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Spring bulbs in pots

I have several pots of spring bulbs for the first time. They have all begun to sprout up, much to my excitement 😊.
I'm just wondering if they are ever worth leaving in pots for next year or are all bulbs best to be planted new if in pots?
I have daffs, crocus, tulips, grape hyacinths...and I can't remember what else as it seems so long since I planted them 😆 Thank you, oh knowledgeable ones.


  • didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 1,702
    I had some iris reticulatas and tulips that I left in some pots last year and simply planted summer flowering things on top in the same pots.  That all died away and I was delighted to see the irises flowering again now and the tulips poking up between the saxifrages I planted on top of those.
  • @didyw What a good idea! So after they die back, fill up the pots a bit, plant in some summer annuals and just hope for the best next spring? 😊
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,411
    I had a pot of Tete a Tete daffodils that came up every year until I planted them in the garden. Iris reticulata and grape hyacinths come up every year too, but the tulips I planted weren't so successful.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 13,927
    edited 11 February
    There are some species tulips that repeat well (as long as critters like squirrels don't eat them). Otherwise tulips aren't known for coming back terribly well. Iris retic. can do a few years in pots, it seems. Good to plant in a gritty mix so the bulbs have no chance of rotting.

    This below list is a mix of species tulips (like this one) and others. I'm trying Apledoorn and Angelique this year for the first time. They are just peeping up now. Very exciting.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,098
    edited 12 February
    Crocus, daffs and muscari will be fine year on year.
    Most tulips disappear over time, apart from a few varieties which are more reliable, so it'll depend on what you have and your conditions. It's hard to replicate their ideal conditions in the UK. 
    The species ones are completely different, and will multiply in the right spot. They still need sun and well drained soil to do well.
    Reticulata irises diminish over a few years too. Interesting you find them perennial @Busy-Lizzie. I'm lucky if I get three years from a potful, and there's fewer each year too.

    If you feed the bulbs as they die down @GunStreetGirl, that helps. Bulbs in pots will also get congested over time, as they build up and multiply,  so you'll need to tip them out now and again to get the best from them.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,561
    I find that things such as narcissus and muscari flower well for 2 to 3 years then begin to run out of steam, l have tried planting them in the garden but it's a bit "hit and miss".
    These days l tend to just get rid of them once the pots give a poor show.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,411
    @Fairygirl, it could be because they were on a sunny terrace in SW France and you are in Scotland. Some years they were better than others. I moved from that house.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • janetfossjanetfoss Posts: 218
    I have most of my Spring/Summer bulbs in pots @GunStreetGirl and I'm in the cold North. 
    The anticipation of what is to come as those first green shoots emerge is such a delight. I don't know how well certain bulbs will perform year on year, but I do buy a few new bulbs each year to keep the stock going- also, new exciting varieties catch the eye which a gardener like me cannot resist. 
    On the whole, bulbs are cheap to buy,. so throwing out underperformers isn't hard to do.
    So enjoy what you have, replenish when you need to... I like the idea of saving the ones which are worthy and planting something like annual flowers on top of them for a continuing display of colour.
    The important thing, as stressed already here, is to feed the spring bulbs before the foliage dies down so there is always a chance of them doing well again, especially if you want to keep them.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,114
    @Fire I had problems with squirrels taking tulips and replacing them with conkers! Then I tried planting the tulips, cutting a piece of chicken wire to fit top of pot [gloves required] some more compost on the top of that and it worked .Lovely display but a tangle to sort out when I emptied the pot. A tulip that is just as good year two is Ballerina.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 13,927
    Then I tried planting the tulips, cutting a piece of chicken wire to fit top of pot and some more compost on the top of that

    That's a good idea. New to me.
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