Flower bulbs are a vital part of gardening in all seasons. For the best selection of bulbs, online is the best way to shop. You'll find plenty of in-season varieties as well as bulbs that will allow you to plan for the months ahead. "The time of year to buy spring-flowering bulbs (tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus) is in the late summer to early fall," says Debra LaGattuta, a master gardener and member of The Spruce Gardening and Plant Care Review Board. "In USDA Cold Hardiness Zones 7 and higher, planting begins in October and continues until the ground freezes. The time of year to buy and plant summer-flowering bulbs such as gladiolus is in the spring."
We researched dozens of retailers that offer flower bulbs online and selected the best based on the types of bulbs offered, delivery time, return policy, and customer service.
Extra tips included
Extensive customer service knowledge
Prices may be lower elsewhere
Eden Brothers boasts a selection of over 600 varieties of bulbs to choose from. We like that you are asked to enter your zip code, and then the website identifies your USDA Hardiness Zone. You can then sort the bulbs by zone, so you can know exactly which plant should thrive in the environment you live in. This is a foolproof method for selecting bulbs. Don’t bother with hours of research; Eden Brothers does the work for you.
It may seem like a negative to have bulbs sold out or “out for the season,” especially if it’s your favorite variety, but Eden Brothers takes care to only sell bulbs in advance of that plant’s growing season. The bulbs are categorized by season, so in summer you can pre-order your fall planting bulbs and not have to worry about purchasing them at the wrong time. The shipping schedules match the growing seasons, and in-season bulbs ship instantly after you order, so you don’t miss the planting season.
The website is easy to use and well-categorized. Select your bulb type, and choose from a variety within that type. If you don’t know the names of your favorite plants, they have pictures, and you can even filter by color to find exactly what suits your garden. The site includes a table of fast facts for each plant variety, telling you exactly how to plant and care for the bulbs. The descriptions are easy to read and informative, making them an excellent resource, especially for beginning gardeners. If bulbs arrive damaged, mislabeled, or within 15 days and you’ve changed your mind, you can return them for a full refund.
Types: Various | Shipping Rates: $4 to $19; free on orders over $79 | Delivery Time: 2 to 5 business days | Return Policy: Conditional; see website | Customer Service Options: 855-440-2929 (Monday-Friday), firstname.lastname@example.org
Bulk purchases only
Small in-stock variety
Strict return policy
Originating as a flower bulb wholesaler that shipped out millions of catalogs annually, Van Engelen has emerged as one of the best online options for buying flower bulbs. We like that it has volume-discount pricing, meaning the more you buy, the more you save. That is good for flower bulbs, since you generally plant them in clusters to ensure a dense, beautiful garden.
This site provides a detailed product description and planting guide with each flower bulb, so you won’t have to look in different spots to get the information you need. Unless you specify the desired week, the orders are shipped based on your growing zone in time for proper planting. You can get replacements for damaged items if you report them within 10 days of receiving them. We like that you can track your order, so you'll know when to expect it, and that it offers a few methods for reaching out to customer service, including phone, form, and email.
Types: Various | Shipping Rates: Continental U.S. only; 10 percent to 15 percent of purchase price | Delivery Time: Based on order and USDA zone | Return Policy: Must be authorized by Van Engelen within 3 days of receipt of order. 20 percent restocking fee. Shipping and handling charges not refundable. | Customer Service Options: 860-567-8734, email@example.com
Prices may be lower elsewhere
If you’re looking for a one-stop shopping experience, we recommend adding flower bulbs to your online cart at Home Depot. Most of us are very familiar with the store’s helpful customer service and generous 90-day return policy and might feel more comfortable purchasing bulbs there as well. Since the website was not designed specifically for gardening, there isn’t much information provided upfront. Each individual product comes with a detailed description at the point of purchase that informs you of the best way to plant your bulbs.
Home Depot is a great option if you already know what flower bulbs you’re looking for and when, so you can get them for budget-friendly prices with free shipping. If you’re new to gardening, you may end up with the wrong flower for your growing zone or for the season. You have to do some extra research before ordering online from there, but once you do, you can apply filters to sort through the available items.
Types: Various | Shipping Rates: Free; check specific order | Delivery Time: Same-day in-store pickup; 2 to 5 business days online | Return Policy: Conditional; see website | Customer Service Options: 1-800-466-3337
Swan Island Dahlias
Over 375 varieties of Dahlias
Growing info listed with each bloom variety
Swan Island Dahlias is the leading Dahlia grower in the United States, offering over 375 varieties of dahlias. This fully family-run business in Canby, Oregon, has been growing flowers for over 96 years. Whether you're a long-time admirer of dahlias and their many forms, or dipping your toes in this species for the first time, Swan Island Dahlias is sure to offer a bulb that's ideal for your growing dreams. We appreciate that this brand ships all bulbs during the appropriate spring planting season based on customer locations within the United States. It also offers a bloom guarantee where you can contact the company for help and potentially receive replacements if your bulbs don't bloom within five weeks of planting. (Be sure to contact before August 1 of the same growing season.)
When browsing the site, you'll notice that each bloom type has a separate purchasing page with a detailed specs tab that will tell you the bloom size, plant height, and bloom time, along with other useful information. Swan Island even offers a helpful landing page on how to grow Dahlias based on their growing season and environment (from seed, in containers, or indoors). While these bulbs are more expensive than other dahlia bulbs on the market, the large variety and thorough, organized delivery times can offer peace of mind that you'll definitely be satisfied with beautiful blooms.
Types: Over 375 varieties of Dahlias | Shipping Rates: Ship to all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Canada; All U.S. orders shipped by U.S. Priority Mail; $7.95 to $12.95 shipping fee based on purchase price | Delivery Time: Shipped during spring time (March-May); All non-dahlia tuber items ship immediately | Return Policy: Contact within 10 days of receipt of order; 25 percent restocking fee; shipping & handling non-refundable; | Customer Service: 1-800-410-6540, firstname.lastname@example.org, or online form
One- to three-day shipping
Variety may be greater elsewhere
If you’re a gardening expert who knows exactly what you’re looking for, Walmart is a great website to purchase your next batch of flower bulbs. It offers low prices on large pack sizes, one- to three-day free shipping, and free 365-day returns. There is not that much variety to choose from, but Walmart has all of the most basic flower types available. We don’t recommend ordering bulbs online from Walmart if you’re not too familiar with growing zones or seasons. Since Walmart offers more than just garden items, its customer service doesn’t have the flower expertise if you have issues or questions about your bulbs.
If you mess up your order or change your mind, you can simply return your purchase to your nearest store, so this is a good online option for indecisive gardeners who don’t want to pay for returns. The fact that you have a whole year to return items is also great if you tend to be forgetful about your household return pile.
Types: Various | Shipping Rates: Continental U.S. only; 10 percent to 15 percent of purchase price | Delivery Time: 2 days promised | Return Policy: Conditional; check with retailer | Customer Service Options: Online form
Gardening tips online
Trial garden to test bulbs
Prices may be lower elsewhere
Ordering bulbs with Longfield Gardens is a smooth and supportive process from start to finish. If you want free shipping on large orders, thoughtful aerated packaging, and a satisfaction guarantee, we recommend ordering your flower bulbs from them. Longfield Gardens has a massive selection of bulbs, categorized by season and color. Its shipping schedule follows growing seasons in each zone, so you will receive your bulbs at the right time to plant them.
The website offers a large FAQ section and a help center hotline if you don’t find the answer you’re looking for online. We like the blog section, which includes useful gardening summaries and tips to ensure that your flower bulbs grow to their full potential.
Types: Various | Shipping Rates: Continental U.S. only; UPS, FedEx, $11.50 per order per season; free for orders $50 or more | Delivery Time: Varies, based on your location | Return Policy: Not listed | Customer Service Options: 855-534-2733, online form
Slow deliveries at times
Burpee is a top choice for ordering flower bulbs online, because it offers top-quality varieties, straight from its farms at reasonable prices, without sacrificing quality. It has generations of experience in the gardening business and has even introduced some new varieties of flowers.
Burpee categorizes its bulbs into types such as “full sun” or “deer resistant,” so you can customize your order to the needs of your garden. We like that it also sells gardening tools, like its budget-friendly bulb planter that ensures your bulb is placed at the right depth into the soil.
Bulbs ship out according to your growing zone in time for planting season. If your bulb doesn’t grow correctly, there is a one-year guarantee from the time of purchase, so you can return or replace it at no cost.
Types: Various | Shipping Rates: Continental U.S. only; $8.95 to $19.95 for orders priced $10 to $150; 13 percent of purchase price for orders over $150 | Delivery Time: 3 to 10 business days via UPS | Return Policy: Guaranteed for 1 year; no return charge; returns processed and refunded/credited within 7 to 14 days | Customer Service Options: Chat
Brent & Becky's
Abundant gardening info
Short return and replacement window
Site lacks growing requirements
One of the best options for purchasing flower bulbs online is Brent & Becky’s. It supplies the bulbs fresh from it sprawling farm in Virginia to your front door, just in time to be planted, according to the growing zone of your zip code. The website offers hundreds of plant and flower variants, categorized alphabetically for your convenience.
Brent & Becky’s does not guarantee the growth of your bulbs, as many variables can affect your blooms. However, if your order arrives damaged or in poor quality, just reach out within seven days for replacements. While this website does offer a ton of gardening information under the learning section, we wish each bulb’s growth requirements were listed directly on the product pages for easier and faster access.
Types: Various | Shipping Rates: 10 percent to 15 percent based on location; 30 percent of purchase price to AL and HI | Delivery Time: 15 days beginning September 15 to November 30 (fall) and March 15 to May 15 (spring) | Return Policy: Not accepted unless pre-authorized by retailer within 3 days of receipt of order; customer pays non-refundable fees for shipping/handling, and 10 percent to 25 percent restocking fee, based on when originally shipped | Customer Service Options: 877-661-2852, ext. 1 (Monday to Saturday; times vary) or online form
Many customer service options
Very small refund window
Known for its outdoor furniture and decor, Terrain also offers a small selection of fresh bulbs online. The options are vibrant, gorgeous classics, perfect for gifting or planting to harvest for bouquets. With around a dozen varieties to select from, we don’t recommend this website if you’re looking for an abundance of choice, but what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality and convenience.
This website offers a quick turnaround on shipping, and items generally arrive within one to eight days, depending on your preference. If the bulbs arrive damaged or dead, you can contact customer service for a return within 48 hours. Otherwise, though, bulbs are not refundable, so make careful note of the type you choose. You’ll need to do some research on growing zones and seasons before putting through your order, to ensure that you select the right bulbs at the right times.
Types: Various | Shipping Rates: $16.95 to $24.95, based on method (UPS overnight, 2nd-day air) | Delivery Time: 24 to 48 hours | Return Policy: Replaced free or refunded; must contact by phone within 48 hours of receipt | Customer Service Options: Chat, 1-877-583-7724 (available 24/7), or email@example.com
Bulbs categorized by USDA Hardiness Zone
Some qualify for Prime same-day shipping
Wide variety of options
Amazon account required
Chat customer service only
If you’re looking for convenience and familiarity at low prices, we recommend ordering flower bulbs online at Amazon. They are categorized by USDA Hardiness Zone, so you can immediately filter out options that don’t grow well in your home climate. Several options qualify for Prime same-day shipping, meaning you could put your order through in the morning and plant your bulb at night. That is helpful if you are cutting it close to the end of a growing season and need to get your new bulbs planted as soon as possible.
We recommend that you consult product reviews before putting your order in, as different sellers may offer varying levels of quality, as well as different return options and guarantees. With the wide variety of options that Amazon offers, we’re sure you can find the right bulb at the right price.
Types: Various | Shipping Rates: Free on orders shipped by Amazon | Delivery Time: Some ship overnight for Prime members; others vary | Return Policy: Requires Amazon account sign-in | Customer Service Options: Chat
Helpful tips for growing
Ships at ideal planting time
Return policy not listed
For a large variety of high-quality bulbs at affordable prices, look no further than American Meadows to order your favorite flower bulbs online. One of the leading online gardening websites, the company has a reputation for caring and individualized customer service. The bulbs ship according to the growing season after you enter your USDA zone, so you needn’t worry about planting at the wrong time.
Most of the bulbs are imported from the Netherlands, so American Meadows can hand-select only the finest quality bulbs to sell. It went so far as to sell its farm and gift shop to focus on creating the best possible online resource for gardeners, with an easy-to-navigate website and thorough how-to guidelines. It has even created videos to help you learn how to plant your bulbs.
Types: Various | Shipping Rates: $8.89 flat rate for orders up to $4.99; add 6 percent of purchase price for orders to $399.99; 8 percent purchase price for orders $400 and up | Delivery Time: Varies; check confirmation email | Return Policy: Not listed | Customer Service Options: 877-309-7333 or chat
Small quantities or Super Sak
Great search tool online
Prices may be lower elsewhere
Breck’s has been in the flower business for over 200 years, so it’s safe to say it knows a thing or two about supplying top-quality bulbs. It updated its traditional catalog ordering system into a streamlined website, so you can shop for your bulbs easily online. We like that it imports all its bulbs from the Netherlands, a country known for fertile grounds and beautiful blooms. That means you should expect top-quality bulbs that grow into top-quality plants.
This company follows a shipping schedule with an order cutoff ahead of each season, based on the USDA zone you live in, so you need to plan and order your bulbs during the correct window. Breck’s waits to ship your bulbs until the beginning of the planting season, so you don’t have to worry about storing them upon arrival.
We like that this website has gardening guides, planting information, and a live-help customer service line to answer any questions. Although you have to pay for shipping, Breck’s offers a lifetime guarantee for all od its products. Regardless of when you purchased the bulbs, if you are dissatisfied with the growth of your flowers down the line, it will replace them at no cost.
Types: Various | Shipping Rates: Continental U.S. only; $9.95 to $18.95 based on purchase price | Delivery Time: Varies based on USDA zone | Return Policy: No-questions-asked refund or merchandise credit | Customer Service: Chat (available 24/7 in bottom corner of landing page), firstname.lastname@example.org, or online form
What to Look for in Online Bulb Retailers
Type of Bulbs Offered
Certain sites specialize in specific types of flowers and bulbs and offer expertise in those areas. Consider a retailer’s sources for its bulbs, and which kinds of climates it serves best. More variety isn’t always best for plants, especially if the bulbs are all shipping out of one warehouse.
If you're a beginner gardener or have little experience working with flower bulbs, there are species from online retailers that will give you the best results. "Spring-flowering bulbs are extremely easy to grow and care for by any level of a gardener, because the embryo for next year's blooms is already located inside the bulb," says Debra LaGattuta, a Master Gardener and member of The Spruce Gardening and Plant Care Review Board. "If you plant the bulbs at the proper depth and water them at planting time, blooms are almost guaranteed. Daffodils require no special care except for deadheading the spent blooms and letting the foliage die down completely before removing it. Another benefit to growing daffodils is that they are deer-resistant."
Shopping for bulbs isn’t like shopping for new furniture or clothing. The bulbs need to arrive in time to be planted in the right temperature and season, and they often aren’t stocked year-round. Since you might need to purchase bulbs well in advance of when you plant them, choose a retailer that makes all that information clear to you when you shop.
Like anything else, you might change your mind about the bulbs you purchased, be unimpressed by their size and health, or just have too many for your garden. Check in advance whether you can return unused or unwanted items and whether the retailer offers store credit or a full refund.
Customer Service Options
With certain sites, you might be able to connect with a customer service representative who can give you more information about the bulbs you wish to purchase. It helps to have the option to speak to an expert who can walk you through the purchase and answer any questions that arise. You can also check the website for helpful how-to information and bulb gardening tips specific to the bulbs you are buying.
Keep in mind that shopping online for flower bulbs offers limitations in the way of actually seeing the size of the bulbs and knowing local selections. "When purchasing bulbs from local garden centers, the benefit is that you can see and feel the quality of the bulbs before purchasing," LaGattuta says.
How do you plant bulbs?
Every type of bulb has a specific planting depth and a spacing requirement to produce the showiest flowers. In general, dig a small hole, and place the bulb in it with the pointy side facing up. Then, cover up the bulb with soil. Once you’ve planted the bulbs in an area, you can cover them with mulch. It’s best to plant bulbs in clusters to make sure you get a nice, full look once the flowers grow in. Don’t forget to water your freshly planted bulbs well, so they'll settle nicely into their new homes.
When is the best time to plant bulbs?
Deciding on the best time to plant bulbs depends on where you live. In colder climates, plant your spring blooms in the fall, before the ground freezes, usually late September to October. Plant summer bloomers in the late spring, once the ground thaws.
If you live in a warmer climate, you need to wait until December to plant spring bloomers to ensure that the ground has cooled down. Summer blooming bulbs can then be planted in early spring.
Getting the timing right for bulb planting takes some research, planning, and practice. You can always contact your local garden center or extension service office for the best advice.
How long can you store bulbs before you need to plant them?
Bulbs should be planted as soon as possible, once you receive them in the mail. If you cannot plant them immediately, the storage temperature should be between 50°F and 60°F. Keep the bulbs, especially tulips, away from ripening fruits that may produce ethylene and cause flowering disorders. If you are storing them after they have bloomed for the next season, ensure that the bulbs are fully dried out; then place them with the roots facing down and not touching in a container filled with a dry material, such as peat moss or sawdust. If you store bulbs correctly, you’ll be good to unbox and plant them again at the proper time.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Spruce contributor Deanna McCormack is a commerce writer with several years of experience covering outdoors and home products. She's spent countless hours researching the nuances of flower bulbs and what to look for when shopping for them. She scoured each website for its delivery schedules, bulb specialties, and helpful content.
Emma Phelps provided support to this article by researching additional retailers and reaching out to Debra LaGattuta, a master gardener and member of The Spruce Gardening and Plant Care Review Board, who provided additional insight on when to purchase bulbs and the differences between in-person and online selections.