How to Grow Tulips in Pots or Containers?
A movable flower feast – growing tulips in pots and containers
Geraniums in a windowsill, fresh basil for cooking, a cactus that can withstand any kind of neglect…Putting nature in pots and placing it in and around the house is something that people have been doing for millennia. And maybe you’ve been looking at the beauty of tulips and wondering whether they would do well in a pot or container too, and if they would need any special care or consideration. In this blog we’ll answer all your questions around how to grow tulips in pots or containers.
How to grow tulips in pots or containers – the best containers
Tulips will need a large container. You want a minimum diameter of 18”, with an outside height of at least 15”. If you use a smaller container your flowers will have less of an impact, and the bulbs might not thrive. If your pots need to stay outside all winter long, you’ll have to go even bigger, and get a container that’s at least 24” in diameter. This way the pot will have enough soil to isolate the bulbs and protect them from freezing. As with all flower bulbs, your main mantra should be drainage, drainage, drainage. Make sure your container has holes in it for water to drain out of, as tulips bulbs that sit in waterlogged ground will rot.
Growing tulips in pots or containers – soil and planting
Planting time for pots and containers is the same as for your garden: Fall. It might seem a quick solution to fill your container with soil from your garden, but it’s better to use a mix of potting soil and sandy soil to mimic the ground the bulbs came from. Fertilizer is not necessary. Plant the bulbs just as deep as you would in the ground, 6-7”. You can however ignore the standard spacing guidelines and plant the bulbs in a circle, really close together but not touching.
How to grow tulips in pots and containers – after planting
The first thing to do after planting is to water well. If you live in hardiness zone 4-7 and your pot is made from terracotta or is smaller than 24” in diameter, it’s best to place the pot indoors in a cool spot where there is no chance of freezing temperatures. The optimum temperature is between 35-45 degrees F. During this time, the tulip bulbs don’t need much water, just a little bit every week.
Tulips in pots or containers – going outside and aftercare
Once early spring comes around, your tulips will start peeking above the surface. This is the time to place them outside in a sunny spot. Once they’re outside, water them whenever you water your other flower bulbs. When the blooms have faded you can snip them off, but leave the foliage until it’s withered. That way the nutrients can flow back into the bulb for the next season. However, there is a good chance these bulbs are spent and ready to be composted. An excellent reason to start planning a new color scheme for next year!
Beautiful tulips in pots or containers – the best varieties
For the most stunning result it’s best to stick to one variety per pot, so they will all bloom at the same time. Shorter tulips such as Double Tulip Exotic Emperor, Tulip Princess Irene, Tulip Queensland, Triumph Houston Mix and Miniature Tulip Batalinii Bright Gem are very suitable for pots and containers.
Tulips at your doorstep
Do you want to add a dazzling splash of color to your deck, entryway or windowsill? Tulips grow really well in pots or containers and need very little care. Take a look at our constantly updated website and browse around for the perfect tulips for you. If you order today, your bulbs will be delivered at the optimum planting time.