How to Plant Bulbs in Containers

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Spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils and tulips are easy to grow in pots. Plant them in fall at the same time as you'd put bulbs in the ground. Here's how to create containers of showstoppers for your patio, deck and porch.

Things You'll Need

  • Bulb Fertilizers
  • Garden Hoses And Attachments
  • Liquid Fertilizers
  • Mulch
  • Potting Soil
  • Select an attractive ceramic, clay or wooden container. Pots with a diameter of 10 to 12 inches work nicely. That's big enough for 8 to 12 tulips or daffodils.

  • Fill the pot with enough quality potting soil so that bulbs placed on top can be covered with enough soil to bury them at the proper planting depth (at least an inch or more).

  • Mix some slow-release bulb fertilizer into the top of the potting soil.

  • Set the bulbs on top of the soil in the pot. The closer together they are, the more flowers you'll get at bloom time.

  • Fill the pot with soil to within an inch of the top.

  • Water thoroughly.

  • Place the pots in a cool spot and cover with several inches of mulch. Check the pots often and water if necessary through winter.

  • Move the pots to a sunny location when you see the first signs of growth.

  • Keep the pots moist until after bloom.

  • Fertilize every two to four weeks with a liquid plant food. Follow label instructions.

  • Move the pots to an out-of-the-way spot after bloom. Keep moist until foliage dries.

  • Plant the bulbs in the garden next fall. They may or may not bloom.

Tips & Warnings

  • For a long season of bloom, plant early, midseason and late varieties in the same pot. Or mix different types of bulbs in the same container. Plant in layers, with the biggest bulbs deeper.
  • In mild-winter climates, plant cool-season annuals and perennials like pansies, violas and iberis on top of the bulbs. Put the pots out in the garden immediately.
  • If planting different types of bulbs in the same pot, put taller ones in the middle and shorter ones near the edge.
  • Make sure to plant bulbs right side up (usually pointed side up, root side down).

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