Getting your green fingers used to planting bulbs in pots can be a real joy. Many people still associate planting in pots with house plants, but this shouldn’t be seen as a hard and fast rule. Planting outdoor plants in pots and planters can add enormously to the beauty of your garden.
Planting in pots outside can also be very beneficial for some species. In particular, it can suit plant species that are happy enough standing outside in the summer but prefer the warmth and humidity of greenhouses during the colder months.
Planting bulbs in pots also means you can move your garden around in the same way you’d rearrange your living room furniture. A change is as good for the garden as it is the soul!
Selecting your pot
Choosing the right pot will depend on how you want your garden to look and the species of plant you are potting. Research the species to make sure you have the right size pot and that you’re planting at the right time of year. Remember though, you can re-pot most plants at a later date if they outgrow the pot they’re in.
Terracotta pots are great for year-round outdoor plants because they’re frost proof and their weight means they’re less likely to blow over, although they may appear a little dull.
For more attractive designs, browse for glazed pots or pots and planters sculpted from locally sourced stone.
“Terracotta pots are great for year-round outdoor plants because they’re frost proof and their weight means they’re less likely to blow over.”
Preparing to Plant
First, you should drop small stones or bits of broken crockery into the bottom of the pot to enable drainage.
Fill the pot three-quarters full with a good peat-free multi-purpose compost. Using peat-free compost ensures that you will have a beautiful garden and you’ll be helping to protect our natural wetlands, which is something every keen gardener should cherish.
If you’re planting an acid-loving species such as a rhododendron, then ericaceous compost is needed. Such plants provide another great reason for using outdoor pots, as they can be planted in areas where they wouldn’t normally flourish.
“Using peat-free compost ensures that you will have a beautiful garden and you’ll be helping to protect our natural wetlands, which is something every keen gardener should cherish.”
Compost is a great growing environment, but it can always be improved by adding some water-retaining crystals. These act like mini-reservoirs, storing moisture for when your plant needs it. Controlled release fertiliser granules can also help to even out the supply of nutrients. If you want to use either of these, put them in now.
Sowing the seed
Once the pot is nicely prepared it’s time to plant your bulbs. Push the bulbs gently into the compost, ensuring that they’re at about three times their own depth when covered, allowing for a soil surface slightly below the rim of the pot.
If you’re planting a mixture of bulbs in one pot, place the largest towards the bottom and layer with the smaller bulbs above.
Once the bulbs are covered with compost, water them regularly and check often to ensure they don’t dry out. Feed them once every fortnight with a high-potassium fertiliser to ensure good flowering the next year.
It’s not just bulbs that can be planted in pots. A large pot or container can look wonderful with a number of ready potted plants arranged within. A beautiful stone planter brimming with flowers can be a real garden feature that you should be proud of.
The method of planting is the same, but first arrange the plants whilst still in their original pots to ensure they look good and are well spread out.
“A large pot or container can look wonderful with a number of ready potted plants arranged within.”
Keep the tallest plants in the centre and any trailing plants on the edge where they can hang down. When you’re satisfied with the arrangement, carefully remove them from their plastic pots and dig them into your compost. Be sure to keep them watered regularly and replace the topsoil with a layer of fresh compost in the early spring.
Planting bulbs in pots is a simple way of creating a beautiful garden, and there’s nothing quite like the pleasure that comes from watching a bulb you have potted grow and flower. Try it and see for yourself.
Minster Paving supply a wide range of stone pots, planters, and paving stones throughout Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties. By using locally sourced stone, they create pots and planters with natural character. Bring a little piece of the Cotswolds to your garden. For beautiful design features with a real sense of time, place, and beauty, browse their new range.
For more advice about planting bulbs in pots or to place an order, call Minster Paving on 01865 300252 or get in touch online.