Plant bulbs in containers in fall
Plan for a succession of color. When this container of Tulipa ‘Spring Green’ finishes blooming, it will be replaced with another container of tulips just starting to open.
I plant our bulbs in late October in containers with good drainage. In a 24-inch container I plant either 50 tulips, 30 large-flowered daffodils, 50 small-flowered daffodils, or 100 minor bulbs, like Crocus, Muscari, Scilla, or Iris species or cultivars. I fill the pot with a soil mix that drains very well so the bulbs will sit in moist but not soggy soil. I plant the bulbs just as I would in the ground, at a soil depth of twice the diameter of the bulb.
If I am planting more than one type of bulb in the same container and they require different planting depths, I layer the bulbs (illustration at right). I fill the container to the right level and plant the larger bulbs, then cover them with soil until it’s at the proper depth to plant the smaller bulbs. Finally, I fill the container with soil, being sure to leave at least 1/2 inch of space between the surface of the soil and the top of the container for easy watering.
I water the planted container thoroughly, then water periodically throughout the winter. The bulbs should not sit in soil that is too wet, but you also don’t want them to dry out entirely.