Picking Flower Bulbs for Containers

Views: 19058 | Last Update: 2009-04-30
There are many things to consider before selecting flower bulbs, like shade versus sun and wet versus dry climates. Learn about picking flower bulbs for containers in this free gardening video about how to plant flower bulbs in containers. View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi this is Yoland Vanveen from vanveenbulbs.com. In this series we're learning all about how to plant bulbs in containers. So we've selected our containers and we've decided on if we wanted a large container, a small container, plastic or ceramic, or even just a margarine saucer. We decided that we do have containers that we can use, and we're going to plant bulbs in them. So when selecting bulbs, there's a few considerations. Are you going to plant them in sun or shade, in wet, do you have a wet climate or a little bit of a more drier climate. Bulbs come in all different sizes and shapes, so the most important part when you are selecting your bulbs, is to find bulbs that look like they're alive. So a bulb basically is any plant that goes dormant for any period of time. So it could be a root, or it could be a true bulb, or it could be some that doesn't seem like it's really a bulb in any way. But if it goes dormant for any part of the year, then it's considered a bulb. So whether it's a root, like this toad lily that blooms in the fall, I like to select bulbs that have a sign of growth, a sign that the roots are still alive, and they're already making lots of little eyes on them. When I'm selecting Begonias, they're a bulb. I always pick ones that have little eyes on them, or not too soft. They are not a hard bulb, in any way. But these have got eyes on them so I know that they're alive. And then these are my Cyclamen, they're hearty Cyclamen, they do great outside. And they really don't look like they're alive, they look like they're just a rock. But I see that they do have some points on them. And another easy way to check, is to just kind of scratch it a little bit, and it looks like a potato on the inside, then you know that your bulb is still alive. Calla lily are the same type of bulb, they're just pretty hard looking and they're not that alive looking, but they really are. As long as they've got an eye, and this has got a momma with a little baby already coming on it. Another way to check too is all you do is peel one of these eyes, and if it looks like a potato underneath then you know your bulb is still alive. Some bulbs are really hard, like this is a yellow Crocosmia, or Mount Bregia it's call as well. And it's a really hard bulb, so it's really hard to tell that it's still good. But I know that it is because it's still have some weight to it, it still pretty hard, it's not soft, and I see a baby growing on it already. And the same thing, I can peel it a little away, even though some of the are so hard they don't even peel. You gradually peel it and you'll find that it looks like potato, it looks great. Canna lily aren't the most beautiful bulbs, but they do well as long as they've got some points on them, and this has got a lot of little point coming up on it. So it still looks like it's alive. So even if the rest of it was soft and you only had one eye one it, I would still plant it. Because it's going to grow and it's going to make a beautiful plant for this year already. There's lots of different bulbs that you can use in your containers, so if you've got a small area then don't pick a large Canna Lily that's going to get eight feet tall, that's going to just take over your container. Pick smaller bulbs like little Crocosmias or little purple Calla Lilies, or something that's going to stay a little bit small. And if you do have a large area or a large fence that you want to cover up, and you've got some large containers then go for it. Plant some of the larger bulbs, and then consider if it's a hanging basket variety, some begonias, or hanging baskets, and some do well on the ground. So there's lots of considerations but you can always move them. So that's my theory, just like throwing a party, you can always move your guest around. So start your bulbs in a certain area or a certain container, and you can always move them later. So we've selected our containers, and we've selected our bulbs. So my next segment we're going to learn about how to use recycled materials in the bottom of our containers, so that we don't waste so much soil.