How to Take Care of Container-Grown Spring Bulbs

So your spring bulbs are in their containers, just waiting for the perfect time to bloom – this is the perfect time to leave them alone and get some other garden chores done, right? Sadly – no. Although you have just enough time to get some other prep work done, now is not the time to leave your bulbs alone, lest you want all your hard work to go to waste. It’s just as important (if not more important!) to keep an eye on your precious bulbs.


During the chilling phase, the bulbs are growing roots, so it’s important to check pots regularly so that the potting mix to not dry out. Check regularly for moisture by sticking your finger into the potting mix. If it feels dry an inch deep, fill the pot to the rim with water, and allow it to drain. But be careful not to overwater as excess moisture can lead to fungus and rot. As your bulbs grow larger and bloom, check soil moisture daily, and water as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

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After six to eight weeks of chilling, green shoots should begin to emerge. If you live in a mild climate, this should coincide with the emergence of bulbs in outdoor beds. If you live in a cold-winter region, keep the containers in their cool place until you wish to encourage growth.


Temperatures over 75° F push bulbs to grow too quickly, resulting in floppy, leggy top growth. A location in light shade should provide the right balance of light and moderate temperatures. To ensure that your bulbs stand erect, you can support top growth with flower rings or stakes and twine. When lending shoots a helping hand, be careful not to tie them down too tight or it might result in plant injury.