Using Bulbs in Containers

Container planting is great way to use spring bulbs. Growing in containers is a good alternative if you don't have garden space, but it's also a good choice if you are restricted by too much shade, poor soil, too little time, limited mobility or a difficult climate.

Choosing a Container

The bulbs you choose to grow will determine the best container size. Outdoor containers need to be large enough to accommodate the correct planting depth and to allow for root growth. In general, use the largest container possible because the more soil there is, the more root space there will be and the more water your container will hold. This is important because it means your plants do not need to be watered as frequently.

Planting Spring Bulbs

Brighten your entry way, deck, balcony or patio with welcoming spring blooming bulbs such as crocus, hyacinths, narcissi and tulips. They provide color early and combine beautifully with cool season annuals such as pansies, snapdragon, diascia, nemesia, calendula and lobelia.

Plant spring blooming bulbs in outdoor containers during the fall at the same time you plant bulbs in the ground.

  1. Use a container with drainage holes and partially fill it with potting soil. Do not use garden soil because it does not drain well and may cause your bulbs to rot.
  2. Plant the bulbs at the depth suggested on the package or tear-off. Add soil to within 1 inch of the top of the container. Fertilizer isn't necessary because bulbs contain all the food they need for now.
  3. Thoroughly soak the entire pot with water and place the container in a dark, cool place (below 50 degrees and above 32 degrees) until early spring. During this period, keep the soil moist.
  4. Move the containers outdoors in early spring and enjoy!