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Bulbs (again)

Sorry but I have more spring bulb questions...

Firstly let me show you a picture of my pots so you get an idea of what I'm banging on about... image

So I have these lovely Kew pots with various bits and bobs in but I want my spring display in them so I'll obviously have to deal with what's currently in them when the time comes but the pots themselves aren't frost proof so...

should I pot my bulbs up in plastic pots and then transfer them over once they've established themselves properly? 


Should I try and find plastic pots that will slip into them? (Not sure that'll be possible as these are long tom pots so don't know if they do inserts that shape image)

Once I've established where I'll be potting the bulbs how many should I put in each pot? I want a really abundant looking display.

Tulips will be in the bigger pots so was thinking 10-12 bulbs, does this sound about right or could I do more?

I have Narcissus too and would also like a full display so 15ish bulbs? 

More questions...

Do I need to use potting grit AND a broken pot for drainage or is it a one or the other thing? 

Exactly what is the best compost to use for bulbs?

Should I use this to help them on their way...


Can someone come and hold my hand please image

Thank you for reading, I'm sure I'll have more questions at some stage but that's all I can think of for now.

Thanks kindly 


  • KT53KT53 Posts: 5,924

    Sorry, not answering the question but coming up with one for you.  Many of the pots seem to have perennial plants in them so what are you planning to do with them if you reuse the pots for bulbs?

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 42,284

    Don't worry MrsF - it'll all be fine  image

    Lovely pots - I've often admired those in the GC and nursery. 

    If you use a plastic pot insert, just put the bulbs in and stick them in the pot. No need to do anything else, but if you have something else to look at in the main pots already, it's better to wait until the bulbs are growing before swapping them into the ceramic pot. 

    I don't use anything fancy for bulbs - just multi purpose compost. A crock in the bottom to stop the holes clogging up. I often add gravel to the top to prevent weeds growth and finish the pot off nicely. If they're staying in a pot long term, you just need to replace some of the compost each year to refresh it. They don't need any food - everything they need is in the bulb. When the bulbs have finished flowering, just let them die back naturally (stick them out of sight at that point) as the foliage feeds them for the following year. You can give them a little liquid food at that point if you wish, as an extra boost. 

    I put a lot of bulbs in pots - you can afford to do that as they can be put in just an inch or so apart and it gives a better display. In a 12" pot, you can cram about 15 or 20  daff bulbs in one layer, depending on the shape of the pot, and the size of bulb. You can put some in a lower layer as well - it won't affect their growth or how they come through either. I have a 15 inch pot which has around  50 or 60 (or more) large white crocus. They're planted higher than daffs would be, but it gives a really full display when they open. This is an 8 inch pot with the same crocus. 


    Hope that's a little help for now.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150

    I do the same as Fairy and cram them into plastic pots with ordinary mpc.  Bring them out on show when they're looking good, then tuck them away in a corner when they've finished and let the leaves die back naturally.

    Don't forget to label them, so you know what's in your empty looking pots. A simple plastic label pushed right down at the edge of the pot is unobtrusive, and very helpful when you have a bad memory.  I've lost count of the times I've tipped out a dormant bulb pot image.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 42,284

    I've never done that sirreee....never....honest......image image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • MrsFoxgloveMrsFoxglove SurreyPosts: 180

    Thanks so much ladies, fab advice.

    Fairygirl you're basically my bulb guru, you have been super helpful image

    Your crocus display looks splendid, glad to hear more is more on this occasion image

    KT53 this question keeps me awake at night (not even kidding) ha ha 

    I may just transfer them to terracotta pots, really not sureimage

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