How to Grow Bulbs in Containers

15th Jul 2021

There are many ways to brighten up your garden and home, not least of all growing bulbs in containers which gives you the option to move them around, put displays on your patio or entrance to your home or even in your conservatory.

Growing bulbs in containers can also help protect them from rodents, rabbits and the like, and gives gardeners with limited space numerous options to brighten things up with colours and scents.

Although growing bulbs in containers is a fairly simple thing to do, there are a pointers to follow to ensure you get the best display possible.

Selecting the right containers and bulbs

The good news is that you can really grow and bulb in most containers, giving you the option to select a variety of bulbs that you like and containers that suit your garden and preference.

You do need to ensure that your container has drainage holes so that any excess water can escape, as bulbs prefer well-drained soil to avoid root rot. Whilst watering the pots over winter is key, most bulbs don’t like too much water. As pots dry out quicker in soil than in the ground, it is important to ensure the soil never dries out completely.

If you’re planting numerous bulbs for a bulk display ensure that you select a larger container to give the roots enough space to grow, and if you plan to leave the container outdoors over winter you’ll need one that is at least 24 inches in diameter so that there is enough soil to insulate and protect the bulbs from the cold.

How to plant your bulbs

Start by filling your container with a good mix of potting soil and organic compost, with enough depth to allow you to plant your bulbs at the same depths as you would in your outdoor garden.

Plant your bulbs at the recommended depth depending on what you’re growing, with the pointed side facing up. Cover with the remainder of the soil and compost mix and water well after planting.

Top tip

To grow a variety of bulbs that will flower at different times to give you a longer blooming period, plant your selection of bulbs in layers using the Lasagna method! For example, you can plant your bigger bulbs such as tulips and daffodils deeper, with crocuses, hyacinths and snowdrops above them to give you blooms from early spring through summer.