Winter Care of Potted Bulbs - Knowledgebase Question

Baltimore, MD
Question by danh7
October 28, 1997
This fall I planted some tulips and daffodils in containers on my patio. Is there anything I should do to protect them over the winter?


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Answer from NGA
October 28, 1997

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In cold climates, bulbs planted in containers often don't overwinter well. Containers are exposed to repeated freezing and thawing during the winter, and this can damage the bulbs. Your best bet is to bring the containers to a protected spot, ideally one where the temperature will stay around 40 degrees F throughout the winter. This temperature will satisfy the bulbs' chilling requirement.

The bulbs should be kept moist, but not waterlogged. Kept the container in a cool spot, check it regularly, and water if the soil is dry to a depth of an inch or so.

If you can't move your containers to a protected spot, huddle them together in a group and mulch with a thick layer of bark mulch or surround the pots with bales of hay or straw or wrap them in bubble pack.

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