in labor, an auger drill bit can be added to a power drill (be sure to check your power drill’s appropriate bit size before purchasing) to truly speed up your planting process. "An auger is a much more efficient way of planting a lot of individual bulbs, and the best ones have thick shafts with a hexagon-shaped insert for the drill so they won’t spin in circles," says Schanen. Drill bits come in a variety of lengths and widths, so you can be sure to find a size that works best for your flower bulb needs.

"If you think you’ll be planting bulbs for years to come, investing in a good tool is well worth it," says Schanen, "especially when you factor in how much more quickly you can plant bulbs with a tool like an auger or cultivator such as the Troy-Bilt TBC304 Garden Cultivator."

Depth

Certain flower bulbs need to be planted at specific depths. Many of the bulb planters we’ve included in this roundup feature depth markings on their blades, which help to guide users when creating holes in their garden. You can find short-handled bulb planters that measure as deep as 6 inches, and even longer blades are offered on some stand-up versions.

Blade shape

"Bulb planting can be a joy or a dreaded chore, and the deciding factor can often come down to the tool you choose," says Schanen. You can choose bulb planters with serrated or angled blades, which both work to cut through different types of soil. We recommend using an angled blade for thick, compact soil types like clay, or for rocky conditions. A serrated blade is great for short-handled bulb planters because they offer a little more digging power, since you don’t have as much leverage as with stand-up planters. Cone-shaped bulb planters with straight blades are great for creating precise holes in softer soil, like lawns or fresh flower beds.

Material

Most bulb planters are made from stainless steel or reinforced steel. We recommend selecting a bulb planter that has an ergonomic, or contoured, handle, which makes the tool more comfortable to hold for long periods of time. Some planters have rubber handles, which are even more comfortable than their plastic competitors. 

FAQ
  • How do you use a bulb planter?

    A bulb planter is very simple to use. To use a short-handled bulb planter, grip the top handle firmly, and press down into the soil where you want to create a hole for your bulb. Twist the planter in a circle, once you’ve pressed it to your desired depth. If your bulb planter has a squeezing mechanism, be sure to squeeze the handle after you’ve placed your bulb in the hole to release the soil back into the hole. Stand-up bulb planters function very similarly. The main difference is that they have a foot bar, which you press onto to puncture the soil in your desired location.

  • How do you clean a bulb planter?

    If your bulb planter is caked with mud and dirt, we recommend gently rinsing it with water and drying it off with a towel or rag. Some bulb planters have wooden handles, and we recommend keeping the wood dry to prevent premature waterlogging or rot. Be sure to store your bulb planters in a deck box or tool shed to keep them out of inclement weather.

  • When is the best time to plant bulbs?

    The climate you live in determines when you should plant your bulbs. In colder climates, plant your spring blooms in fall, before the ground freezes. Then plant your summer blooms in late spring, once the ground thaws. If you live in a warmer climate, you need to wait until closer to December to plant your spring blooms, to ensure that the ground has cooled down. Plant summer blooms in early spring, to give your bulbs the best chance of rooting.

  • How deep should you plant bulbs?

    All flower bulbs should be planted a few inches from the surface of the ground and several inches apart from each other. The larger the bulb, the deeper you’ll want to plant it.

    "The rule of thumb is to plant a bulb two to three times deeper than the height of a bulb," says Schanen. "Most bulbs will come with instructions that offer specific planting depths, but you can rely on that rule of thumb to help. There are a few specific cases where it can be helpful to lean toward one side of the equation, such as tulips, which may overwinter in future years more reliably if they are planted slightly deeper."

Why Trust The Spruce?

Emma Phelps is an Updates Writer for The Spruce who has over two years of experience writing about all things home improvement, home decor, and home organization. Prior to working at The Spruce, she was a writer at Southern Living. For this roundup, Emma researched the highest-rated products on a variety of online retailers’ sites and then reviewed each product for its design, blade type, handle type, and length. Emma also considered the user experience with each tool and the type of soil each tool would function best in.

Erin Schanen also provided insight for this article about the best uses for a bulb planter and the top qualities a good one should have. Schanen is Troy-Bilt®’s gardening partner, a master gardener volunteer, and creator of The Impatient Gardener blog and YouTube channel.

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