Growing Tulips and Spring bulbs in pots

Tulips, Hyacinths, Crocus  and Iris reticulata are excellent for use in pot culture and here are some hints to make sure you will have a magnificent display. A 12 cm pot is the minimum pot size for Crocus and Iris tulips-in-pots2.jpgReticulata while tulips require a 15 cm pot or larger. Make sure the pots you use have good drainage holes. Big pots and tubs are even better and different varieties may be kept apart in clumps. Planting tulips in window boxes is an attractive way to add colour to your house, garden or balcony. However, it is important to choose the right variety for your window box. Varieties that are suitable are the shorter varieties, especially the so called potting tulips, like the Early and Triumph tulips. For the best results place pots of tulips in window boxes and cover the pots with soil or straw rather then planting the tulips directly in the window box. This method provides you with the opportunity to place other potted tulips or plants in the box when the tulips finish flowering, so you will have a continuous flowering display. Pots taken out can be cared for elsewhere. 

SOIL:A good potting soil will be available from your nursery. If you would like to make your own potting mix, it is recommended to use one part composted pine bark, one part coarse river sand and one part peat with a little lime and blood and bone.

AFTER PLANTING: Put pots in a cool dark place such as under the house or similar. To ensure darkness pots can be covered with newspaper. The best way is to put the pots in a well drained position in the garden and to cover the pots with soil or straw for approx. 8 weeks.  When the shoots are about 5-6 cm high, the pots can be moved to a warmer semi-shaded place. When the flowers have produced a good flower bud, the pots can be put inside for flowers to bloom. Always place the pot in a cool position and water regularly.

AFTER FLOWERING: Move pots outside to a semi-shaded position and cut off the dead flowers. Keep soil moist until the foliage has died down. Bulbs can then be removed and should be planted out in the garden the following season.

GROWING BULBS IN WATER: Hyacinths and Crocus on Glass: Fill the glass with water so that the water just does not touch the bottom of the bulb/corm, then place the glass in a dark, cool to cold place, cellar or similar (the fridge is a must for Crocus). Do this late April, beginning of May. When the shoot is about 4/5cm out of the bulb/corm (after approx. 10 weeks) and the glass is filled with roots you may bring them into a cool position in your living room. Always maintain the water level in the glass. In warmer regions of Australia, the Hyacinths may be pre-cooled in the fridge.