Planting tulips in containers allow you to grow them all year round. You may also find it easier than sowing them the regular way. So go ahead and choose a decorative flowerpot to complement your personality, get some dormant bulbs and potting soil, and start planting!
Procedure for Planting Tulips in Containers
- When selecting your tulip bulbs for planting in containers, look for plump and firm ones that are heavy for their size. Their outer papery skin does not have to be intact, but they should not be wilted or have mold or have soft spots. Look for signs of other blemishes.
- Your tulips container should be large enough to accommodate the height and the number of bulbs you intend to plant together. In general, however, you should select tulip containers that are 10 – 12” in diameter. Check for good drainage to prevent the bulbs from rotting.
- Use soil-based potting mixtures (potting soil mixed with slow released fertilizer is good). Tulips will tolerate most any soil, but they are at their best when planted in rich soil . Fill your containers about two-thirds full, allowing at least two inches of soil beneath the bulbs.
- Plant the bulbs next to each other on the potting soil. Make sure they do not touch the sides of the tulips containers. The flat side of the bulb should face the pot’s edge to allow the first leaves to drape down the sides. The pointed side should be upward.
- Cover the bulbs with potting soil so that their tips are just below the surface. Water thoroughly to start the rooting process. Make sure that the excess water drains out.
- Refrigerate your tulips containers for six to eight weeks. (Veggies and fruits have gaseous emissions as they ripen. Do not store your tulips next to them.) Cover the containers with plastic wrap to keep the soil moist.
- After two months, Take out your tulips containers from refrigeration, and situate in a bright area in your home.
- As soon as you see the first leaves sprouting, water evenly until the soil is moist. Keep that soil moist and check the drainage!
- If you want to bring your tulips containers outdoor in the spring, place them where there is full sun.
When The Tulips are Done Flowering
- Let the leaves die a natural death, but deadhead the blooms. This will assist the bulbs to regenerate and accumulate needed nutrient for next year’s blooms.
- Remove foliage as it becomes discolored.
- Lift the bulbs out of the pot, and allow them to dry on their own.
- Store the tulips in a cool place in a burlap or netted produce bag.
Slugs and Snails
If you have foliage minus the flowers, the problem may be snails or slugs. Avoid using the liquid killers available at most garden stores. Not only are they destructive of beneficial insects and organisms in the garden, they present a major problem for your family and for your pets. You may want to try lava rocks around your tulips. Their sharp edges will cut into the skins of the pests and dry them out.
If you are not doing containers, the ideal planting time for tulips is in the fall. Planting tulips in containers is truly a breeze, so have fun doing it!