Container-grown bulbs are a beautiful addition to any outdoor space, including gardens, decks, balconies, and patios. An injection of color into these areas is welcome in the spring.
Adding a few bulbs to your fall and winter container plantings will allow you to enjoy the container plants well into the late winter and early spring.
Don’t be stingy with your light bulbs; abundance is the key. Bulbs can be planted in a smaller plastic nursery container. After that, submerge them in a larger container to create a mixed container. Then you can surround it with trailing plants.
In order to ensure that all of the bulbs in a given container bloom at the same time, it is best to plant only a single variety of bulb per container.
Flowering times will vary when you plant different varieties together in a container. Grow flowers of different varieties in separate containers to get a range of bloom times and colors.
Choosing the right containers and bulbs
The good news is that most bulbs can be successfully grown in containers. This provides you with the freedom to choose the bulbs you want and the containers that work best in your garden.
Bulbs thrive in well-drained soil to prevent root rot, so it’s important to ensure your container has drainage holes. While keeping the containers moist over the winter is essential, most bulbs actually dislike flooding.
It is essential to make sure the soil in your containers never completely dries out. This is because it will cause the plants to wither and die much more quickly than they would in the ground.
If you want to plant a lot of bulbs for display, you’ll need a container with a diameter of at least 24 inches. This is to allow the roots to have room to spread out, and the soil can act as insulation throughout the winter.
How to plant your bulbs
The first step is to fill your container three-quarters to one-half full with a mixture of potting soil and organic compost. This will give you ample room to plant your bulbs at the same depths in an outside garden.
The pointed end of the bulb should be pointing up when you plant it in the ground at the depth specified for the specific plant being grown. After planting, cover with the remaining soil and compost mixture and water thoroughly.
Top tip of planting bulbs in a container
Plant your chosen bulbs in layers using the Lasagna method. This will allow for a longer blooming period because of the bulbs’ varying flowering periods.
Planting larger bulbs like daffodils and tulips deeper and smaller bulbs like snowdrops, hyacinths, and crocuses above them can offer you blooms from early spring through late summer.
Planting in separate containers with kinds that bloom at different times might extend the flowering season.
Place tulip bulbs with their flat sides against the wall of the container. When the flower and leaf stalks finally emerge, they won’t develop in a dense clump in the middle but rather upward and outward.
Bulbs can be moved to a more visible location as they begin to bloom. You should put the bulb container out of sight when the flowers stop blooming.
When planting bulbs in a single container, it’s important to choose species that bloom at the same time rather than mixing.
It is best to plant the larger bulbs lower in the container, while the smaller ones are closer to the top. Don’t plant bulbs on top of each other; give them room to breathe.
Planting bulbs in pots
Growing bulbs in plastic pots or growbags is among the most astute and least time-consuming tasks, yet it yields tremendous results. Planting them in paper pots allows you to track their progress easily.
You’ll also be able to relocate them to a cooler spot as needed and display them wherever you think they’ll generate the most excitement come spring. If you wish to save the bulbs, they can be hidden from view when the foliage dies.
To begin, select fresh potting soil and a clean, dry pot. Then, do the following six things:
- Fill the bottom of the pot with at least 2 inches of potting soil.
- Be sure to give your freshly potted bulbs plenty of water.
- Insert your largest bulbs, pointed ends up, into the pot. To prevent them from toppling over when you add more soil, provide them with a snug pot. Place them close together but not touching.
- Soil should be added until it rests half an inch below the pot’s lip. Doing this will free up some room until the next time you need to water.
- Add a granular animal repellent to the top of the pot to keep pests away.
- When planting multiple varieties of bulbs in a single large pot, it’s best to begin with the largest ones and work your way down to the smaller ones. To encourage root development, allow at least one inch of space between each layer of soil.
What type of pot should you plant bulbs in?
Having at least one drainage hole in the bottom of the pot is the single most crucial consideration. When planted in damp soil, bulbs immediately decay. If the plant bulbs fail, that’s probably why.
Keep the bulb planting depth the same as when planting in the ground, but space the potted bulbs more closely together. If the bulb is 2 inches tall, plant it at a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Pick a pot with an adequate depth to handle even the largest plant bulbs.
You shouldn’t worry about selecting a pot that can endure the winter elements if you plan to store your potted bulbs someplace dry during the winter. Only use a cast iron or concrete pot if you have to keep it outside in the elements.
When to plant bulbs in the ground
Anywhere with adequate drainage and sunlight will do for planting your bulbs. Avoiding bulb rot requires adequate drainage. They thrive in well-drained, slightly sandy, or nutrient-rich loamy soil.
Plants blooming early in the spring can be placed under deciduous trees. This is because they will receive enough sunlight to flower before the leaves grow.
They may have a good flowering season the first year, but they need sunlight later in the season. This will help them store enough energy in their leaves to bloom the following year again.
When Should You Plant bulbs?
Two distinct groups of bulbs thrive when planted outside. Those that thrive in warmer soil so that roots can form before winter, and those that thrive in cooler soil so that they don’t contract diseases while dormant in the soil until the right time.
The first class consists of bulbs, including scillas, miniature irises, alliums, daffodils, muscari, crocuses, and hyacinths. You have till the end of October to get them in the ground, but the sooner, the better.
As a second group member, tulips are best planted between the first week of November and the last week of December, as long as the soil isn’t ice-covered.
The timing of planting bulbs in grow bags or containers, especially when planting a variety in a single bag or pot, is less strict than planting directly in the ground. Disease transmission to tulips is low in sterilized potting compost.
Nevertheless, you should still provide them with good drainage by mixing in some horticultural grit. They won’t get drenched if you do this.
If you forget about your bulbs, they may bloom later than usual or not at all. However, they should resume regular growth and flowering next spring.
You must deal with it before the following fall. This is because they would have exhausted their reserves and perished by then.
Make a plan before you start planting.
You can plant bulbs in a wide variety of settings, including borders, beneath trees, meadow gardens, beds, lawns, formal gardens, English or cottage gardens.
You can get years of enjoyment out of one planting of bulbs. This is due to the fact that many of them will naturalize in an area, multiply, and return year after year if you plan ahead of time.
- When plant bulbs are dormant, companion plants keep the garden looking good. The excellent perennial partners are all bleeding hearts: hosta, coral bells, cranesbill, thyme, sedum, hellebores, bruuera, daylilies, and coreopsis.
- Most plant bulbs work well in containers because you can place them where you want to see them when they bloom. After that, move them out of the way when the foliage begins to fade or the plant becomes dormant. Place containers closer together than what is recommended for planting in the ground.
- Consider the timing of your flowers’ blooms by planting a range of bloom times.
- When planting flowering plants, layer their heights from front to back.
- Consider how the colors you choose for your light bulbs will complement your space.
- You can disguise past-their-prime, low-growing bulbs by planting taller bulbs in front of them or by surrounding them with companion plants.
- If you want to make a bigger impression, plant your flowers in groups.
Planting bulbs at the correct time is crucial. Bulbs should be planted in the fall for a stunning spring landscape. Bulbs that bloom in the spring do best when you plant them when the soil is still mildly warm and moist. This allows the bulbs to establish themselves before the earth becomes frozen.
Watering plant bulbs grown in containers
The frequency with which you should water plants in containers varies from one plant species to another, so be sure to read the labeling.
But while drainage is considerably better than if you planted your bulbs in the ground, containers can become extremely dry. Relax and enjoy life by watering thoroughly once a week. If the top few centimeters of soil feel dry, it’s time to water again.
You will not have to water them as regularly if the season is wet, but you should still monitor the soil moisture. The bulbs in your pots may be at risk from the squirrels that love to scavenge for them.
Cover the pot with chicken wire if they are a problem in your garden. When the springtime bulbs finally emerge, this will give them a place to rest.