Few plants are a more welcome sight than spring-flowering bulbs, and
most are easy to grow and care for. These versatile plants are wonderful
for pots and window boxes or for planting out in the garden, and they
can be treated as permanent plantings or simply discarded after
flowering. A good selection should provide color over a long period,
from the first snowdrops in late winter to the last tulips in early
summer. Try planting the same types of bulbs together in pots and
grouping them, or mix them.
Choosing a Container
Containers for spring bulbs should be terra-cotta pots that have a 6-inch- (15-cm-) diameter. Use free-draining soil and keep plants in a sunny, but not too exposed site.
Bulbs to Consider
- Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Ostara’
- Narcissus ‘Sweetness’
- Iris winogradowii
- Iris reticulata
- Iris ‘Katharine Hodgkin’
- Muscari armeniacum
Planting and Aftercare
Many spring bulbs are bought as bare, dry bulbs in fall, before they
have come into active growth. It is important to choose firm, healthy
bulbs and to plant them as soon as possible. Observe the correct
planting depth for each kind of bulb, using free-draining multipurpose
potting mix with plenty of crocks in the base of each pot. Keep the pots
somewhere sheltered. As the bulbs begin to grow, water more freely.
Once the flowers have faded, either discard the bulbs or allow the
foliage to yellow and wither. Bulbs may then be lifted, dried, and
replanted in pots, or put in the garden in fall.