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Bulbs in pots over winter

polbpolb Posts: 198
Hi, I've just planted a selection of bulbs into fairly large pots (grit/compost mix) - daffs, grape hycinths, whistling jacks and tulips. Where should I store them over winter? I'm guessing they need to be under a shelter so as not to be soaking but will be ok if hit by frost? If I do put them under something so they don't get rained on, will this be OK or would i need to water them?! Would they need a sunny spot?


  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,409
    edited October 2019
    Provided the pots have drainage holes, the daffs, tulips and muscari will be fine in the open and will cope whatever the weather. Mine do, and I'm high in the chilly, wet and often snowy Pennines!
    The gladiolus (had to look those up as not a Scilly Islander) would appreciate a sunny warm and/or sheltered spot and maybe even a bit of fleece if it is very cold. Apparently they only naturalise where there isn't much frost, so clearly need to be that bit warmer and probably drier as well. I often put small bulb pots, like reticulata irises, under my garden bench, which keeps off the worst of the rain. They won't need light until the leaves start showing, so could be in a shed or outhouse for the early part of the winter, in which case they might need an occasional light watering if the compost feels dry.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,892
    If you have squirrels living nearby it may be worth just laying some chicken wire over the tops of the pots to stop them digging bulbs out. Not sure if they like the bulbs you've planted but they sure like crocus....
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,237
    Putting them up against a wall or shed can keep the worst of the rain off. Frost should be fine maybe apart from the Gladiolus, as per Buttercup's comment!
  • I leave my pots outside but as was said before with drainage holes. I always place chicken wire around them due to the squirrels digging them up. And if we have a cold spell some fleece as well. I am lucky that all of my bulbs come through successfully every year. 

  • polbpolb Posts: 198
    Strangely we don't seem to get squirrels, but perhaps I'll pop some chicken wire over, just in case!! I've mixed in the gladiolus so not sure what to do about them..I think I'll give them a bit of shelter by a wall and cover when it snows they don't get soaked. Thanks everyone for your advice, very excited to see how they turn out! Yours look great Jacqueline29 B)
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,134
    Squirrels do tend to take the small bulbs simply because they aren't buried as deeply.
    I had to look up the whistling jacks too - lovely name for them!
    As @Buttercupdays says - they're really the only ones that might need a wee bit of protection from cold weather.
    The others will withstand anything you get - daffs and grape hyacinths need absolutely nothing in the way of protection,  but tulips like a drier medium so you may find a wall or similar, as @WillDB says, is ideal to keep the winter rain off. It's the main reason I grow tulips by themselves - easier to get the balance right. Like B'cupdays, we get quite extreme weather here, and it lasts well into 'spring bulb' season. 
    Wet soil does the harm -  dry cold isn't a problem at all.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • polbpolb Posts: 198
    That's really helpful, thank you. It will be interesting to see what comes up!! I'll know for next year to keep things separate! :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,134
    I think it just makes it easier if you group according to growing conditions.  :)
    Keep us posted when they start appearing too. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • polbpolb Posts: 198
    Thank you! :)
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