How to Grow Tulips in Containers

Views: 17162 | Last Update: 2009-05-02
The process for growing tulips in containers is basically the same regardless of the time of year or environment, and a nice quality potting soil should be used. When growing tulips, make sure they go through their cold dormant time with tips from an... View Video Transcript

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Jessica Smith

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jessica Smith and I work for Blands Nursery in West Jordan, Utah, and in today's series we're talking all about planting bulbs. Right now we're going to discuss how to plant tulip bulbs in containers. Now, whether you're forcing them for indoors, or going to just leave them until next spring so that you've got some nice potted spring blooming plants that you can move around your yard and that, on your patio or on your front porch, your process is basically the same. They need to actually go through their cold dormant time, and where you're going to store them for where they're at least 45 to 55 degrees in temperature. Make sure you have a pot that is that it's got drainage holes in the bottom, again, you don't want that moisture to sit in there, it'll rot out your bulbs. It's basically the same as planting them down in the ground, except for with a few exceptions. First off, you want to use a nice quality potting soil. Don't use your soil out in your garden area. Potting soil's designed for pots. Now with tulip bulbs, they aren't going to bloom at all the same time. There's very early, early, or mid-late, mid- to late-blooming bulbs. So if you're doing a combination of different types of tulips in there, make sure they're all going to be blooming at the same time. Ok, now with a tulip bulb, we have a flat side here. You want to get your tulip bulbs about the first part of September for a great selection on them at your local nursery, and get a nice big bulb to begin with. Here on the side of the tulip, you've got a flat side to it. Your pointed end goes up, but you want this flat side against the pot area itself. This is going to have your first leaf that comes out from the base and it's going to kind of soften the side of the pot also. You want as many as you can for the best impact. Fill your soil, fill your pot up with some nice quality potting soil, like I said, and you'll just go ahead and place your tulip bulbs around. You don't want them to touch right together, that way if one rots out, it's less likely to rot out the others. And just put them around. You can put a little bit of bone meal down below, but make sure you do a soil level over the top of that. You don't want it right against the bulb. And bone meal's just a slow release phosphate, natural type of a slow release phosphate on it. And you'll just continue to fill in and around your soil level. You can use really any type of a pot that you'd like. Just like I say, make sure it has a drainage hole, doesn't have to be plastic, you can use a wooden pot, you can use even just containers that you have around your house. This time you're just going to basically cover up your bulbs. Make sure they're just covered up. Leave a little bit of the rim showing, that way the water, you've got a place for the water to stay as you're watering in. At this point you're going to water in the water it in. Now for the cold storage, you can either if you're going to bringing them indoors and forcing them throughout the winter seasons for some color indoors, you're going to want to put them like in your root cellar or in a spare refrigerator. Anyplace that has a 45 to 55 degree temperature. You're going to leave it in that area for about 12 to 16 weeks. It needs to go through that cold dormant time. If you're going to be using them next spring for just some springtime color out in your pots and that, you can actually bury the pots down in a trench if you'd like and mulch in around the trench, or just pick an area maybe out in your garden area would work also, as to where you put something around that is going to help insulate this pot a little bit where it's freezing so it kind of mimics being down in the ground. You can use bark products or any type of a mulch, straw, leaves from your garden in the fall, just build up you can either build up with like a wire mesh around it, or just make sure that you heap it around so that the sides are protected. Next spring, you're going to notice at some point when it begins to warm up a little bit just like it does around in your yard and that, you'll see the little heads coming up through. At first they're going to be yellow, because they've been mulched in over the top and haven't received the lights. You need to get that acclimated to the light. So you're going to take it to an area where it's, you're going to remove all the mulch away from the pot and all that and move it not right out in the direct sun yet, but maybe in a filtery shady location, and then as soon as the tops turn green, then you can go ahead and put it out on your porch and that, and just let it flush up like with the new growth, and then within about three to four weeks you should have some blooms on it. Sometimes a little bit later for a later variety. You can fill in with some pansies or violets or little johnny-jump-ups and that around for some extra fillers and that for to like soften the pot and add some little extra comp color in the spring.