How to Plant House Plant Bulbs in a Planter


Bulbs are a colorful addition to any garden, but if you don't have the space or want some extra color in your house, you can easily plant them in a planter and keep them indoors. The key is to give them the nutrients they need and stimulate winter weather to force the blooms. Most house plant bulbs grow very well in containers.

Step 1

Buy containers that are large enough for a few inches of soil and the bulbs; 4 inches should be sufficient. The pots can be made of any material, as long as they have drainage holes in the bottom.

Step 2

Put 1 inch of stone or gravel to the bottom of the plant containers. This will assist in drainage.

Step 3

Use a quality potting mix made for houseplants. It should have good drainage and moisture retention.

Step 4

Mix fertilizer in with the potting mix. Use one that has a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 9-9-6 or 5-10-10 because it will help with bulb formation. Follow the application instructions on the label to determine how much to mix in.

Step 5

Lay 3 inches of potting mix on the bottom of the container, on top of the gravel or stone. Put the bulb in the soil and twist it 1/4 way around to screw it into the soil. Space each bulb no more than 1/2 inch apart.

Step 6

Fill in around the bulbs with more potting soil mix. You should barely see the bulb tips sticking out of the soil.

Step 7

Water until water leaks through the drainage holes. If ridges or tunnels appear in the soil, fill in with more potting mix.

Step 8

Chill the bulbs for eight to 14 weeks in winter-like conditions. Use an unheated dry space such as a basement, as long as it's between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 9

Monitor the containers often. Water the bulbs if the soil feels dry 1 inch below the surface.

Step 10

Move the bulbs into a warmer spot once green growth emerges. A lightly-shaded spot does nicely, because you don't want the temperature to be over 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Things You'll Need

  • Bulbs
  • Plant containers
  • Gravel or small stones
  • Potting soil
  • Water


  • National Gardening Association: Planting Bulbs in Containers
  • Fine Gardening: Planting Spring Bulbs in Containers
Keywords: house plant bulbs, plant bulbs, bulbs in containers

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.