If you want to know how to care for potted tulips, we’ve rounded up four easy steps you should take for planting and caring for potted tulips. Decorating your UK home with pots of colourful and pretty tulips can liven up any space.
How to Plant and Care for Potted Tulips
Pots and containers are not only for annuals and perennials; bulbs (like tulip bulbs) grow well in pots too. Plus, they’ll look beautiful in your house. From planting to caring for your blooms, here are five steps you need to remember.
Step #1: Plant your bulbs during the first frost date
The best time to plant your bulbs is during the first frost in your UK area (usually in the autumn season). Tulips need a chilling period for them to bloom.
Plant them in pots at least six inches deep, and make sure it has proper drainage. Tulips need space for their roots to grow, and they also need adequate drainage, so your plants won’t have to sit in water.
Step #2: Use well-drained soil and plant the bulbs in it with their noses up.
Fill your pots with well-drained soil and plant the bulbs in the soil with their noses up. You can plant them close to one another but make sure they don’t touch each other. Cover them with more potting soil (leave about an inch of space from the rim).
Step #3: When the top inch of the soil is dry, water the pots.
If you’ve planted tulips directly into your UK garden before, you’ll find that watering tulip bulbs in pots are pretty different. Your plants absorb more water and dry out faster compared to tulips planted in the British garden.
It’s time to water your pots if the top inch of your soil is dry. Water your tulips until you see water drain from the pot. You don’t have to water them regularly; only do so if the soil begins to dry out.
Step #4: Place them indoors before you put them back in a sunny spot
Place your tulip pots indoors when they’re around an inch tall. Please put them in a dark and cool space and wait until they’re four to five inches long before you transfer them back to a sunny spot.
How to Care for Potted Tulips During the Winter
If you plan to keep your bulbs in your container throughout winter, there are two things you need to consider to ensure that your plants will survive:
Drainage is essential when planting tulip bulbs. During the winter season, most plants killed by ice forming because of excess water in the pots instead of the cold itself. With that said, it’s essential to ensure that your pots have enough drainage. The regular water watering or melting snow should not get trapped inside the pot. Keeping water out is critical to keeping your plants alive throughout winter.
Another essential factor to consider is fertilising. As your tulips are busy blooming during the spring season, they’re also storing energy to help them survive the cold months ahead. You can help them store more energy by fertilising them well. Keep in mind that the more energy they store, the more likely they will survive during winter.
Potted plants particularly need more help because, unlike UK garden bed plants, they cannot seek additional nutrients. You need to make sure they have enough to get by during winter.
Why Do You Need a Mini Greenhouse?
Growing potted tulips inside a mini polytunnel is a great alternative. You’ll be able to adjust the temperature inside, and you can make sure that your tulips will be safe from snow and ice. Other than that, here are other reasons why you need a mini greenhouse.
Protect your plants from harmful insects
Some of the most common pests that attack your tulip bulbs include mites (spider mites and bulb mites), slugs and snails, aphids, and caterpillars. Animals like squirrels and rodents can eat your tulips bulbs, especially during winter when they’re dormant. Placing them inside a safe enclosure lowers the risk of attracting these pests. Your plants will continue to grow healthy until spring comes.
Great for people who want to know more about polytunnel gardening
Want to learn more about growing plants in a greenhouse? The perfect place to start is by purchasing a mini greenhouse. Before you invest in a more expensive and permanent one, a small polytunnel allows you to learn the ropes and familiarise yourself with the different growing environments of your favourite plants.
Start planting regardless of the season
With a greenhouse, you can create your microclimate inside the enclosure. A microclimate means you’ll be able to grow different types of plants regardless of the weather outside. For example, you can grow warm-weather plants during colder seasons and vice versa.
Protect your plants from unpredictable weather
Greenhouse kits are great for protecting tender plants from snow, frost, ice, high winds, excessive heat, or heavy rains. Keep in mind that a single storm could wipe out months’ worth of all your hard work. Once the weather clears, you can then transplant your plants into your UK garden.
Final Thoughts on How to Care for Potted Tulips