Gardening for Beginners: How to Plant Bulbs in Pots

Last Updated on 03/08/2021 by Amber Williams

Regardless of size, your garden deserves to be filled with bouts of colour and fragrance throughout the year. Containers are a perfect way to plant and grow your favourite seasonal blooms if you lack the space!

Planting bulbs in containers is an easy task that can be done by anyone, whether you’re new to gardening or an expert. Follow this easy guide to learn exactly how to plant bulbs in pots.

How to Plant Bulbs in Pots

The process of planting bulbs in pots is easy and can be done by anyone! Planting your spring bulbs in autumn will give your garden a real boost once the season begins.

Step 1 – Add your Compost

Find a container that has holes at the bottom. This will help with drainage when you water your plants, avoiding waterlogged soil. Soggy soil can actually damage your bulbs, stopping them from growing, so good drainage is important. You can even add things to the bottom of the pot to add extra drainage, like a broken up terracotta pot.

Fill your container midway with compost. Every plant will have different needs, but many will need to be planted around twice its depth. That’s why it’s important to leave plenty of space for them to grow.


Step 2 – Lay out your bulbs

Pop each bulb on top of the soil layer, with the pointy end facing upwards. Allow each one a bulb’s distance apart, cover with soil, and pat down gently.

This is the perfect way to plant a single layer of bulbs within a pot. However, there are other ways to create a container display that lasts throughout the entire season!

How to Create a Bulb Lasagne

A bulb lasagne is an easy way to showcase your favourite bulbs all in one pot. Each layer will bloom at a different time of the season, allowing you a colourful display for months on end.

To create an effective bulb lasagne, place a layer of early-blooming bulbs at the bottom layer (like snowdrops or crocus) and cover them with soil. On top, place your mid-flowering varieties (such as daffodils) and cover them with another layer of soil. Place your later flowering tulips at the top, and cover with soil again until the compost reaches the top of the pot. Give each layer 3-4 inches of space to allow sufficient growth.

Common Issues and How to Solve Them

Grey squirrels love to dig up bulbs and steal them, ruining your displays. In borders, plant your bulbs in an aquatic basket and cover them with chicken wire. In containers, simply cover the pot with chicken wire. You can remove this wire once the plant emerges from the ground. 

If you’re unsure of how often to water your plants in containers, double-check the information on each variety, as it can differ from plant to plant. However, containers can become quite dry, as the drainage is much better than if you planted your bulbs in the ground. For peace of mind, thoroughly water once a week. If the soil feels dry on the surface and centimetres underneath, then give them more water.

If the season is quite wet, then you won’t need to water them as often, but keep an eye on the soil as the season progresses.

Enjoyed learning how to plant bulbs in pots? Why not try something else?

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