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Tulips in Pots

I planted lots of bulbs in tubs and pots last autumn - tulips amongst them. I am wondering now whether to dig them out and replace them with fresh ones this year or leave them and hope they will flower again next spring. Some of the pots have other plants in them for year round interest; others just had the tulip bulbs in. Foolishly I didn't feed them after they finished flowering. Any advice? Thank you!


  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    The bad news is that they are very hit and miss, some varieties come back some just produce leaves with no flowers. To guarantee a good display next year I would plant the old ones in a quiet corner of the garden and buy some new ones for the containers.

  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    If in doubt do nothing. Many bulbs flower for years and years so save yourself some effort and considerable expense and see what comes back next spring. That way you'll know what to replace and what likes being in your garden.

    The time to give your bulbs a feed is in the autumn, so you haven't missed anything yet.

  • Thank you both! It's easiest to leave them as they are, but I'd already removed some anyway so I will do a bit of both and see, as advised. I had lots of different bulbs planted so it will be interesting to see which come up and flower.

    Feeding them seems a good idea. What would I feed them with? Will a liquid feed do, such as Miracle Gro, or should it be tomato feed, or something else?



  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Sorry to disagree Leggi but you feed spring flowering bulbs after flowering to build it up for the following year an autumn feed will do nothing to help it flower-also feeding them now whilst dormant is a waste of effort.

    As has been suggested just stick them in the garden somewhere and start afresh for containers when they appear in the shop in a few weeks time

  • Ah, ok - confusing getting conflicting advice but this makes sense.

    I have other bulbs planted in the containers too - would you recommend digging those up too and discarding them, or are they OK to leave? I mean narcissi, crocus, etc....?

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    First, I agree that spring bulbs should be fed when dying down in late spring, not when they're dormant.

    As for the other bulbs, narcissi will come up again and flower in pots, as will crocus, bluebells, muscari and anemones. The only proviso is that you must leave the leaves to die down naturally, not cut them off.

  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    Ah, I was always told that if a bulb didn't get enough water during autumn it would come up blind the next year, especially narcissi.

    I'm happy to listen to others advice though.

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    No in the spring-that is why a lot of bulbs were blind this year-the dry April of 2011-oh how we remember those daysimage-that and the feeding dictates what happens 12 months or so later

  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    Thanks geoff that makes more sense, silly non-green fingered parents feeding me lies again. image

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