Planting spring-flowering bulbs in pot

Luxuriant in the spring, tulips and other bulbs are really worth grown in pots as they blossom without fail!

Planting spring-flowering bulbs in pot
A large pot can contain a dozen of tulips.

The right container

Bulbous plants grow better in deeper pots, meaning pots of at least 30cm in height. The bigger the bulb, the deeper it needs to be buried. The top of the bulb must be at least twice its height under the compost. Let’s take a Lily bulb for example: if it is 5cm high, it must be covered by 10cm of compost.

To stack all the odds in your favour, do not place the bulbs too near the bottom of the pot. Ideally, the base of the bulb must be 5cm above the base of the container. This space is necessary in order to avoid that the bulb finds itself at the bottom of the pot which is the most humid place in the container. Yet bulbous plants hate excess of humidity! It is always a good idea to plan for additional height under the bulb, as their roots do not grow upright. To sum up, think big!

Planting spring-flowering bulbs in pot

Which compost?

Use compost which is rich but not sticky. Bulbs thrive in rich soil which is not waterlogged. They are more sensitive to this problem when grown in pots than when grown in the ground. Improve the drainage at the bottom of the pot to limit this risk. Do not hesitate to add a draining matter to the compost such as expanded clay for example. Place the pot in full sun; they will give you their best. If you only have a shady spot, adapt your choice with bulbous plants suited to it.

Planting spring-flowering bulbs in pot
A "botanical" Tulip, in other words a Tulip close to the wild variety.

The right choices

Narcissi (or Daffodils) are strong and last a long time in pots, Hyacinths and Crocus too. Tulips are more delicate. Double-flowering varieties and Parrot tulips are sensitive to cold, more intense in a pot. So prefer them varieties of single-flowering tulips. If you only have a shady spot, chose smaller bulbs, such as dwarf Daffodils bulbs or ‘botanical’ tulips. In all cases, think about smaller bulbs: they are not just foils and even if their bulbs are small, their beauty often makes up for it!

Planting

It matters not if the weather is dry or wet at planting time, as long as there is no frost. It is as simple as that!

1 Place a layer of draining matter and compost at the bottom of the pot.
Planting spring-flowering bulbs in pot
2 Place the bulbs on top keeping at least a 5cm space in between the bulbs.
Planting spring-flowering bulbs in pot
3 Cover with compost until the pot is full. There is no need to water.
Planting spring-flowering bulbs in pot
M. Jean-Michel GROULT
 
Pépinières PLANFOR
1950 Route de Cère
40090 UCHACQ - FRANCE
Tel : (020).7660.0178
Fax : 0033 558 064 854