How to Plant Tulips in Containers

Written by karen carter
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Tulips are spring bulbs that add a splash of colour to the garden. Planting tulips in containers offers several benefits. Containers expand growing space in a garden and make it easier to lift the bulbs for storage. And tulips planted in containers can be forced to blossom throughout the winter.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tulip bulbs
  • Potting soil
  • Compost
  • Container

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  1. 1

    Purchase tulip bulbs or remove your bulbs from cold storage three to four weeks before you want them to flower. Usually yellow shoots will have begun to emerge from the bulb tips.

  2. 2

    Mix 3 parts potting soil with 1 part compost. This will keep your tulips well fed throughout the blooming season.

  3. 3

    Fill a container partially with potting mix. The container can be plastic, clay, ceramic or metal, as long as there are drainage holes in the bottom.

  4. 4

    Place the tulip bulbs on top of the soil. Adjust the soil level so the top of the bulbs are 1 1/2 inches below the rim of the container.

  5. 5

    Position the bulbs so the flat side is facing the container wall. When positioned this way, the large leaf will grow over the edge of the container to form an attractive border.

  6. 6

    Cover the bulb with soil. Leave the soil 1/2 to 1 inch below the rim of the container to make watering easier. Water the container thoroughly after planting. Let the water run out the bottom of the container.

Tips and warnings

  • You can place four or five bulbs in a 5-inch container or six or seven bulbs in a 6-inch container.
  • Tulip bulbs must be exposed to temperatures around 4.44 to 7.22 degrees C. for 12 to 16 weeks in order to bloom. Store your tulip bulbs in a refrigerator in a paper bag to mimic winter conditions.

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