questions about tulips in containers

ikea_gwNovember 8, 2008

I am thinking about potting up some tulip bulbs. Not sure how big of a pot I need for 3 bulbs.

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not a very big one. As long as the bulbs are not touching the sides of the pot, you're fine. For a better effect, the pot could be maxed out with bulbs shoulder to shoulder.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 9:49PM
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I'm assuming you wish to promote bloom by "forcing" the bulb to bloom unnaturally--that is, by indoor methods.
If not, then the bulbs should be planted in your garden this very day.

Its too late to think forcing can promote bloom still before late February into March.
I suggest you read about "forcing" and how the tulip bulb takes upwards of 14 - 16 weeks of cool to bring it about.
Remember, bulbs must create roots in order to promote growth and bloom. Your refrigerator is one such place if you don't have a coldcellar (fruit cellar) which can provide such temperatures. Temperatures of 35º - 50º F is what is common there and that is the range bulbs must have to promote roots.

If you cant force, then do your garden a favour and get those bulbs into the ground as soon as possible.

Generally then, next September, begin to assemble those special bulbs for forcing. Talk to your bulb provider about what you intend to do with the bulbs. He will guide you in selecting those special bulbs noted for the best results of "forcing".

You can put 5 bulbs in a 6" pot, 7 - 8 bulbs in a 8" pot.

The tulip bulb, take notice of it, has a flat side which you place outward facing. This promotes the early leaf production to appear there and not inwards where a leaf can often interfere with its early growing neighbor.

To read further about planting bulbs I suggest you go to

Try also to appreciate what mass planting can do for a garden. Your 3 bulbs in a container can produce a nice tabletop attraction. But in a garden, think in terms of dozens, and dozens, 100's....and more.
Think too of color, and with bulbs, mass coloring of the same hues can be the most effective.
Distributing bulbs to produce one color en masse and if wished, to promote a neighboring mass of another color, can be most gratifying.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 11:50AM
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