The Q&A Archives: bulbs & tuburs

Question: I have numerous grape hyacinthus & tulip bulbs, dahliah tubors and would like to put in pots for the winter. I am not sure how to go about this. I left them sit out on a 1st level deck one year and they came back the following spring. I don't live in the same area anymore and am not sure if sitting them on a roof covered porch will give the same results. I do have some direction on the Dahiahs but would like any advice for the bulbs that you can give. Is they any benefit to using organic potting soil? I have alot going on plant wise for this fall and so appreciated the help from this web site. I feel like I have been given a wonderful early Christmas present. I also make use of my unheated garage for different plants. If it is ok to put them in pots when is it good to bring them out side so they produce in the spring? Thank you so much for your help.

Answer: I'm glad you're finding helpful advice through our service! Although you can plant your tulips and hyacinth bulbs in the ground without problem in your gardening region, I'd be concerned about their freezing solid if planted in containers and left out on a deck. Rather than take the chance, why not plant them in your containers and set them in an unheated garage? As long as the temperature remains above freezing they will get the winter chill they require without the worry that they will freeze to death. The same advice goes for your dahlia tubers. Keep them cool, but above freezing. With the bulbs, you can take the pots outdoors in March. With dahlias, wait until late April or early May when the weather begins to warm.

I use packaged potting soil. It's all organic, regardless of the brand. Potting soil is a mixture of compost, peat moss, sand, and vermiculite or perlite. Use a major brand of potting soil (Kellogg's, Miracle Gro, etc.) rather than off brands. The major brands are milled a little finer and I think they perform better.

Hope this answers all your questions. Best wishes with your container garden!

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