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Autumn bulbs planted in containers

New to gardening and seem to be asking a lot of questions lately - apologies to everyone! 🙄

I have iris, crocus and tulips ready to plant - once planted, should I store the containers in an unheated  greenhouse or inside a garage over the winter months?

Thanks in advance!


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,435
    Hi Sue, l have potted up iris, crocus and narcissi and they are in my cold greenhouse. When l pot up the tulips they will go in there as well  :)
  • @AnniD - I live in the South East of England so tends to be warmer - thanks for update 😁
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,186
    I keep mine in my cold greenhouse as well, mainly to keep the squirrels and mice away from them. I only water them occasionally and bring them out when they start to grow.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • I have a lot of large bulb lasagne pots. They stay outside all winter, against a fence for a little bit of rain shadow protection, but otherwise unprotected - even the tulips. I'm far too lazy to cart things back and forth and water in winter  ;)
  • I just plant up my pots and troughs where they live on my terrace and leave them to get on with it. Have done this for over 30 years with no problems, even after hard winters.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,134
    I do the same @Buttercupdays:)
    I sometimes cover them with chicken wire if they have bulbs small enough for squirrels to reach. Otherwise they just sit somewhere until ready to put on view. 

    You may need to leave the tulips a while yet @sue.harden1 to ensure it's cold enough, although in pots, it's less of a problem. It's mainly when planting in the ground you need to wait until cold enough to be clear of virus. Another thing we don't have to worry about here. Cold enough to plant in early October, often earlier. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I'm lucky not to get squirrels here, as even though I have lots of trees, I'm surrounded by open fields.
    Do get mice though and they would be more of a nuisance in the greenhouse than out, they don't believe in getting cold and wet!
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,149
    It depends on your pots as well as your local climate.   If you've planted up ordinary plastic plant pots with a view to plunging them in borders in spring when you see gaps then they'll need frost protection to stop the bulbs being frozen to a mush in winter.

    If you've used sturdier, ornamental plastic or ceramic pots for display then they'll have thicker walls and offer a degree or 2 more of frost protection.  I would still move them into shelter for the worst of winter but make sure they have plenty of light once the first bulb "noses" poke thru.  You can wrap bubble wrap round them for extra safety.

    Leave tulip planting as late as possible to avoid problems with tulip virus.

    One last thing, I have tried lasagna planting of bulbs in layers but find it doesn't often work well and can get tatty looking as the foliage from the earlier flowerers dies back and detracts from the later flowers.  I now find it better to plant bulbs of one type in pots.  It makes for more coherent flowering and I can shuffle pots around to put the "stars" to the fore and hide those going over but still needing 6 to 8 weeks of feeding while the foliage feeds the bulbs for next year.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks for all the helpful advice - much appreciated 👍👍👍
  • My (ceramic) pots are tucked in a corner of my patio. I agree @Obelixx - I tried a lasagna last year and it was very disappointing. As you say, the later bulbs were swamped by tatty foliage. This year, I have gone for three pots each with different things in, rather than mixing them.
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