Pick the Right Pot
Bulb gardens are popular as gifts mid-winter. For years I have made bulb gardens from fall sale bulbs and tucked them into the back of my refrigerator 10-12 weeks for the bulbs to get the chiling they need before they start to grow.
Depending on when I made them, I start pulling them out mid-winter. Just as another winter storm is in the forecast, the green tips of little bulbs promise spring is not too far away.
When planning to plant anything, and here I am using the bulb gardens as an example, the size of the pot is important. You want at least 2 inches of new soil around the roots so the roots can take up nutrients and feed the plants. Especially when planting tulips, you also need a longer pot so the tulip greenery doesn’t fall over.
t’s easy to pack too many bulbs into the wrong-sized pot, which I did with one of the bulb gardens this year. See the white roots peeking out of the bottom?
I could tell from seeing those roots I was rusty in making my bulb gardens but luckily it was relatively simple to fix.
I selected another, larger pot I could use to transplant the original bulb garden. To make sure the bulbs were not impacted, I cut the original plastic pot off the roots after ensuring the bulb garden would nicely fit in the larger pot.
The same concept applies for whatever you want to plant this next growing season. Often when we buy plants in pots they’re jammed full of plants that can’t survive in such cramped quarters because there is not enough nutrients available through the soil.
If you want to buy a hanging plant full of flowers, check to see how many plants are in the pot and make sure there are at least two of each. Then buy a second empty pot with soil and make yourself a second hanging pot, giving your plants more room to grow.
It may take a little time for the plant roots to establish themselves in the second pot but you will have longer-lasting plants and more blooms if their roots have enough nutrients.
And yes, you can fertilize but that’s only going to last so long. Artificial fertilizers forces the plant to grow too fast. As soon as any hot weather impacts the little soil already in the pots, the plants will die for lack of both water and food.
And what about the pot for the bulb garden at the top of this story?
It’s pretty and appropriate for the bulbs in the pot, crocus surrounding the outside and tete-a-tete daffodils in the middle. The daffodil roots will grow longer so they need more soil under them. The crocus are shallow so don’t need as much soil.
If I had my druthers, though, I would give all those bulbs more root space so they can stay healthy during their growth and I can pop them outside in my garden for repeated growth later.