The Q&A Archives: Reasons for Bulbs that Don't Bloom

Question: Last year I purchased over 300 bulbs from Burpee (daffodils, tulips etc). I got one tulip to bloom this year, that was a week ago. To see what had happened to the others, I dug them up from the containers they were in. I planted them all in large flower pots. I had many pots of them. The average size pot was about 16" in diameter and about 24 inches deep. I planted them all to the depth recommended. And the pots all had drainage holes. Well it seems they all rotted. They were full of moisture and could squeeze water out of them. Even the ones in large clay pots were rotted. I left all the pots outdoors over the winter here. Was that the mistake? Did they freeze or does that effect them? Was it the soil? Did it hold too much mositure for the bulbs? This is what I think, I noticed my soil was not real loose, but it was potting soil bought in 40 pound bags. But certainly not as heavy as regular "dirt" from the yard. The soil in the bottom of the pots was still very wet, like mud. So before I try this again for next spring, please let me know how the best way is to plant bulbs in planters and pots? Thank you very much. Timothy Johnson Jefferson City, MO

Answer: I hate to tell you this but they froze. If you wish to plant bulbs in containers for next spring, plant the bulbs at the required depth in pots in fall and then bury the pots with the rim at ground level. Dig the pots up in early spring after the average last date of frost. Or you can plant them in fall and mulch them heavily with bark so they survive the winter.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "sunset on summer"