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Containers of tulips

For the first time, I've grown tulips in containers - and very lovely they've been, too!  However, they're now about to be dead-headed.  Should I leave them in the containers, unwatered, to die back and then lift and dry them for next autumn, or am I supposed to leave them in and over-plant them.  When we return from holiday on around 20 May, I'm going to need those containers to fill with pelargoniums, etc. and I think the tulip bulbs, although properly planted, are to shallow to accommodate roots as well.  Any suggestions, pretty please?

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,129

    Put them into another pot of gritty compost and let them die down naturally. A liquid feed  is all they need as the foliage dies down. The bulb will do the rest. Just keep them somewhere sheltered for next year where they won't get dried out completely, or waterlogged. 

    They tend to last only a few years and diminsh gradually , unless it's the species types you have, which are different.

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


  • lydiaannlydiaann Posts: 288

    Many thanks for that advice...I shall follow it all to the letter.  I have an old windowbox which I can put them in to "over-summer".  I shall look forward to seeing them again next year!  Deep mauve and pale cream in one pot and red and bright white in another; they've been fabulous so I'd love to keep that going for a couple of years at least!!

  • Hi, I have grown my tulips in containers for years.  I dead head and then leave them in situ until I am ready to put Summer bedding in my containers - end of May.  When I lift them I let them dry out outside for a couple of days and then cut off the leaves/stem leaving just the bulb then put them in a dry place spaced out on a tray in the garage.  The bulbs have got bigger and bigger and I have been able to split some off and make more.  There is certainly no sign of them diminishing and even if some did I have more and more each year so it isn't a problem.  PS. I should add that I only use one variety of bulb which is purissima white emperor.

  • I went to my local Fish & Chip shop and they gave me 3 Plastic Buckets which they get their Oil/Lard in. I cleaned them out and drilled lots of holes in the bottom. Once the flowers have died I dead head them. Tip them out of the container clean up the bulbs a bit and then plant as many as I can into the buckets with the old compost and some grit to aid drainage. Don't forget to label them !!

    Then I put the buckets behind the shed and leave them apart from a 3 monthly feed with Tomato Feed and just to check that they are not too wet.

    In the Autumn I tip them out and plant them in the containers with new compost and they grow away and look lovely.

    Then my 3 year old grandson comes along and picks some of them for his mummy !!!!

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