How to Grow Flower Bulbs in Containers?

Grape Hyacinths planted in pots


Bloom where you’re planted – Growing flower bulbs in containers

When the only place you’ve ever seen tulips, narcissus or hyacinths is in borders, on lawns or in flower beds, you might automatically assume that those are the only place they can be grown. And when you don’t have a big garden or even a modest one, you might think that as pretty as they are, flower bulbs just aren’t for you. But you would be wrong! As long as you have access to a sunny spot & a well-draining pot, you can grow your favorite bulbs wherever you want. In this blog we’ll take you through the process step-by-step, from choosing a pot to what to do with the flowers once they’ve bloomed.

How to grow flower bulbs in containers – the best containers

When it comes to planting flower bulbs in pots, there are only two criteria a container has to meet. Firstly, it has to be big enough, so that there’s enough soil in the container not only to provide nourishment for the bulbs when they grow, but also to insulate the bulbs from the winter cold. Secondly, it has to be well-draining. Flower bulbs left in water-logged soil will start to rot in no time. When your favorite container itself doesn’t drain very well, you can always solve this by placing a different, well-draining container inside of it. Now all you have to do is find a place that gets full sun or partial shade, and you’re well away.

How to grow flower bulbs in containers – soil and planting

Just like flower bulbs that you plant in a garden, the planting time for containers is Fall. Though you might be tempted to fill your containers with soil from your garden, it’s better to use a mixture of sandy soil and potting soil, to closely resemble the Dutch soil that is the secret to the success of our bulbs. You don’t need to add any fertilizer. For planting depth you can simply follow the guidelines for planting in the garden, but you can ignore the spacing instructions. Just plant the bulbs in a circle, close to each other but not touching.

How to grow flower bulbs in containers – after planting

The first thing to do after planting is to water well. The next step is to help them through the long winter months. Here you need to consider three things: a) which hardiness zone you live, b) how large your pot is, and c) what material your pot is made of. If you live in zones 4 to 7, and your containers is on the smaller side or made of terracotta, you don’t want to leave it outside during winter. Find a spot inside instead, where temperatures remain between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit all winter long. In these months, your flower bulbs don’t need that much water, just a little bit once a week.

How to grow flower bulbs in containers – going outside and aftercare

Depending on the kinds of flower bulbs you planted, somewhere in February to April the first green shoots will begin to appear. That’s your cue to move them to a sunny spot outside. From this point onwards you should water them whenever you water the rest of your garden, and soon your flower bulbs will start blooming in all their glory. Once the flower bulbs have bloomed, you can cut of the blooms themselves, but leave the foliage untouched until it’s completely withered. This gives the nutrients time to flow back into the bulb for next year. However, growing in containers can be hard on many varieties so there’s a chance they won’t come back next year, and you might have to just compost them (and start thinking of the ones you want to plant next year).

Hyacinth bulbs planted in pots

How to grow flower bulbs in containers – best varieties

Even though most flower bulbs do well in containers, there are some that are extra suitable for growing in pots. Muscari like Pink Sunrise, Mini Daffodils like Daffodil Prosecco, and Hyacinths like Hyacinth Carnegie will all do very well. And if you can’t choose, or space is your biggest restriction, you can always opt for lasagna planting, where you’ll plant different varieties in one pot.

How to grow flower bulbs in containers?

Order the perfect flower bulbs for your containers

Now that you know how to grow flower bulbs in containers, there’s nothing that can stop you from letting your imagination roam free and creating the perfect spring display. Our easy to use website has plenty of options to choose from, so why don’t you hop on over and order the bulbs that you like the look of? We’ll make sure they arrive at your house at just the right moment, so you can start planting them straight away.