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Flower bulbs in pots

To enjoy spring-flowering bulbs, you don’t need a garden. This is because everyone can plant flower bulbs in pots. Plant them this fall so you can be sure of having lots of color in your garden or on your balcony or patio.

For everyone

Planting flower bulbs in pots and containers gives everyone a chance to enjoy the bright, cheerful colors of these stunning flowers. They look just right in any garden and on every balcony or patio - no matter how large or small the space. You can even enjoy them if all you have is a windowsill, balcony or doorstep.

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Move them around

If you have a large outdoor space, then make the most of it! The advantage of pots and containers is that you can move them around. The pots filled with flowers at their prettiest can be placed in front with the ones yet to bloom in back, a little out of sight.

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Mini-garden

Create an inviting mini-garden on your balcony or patio by setting flower bulbs in pots on a table. This can be accomplished by using a large number of small pots filled with small varieties of flower bulbs such as snowdrops, (Galanthus), crocuses (Crocus), grape hyacinths (Muscari) and dwarf irises (Iris reticulata). What a color explosion this will make in early spring!

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Planting

What’s the best way to plant flower bulbs in pots and containers? It’s important that the pot is deep enough; there has to be room for a layer of potting soil at least three times the height of the bulb both under and above the flower bulbs. This way, they have enough room to grow. Also make sure there is a hole at the bottom so that excess water can drain away.

  1. For good drainage, put a layer of old pot shards, hydroponic clay pebbles or gravel at the bottom of the pot.
  2. Scatter a layer of potting soil over the pot shards, hydroponic clay pebbles or gravel.
  3. Plant the flower bulbs in the potting soil. For a colorful result, use more flower bulbs than you would in a border. They can be planted closer together than in the garden: no farther away from each other than the diameter of the bulbs.
  4. Put a layer of potting soil on top of the flower bulbs and tamp it down firmly.
  5. The last step is to water generously so that the flower bulbs will root properly. Any excess water will drain out through the holes at the bottom of the pot.
  6. Repeat step 5 in January and February. By giving them a nice big splash of water then, you will keep the flower bulbs from drying out.

Watch this video about planting flower bulbs in pots. 

Varieties

All flower bulbs can be planted in pots and containers. The six most commonly used are: tulips (Tulipa), daffodils (Narcissus), hyacinths (Hyacinthus), grape hyacinths (Muscari), crocuses (Crocus) and dwarf irises (Iris reticulata). But other flower bulbs like Glory-of-the-Snow (Chionodoxa), Spring Starflower (Ipheion) and Striped Squill (Pushkinia) will perform beautifully as well.

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Shade

But what if your garden isn’t that sunny? That’s no problem either. Just choose flower bulbs that can tolerate shade. These include Wood Anemone (Anemone nemerosa), Checkered Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris), Siberian Squill (Scilla), certain daffodil varieties (Narcissus), Winter Aconite(Eranthis) and Snowdrop (Galanthus). 

Winter

Flower bulbs need cold winter temperatures to exhibit all their beauty in early spring. For this reason, simply leave the pots outside during the winter. They seldom have a problem with frost because flower bulbs can protect themselves from the cold. This do this by transforming their starches into sugars. The higher the sugar content in the flower bulb, the lower the temperatures they can tolerate.

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