How to Plant Indoor Bulbs


Certain tender bulbs must be planted indoors in pots to afford them protection from the cold winter months. With proper care, most bulbs do well in pots as long as they are re-potted periodically to compensate for multiplying bulbs. However, bulbs grown indoors have special needs. Potted soil dries out faster than the soil in the ground, so indoor bulbs must be watered more frequently. Furthermore, the soil in pots looses nutrients fairly quickly and the bulbs may require periodic fertilization to continue blooming year after year.

Step 1

Place a small, curved pot shard over the drainage hole in the bottom of your pot to prevent soil or gravel from escaping.

Step 2

Place 1-inch of gravel or small rocks in the bottom of your pot to improve drainage.

Step 3

Fill the pot with well-drained sandy potting soil to the depth that you have to plant the bulbs plus 1/2 inch. For example, if you must plant your bulbs 3 inches deep, fill the pot to within 3.5 inches of its rim. The depth that your bulbs should be planted depends on the variety. Some bulbs are planted with their noses poking through the soil. Most other bulbs are planted at a depth that is roughly three times their diameter.

Step 4

Place the bulbs, nose-up on the surface of the soil. If you plan to plant more than one bulb in the pot, you may plant them closer than bulbs in the ground--usually spaced one to one and a half bulb-widths apart. The bulbs may touch each other but they should not be allowed to touch the sides of the container.

Step 5

Fill the pot with soil to within 1/2-inch of its lip. Use your hands to carefully pack the soil around the bulbs.

Step 6

Water the bulbs immediately after you plant them. Water the soil until you see water dripping out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Continue to keep the soil moist by watering in this manner whenever the top inch or so of the soil dries out.

Things You'll Need

  • Clay pot
  • Potting soil
  • Pot shard
  • Gravel
  • Watering can


  • GardenWise: Tips on growing bulbs in containers
  • BBC Garden Guides: Planting spring bulbs
Keywords: bulbs pot, bulbs container, plant bulbs, indoor bulbs

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.