The Q&A Archives: Growing Bulbs in Containers

Question: I just received your bulb catalog and I am wondering if I can plant bulbs in a container. I live in a condo with no yard so I have a tiny patio or porch on which to place the container. Do I still plant in the fall? What do I do with the bulbs until planting? Thanks for the response!!!

Answer: The answer to your question depends on the type of bulb you are growing and your location. I am going to assume you are in a region that has cold winter weather. If not, let me know and we can revise the answer. To grow tender, summer-flowering bulbs go ahead and plant them in your container. Allow them to grow and flower this summer. Then, when the foliage has completely died back, cut it off and dig up the bulbs. Store in a cool, dark, dry place for planting next spring. If you are planting spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils and tulips, you'll need to wait until fall to plant. Then, plant them in your containers and place them in a cold but protected place--an unheated garage is fine. These bulbs need a chilling period, but cannot withstand the extreme cold they would be subjected to in an exposed planter. More importantly, they cannot withstand the repeated freezing and thawing that would likely take place in a container. Come springtime, bring the planter outdoors in the sunshine.

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