Sunday, November 17, 2013

Planting Tulips in Pots for Spring Blooms

A piece of clam shell at the bottom of my flower pots helps to facilitate drainage.
I absolutely love tulips.  It's a flower that reminds me of my childhood living in Philadelphia.  An elderly neighbor on our block of row houses always had a fabulous display of them on his tiny front lawn each spring.  I would always slow down to take in their colors and smell when walking to and from school.  It's a flower that also reminds of my late father who was an avid gardener and groundskeeper for a Catholic retreat center that always had a wonderful display each year in several of their many ornamental gardens.  This fall, I wanted plant enough for at least a modest crop of blooms next spring.

A bit of lime is added to the growing mix.

Since I'm still in the process of planning our landscaping beds, I thought it would be best to start some tulips in pots that I can position strategically all around our property next spring.  Planting tulips in pots also offers the advantage of being able to provide them with better growing conditions than what they might otherwise get in the ground.  Tulips grow best in well-drained fertile soil that's either neutral or alkaline - something that's truly lacking in these parts.  This garden mix of loam, compost and horse manure that I got from a local landscaping supply company, however, should offer the tulips just what they need.  To it, I added just a bit of lime to ensure that the pH is within an acceptable level as well.

I planted my tulip bulbs rather densely in pots.
I planted the a good number of bulbs per pot as I wanted each to have a dense clutch of blooms. (I probably could have gotten away with a few more in each.)  These were then covered with about 4 inches of soil mix.  For now, the pots sit outside next to the barn.  When the weather gets colder, I'll place them in our unheated barn, lightly watering them periodically if the soil feels dry. 


  1. I love tulips too, but daffodils steal my heart. So mostly it is those around our house. But we do have a nice patch of tulips under the maple tree.

  2. Tulips are awesome but deer love them too! Chipmunks and other critters are a hazard so here we have a few but have erred to Daffodils as they are "deer resistant". We already have enough plants that are like haagen-daz for deer, we don't need more food lures. ;-) So, I can't wait to see you're display!

  3. Good idea to start them in pots and then relocate later, I might have to copy your idea.

  4. I just found your new updated blog and am thrilled you're at it again! I'm all caught up and look forward to your future posts. Welcome back.