Bulbs forum: How late can I start bulbs in outdoor pots?

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Jan 4, 2017 12:23 PM CST
my daughter was wanting to plant some bulbs in outdoor pots by her shade doorway and was looking for some answers for her. I told her it looks like it's too late for bulb planting and too early for annuals. Hoping I'm correct?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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Jan 4, 2017 12:52 PM CST

The answer depends upon where these bulbs are to be planted and what bulbs you want to plant. In the shade?

Can you give us a little more information?

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Name: Rick Corey
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Jan 4, 2017 5:13 PM CST
I also thought "shade" was odd.

By the way, most bulbs like to have very good drainage, to prevent rotting. I would make sure that your potting mix drains well and holds more air than water. You might have to add coarse Perlite or grit or medium bark shreds to "open it up" and help it drain faster.

I assumed these were "bulbs to plant in fall and bloom in spring". But "hemispheres matter".

And when DO you plant spring bulbs, if there is no winter?
Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
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Jan 4, 2017 5:47 PM CST
If you have no winter you have to force them by puting them in the refrigerator for certain amount of time depending on the bulbs.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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Jan 4, 2017 6:22 PM CST
I just bought hyacinths on clearance, and they need 8-12 weeks of cold. So something in the neighborhood, depending on just which bulbs. Whether it will be cold where you are, for that long, depends on where you live. I put my bulbs in the fridge for my cold period, I am going to try forcing in water or small pots.
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Name: Elaine
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Jan 4, 2017 7:51 PM CST
I think you could plant some bulbs in pots now, as long as winter will stay around where you live until at least the beginning of March. They need time to put out some roots and get ready to bloom.

Just remember, your bulbs shouldn't stay soggy and cold, or they will rot. And they shouldn't really freeze solid either if you can help it. So if you plant them in the pots, barely moisten the potting soil, then sink the pots into the ground a bit, somewhere near the shady doorway (so you won't forget about them) and cover them with leaves or mulch to keep them moist and not frozen, it might work.

Or put them in the fridge after you pot them up and moisten them.

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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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Jan 4, 2017 9:54 PM CST
If you have rabbits, feral pigs, rodents or ground squirrels I'd suggest covering the pots of bulbs with some hardware cloth or other wire mesh. I planted 10 pots last year, and they were out all winter. I only had one tulip bloom and the rest of the bulbs were all dug up and eaten.
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Jan 6, 2017 7:49 PM CST
@ksprague451 - Welcome!

Granted that I'm reading this on the teeny screen on my phone, but I still don't see where you and/or your daughter live. We I can't give much advice without knowing about where y'all are.

Think we all agree that shade is not a good idea for bulbs. There are some shade plants that might work. One that comes to mind is a Lenten Rose. Mine are blooming now.
Someone else might know if cyclamen can grow in the shade.
Oh, and how much shade? Part? Full?
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