Gardener's Delight Nursery, Barnstaple, North Devon

Bulbs for Containers by
Gardener Delight Nursery

How to: plant and grow spring flowering bulbs in containers

Spring flowing bulbs in containers, pots and window boxes provide instant impact at the start of spring. By combining two, three or more bulbs that flower at different times can lengthen the period of time you have colour for. Planting in layer's can also generate longer lasting displays.

Bulb containers

Posted on September 1, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Large container Classic spring flowering container

The classic design approache is using 3 elements .

  • Thriller: A tall showey plant or tall flowering bulb, for example Cordyline, Fuchsia, Narcissi
  • Spiller: Low to trialing plant or flowering bulb to hangover or soften the edges of your container,Ivy, nepeta, lysmacia
  • Filler:Medium plants or flowering bulbs to fill the gaps between the 'thrillers' and 'spillers'.Violas, Heuchera, Crocus, Dwarf Narcissi
Ensure that the bulbs have a sumilations flowering dates.

Designing Containers for a longer display period

The classic 3 type approach above can mean short display periods, in order to have the maximal display perid use the layering apporach to ensure that there is a display through out the spring period. for example, dwarf narcissi, dwarf iris and crocus.
  • start with a pot at least 14" width line the bottom with broken clay pots
  • Add a layer of compost
  • Start with a layer of dwarf narcissi planted 12cm deep flower last
  • add a layer of compost
  • add a layer of dwarf iris planted above them and a layer of crocus on top.
  • optionally add a layer of gravel or stone approx 1 inch thick

In a larger and deeper patio container you can add further layers of larger daffodils and tulips underneath to have flowering bulbs in bloom throughout the spring.

Using multi pots

Plant several containers with varieties that have various flowering dates for example
  • Early: Crocus & Dwarf iris reticulata
  • Mid: Hyacinths & Narcissi
  • Late: Tulips

Planting tips for containers

Planting your bulbs in a container is an easy way to create a lot of colour in the spring for your garden. Having several pots or containers on a patio can give your garden that uplift it needs in the spring. If you have any pets or know you have lots of wild animals in your garden, then in autumn and winter place mesh over the top of your container as this will stop your bulbs from being dug up. It is important to use a container with drainage holes, and you can also use the layering method talked about above to create that longer lasting flowering period.

Selecting containers

Whilst container are often chosen because of their looks/style you should also
  • Ensure that the container is big enough to give plants room to grow
  • Terracotta or Clay pots: Good for growing shrubs and perennials,but are heavy and cause soil to dry out so not good for plant that need a lot of water.
  • Plastic, or glazed pots: keep soil moist
  • Wooden planters: Keep the soil and roots at a stable temperature
  • Stone pots: look great, but are heavy

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Bulbs can be used in large containers to build striking if slightly short display features. By laying 3 or more bulb types display lasting the full spring period in a single pot, or by using a number of bulb types overs a number of pots

Colour Wheel

Colour Wheel The colour wheel shown right provides a simple method for building flower designs.

  • Adjacent colours: using 2 or 3 adjacent colours create a clam harmonious effect for example
  • Opposites: to create a striking effect use colour that are directly opposite each other. For example
  • Contrasts : colours that are equal distances around the wheel and group in threes for example
White flowers can be used to blend colours. for futher details

About Us

Gardeners Delight Nursey is a leading local family run Garden Centre, in North Devon which produces an extensive range of herbaceous perennials, bedding and vegetable plants, trees, shrubs, roses and clematis along with delicious fresh fruit and vegetables. 90% of these are grown on site using the skill and experience gained over 30 years of growing for the local coastal & moorland environment.