How to Plant Bulbs in Containers during the Winter

spring potsSpring may seem like it is ages away, but it may be closer than you think. Many people’s favorite part of Spring is seeing all of the colorful flowers bloom and grow, bringing color and life back to the landscape. If you want your Spring pots to be the envy of the neighborhood this year, now is the time to plant!

In areas of the country where temperatures don’t get much lower than freezing throughout the Winter months, planting bulbs in containers and pots is simple. If you live in one of these areas simply plant your Spring bulbs at the same depth in the container as you would in your garden. You can layer bulbs in the pot to get a full and lush look in the Spring. Simply plant the larger bulbs in the lower portion of the planter while staggering the smaller bulbs higher in the container. The image below shows a great example of how to layer your bulbs when planting. After planting your bulbs you will want to water the pot thoroughly. Keep the soil in the planter or pot moist but not soaking wet all winter to help the root system develop.


If the Winter temperatures in your area drop below freezing you will need to move your pots or planters to a protected area. A protected area could be the garage or a shed where temperatures will remain cold but not freezing. During the Winter months your garden soil will freeze if temperatures drop but the soil temperature will always remain higher than the air temperature, protecting your Spring bulbs. Spring bulbs in your pots and planters will not be as protected as they would be if they were planted in the garden. The amount of soil in a pot or container is much less than there would be in a garden. The small amount of soil in pots or containers is not enough to protect your bulbs from freezing temperatures.

There are a few ways that you can protect your pots and containers from the freezing temperatures. One way is to dig a hole in the garden the size of your pot and place the pot in the hole. Once in the hole, use straw to cover the pot creating a straw blanket that will insulate your pot throughout the Winter. Another way to protect your bulbs is to build a protective cloak. Wrap your pot loosely with chicken wire, securing the ends. Then, use straw or rags to fill the gaps between the chicken wire and the pot. This will provide the soil with insulation against freezing Winter temperatures, protecting your bulbs from damage.

Go to American Meadows blog to read more about planting Spring bulbs.

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