The Q&A Archives: Zone 5 Container Planting Of Spring Flowering Bulbs

Question: Due to illness I was unable to plant my $400 of tulips, muscari, daffodils October as I had hoped. May I putthese bulbs in potting soil in plastic containers at "their right depth per bulb" NOT WATER...and stack the "planted bulbs" in a covered plastic 33 gal wastebasket that are outside and have their covers on them the bulbs will not be snowed, hailed or rained on till after frost period...allowing them get their chill period. And once the frost has broken ground in the 'real' out of doors place the plastic potted bulbs out of doors to get rain, sun etc and hopefully have flowers bloom and subsequently replant them in the out of doors to have a more normal life in years to come? (a long winded questions but this is a significant potential gain or loss for me!) thank you!

Answer: What a predicament! It would be better to plant them in pots, water once lightly and set those in a very cool but not freezing location (an unheated garage might do) to chill and root. As they begin to sprout, you will need to bring them into a cool and bright location to grow on. By keeping them very cool, they can be easily acclimated and then planted in the garden in the early spring as soon as the soil can be worked. There, the foliage can be allowed to grow and ripen naturally and the bulbs should be fine. Good luck!

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