It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig

Tulips in pots—works for me!

For the past 8 years or so, I have been filling up pots with tulips at the same time I do my October in-ground bulb plantings. Species tulips and other small bulbs like erythronium go in the ground, and the big hybrid tulips go into pots and a couple circular raised beds I installed specifically for tulips and annuals. I have no problem composting the tulips when I’m done—the show is always best the first year, and they only return reliably for maybe two years, especially in my shady front yard. It’s fun to choose different colors every year.

This year, it’s Prinses Irene and Christmas Orange, with some Orange Princess and Black Hero (both doubles) thrown in.

In the raised beds (above) I have Temples favorite, which I think might also go under the name Temple of Beauty. These, combined with all the species varieties I have, make a great spring show and provide the last burst of color I’ll see out here—once the maples leaf out, I’m done. I guess many might see this as wasteful, high-maintenance gardening but it’s the most fun I have all year. Making my perennials do what I want them to do–now that’s work.

Posted by on May 6, 2013 at 10:37 am, in the category It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig.
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8 responses to “Tulips in pots—works for me!”

  1. Amy says:

    I do my bulbs the same way – I look forward to picking out the new colors each year!

  2. Susie says:

    Beautiful pictures! As a new-ish resident of upstate NY I love this whole tulip season… and it’s especially nice this year since everything bloomed too early last year.

  3. Rachael says:

    I really would love to do this. Where do you overwinter your pots? I am afraid here in Montana it would just get too cold. And I don’t have an indoor spot to store that is cold enough.

    • Eliz says:

      I have an unheated garage, which is perfect but I think if they were outside completely covered in bags of leaves or something like that, it might work.

  4. Beth Urie says:

    The Temple’s Favorite/Temple of Beauty are amazing – seem to get bigger every day in bloom, and last a long time – once described as ‘tulips on steroids’! They behave like a perennial tulip if planted that way – if the maturing foliage can be tolerated (probably not by your beautiful front entry).

  5. Sandra Knauf says:

    Gorgeous colors. I’m in love with your tulips and with spring.

  6. Chris N says:

    I am in Wisconsin and we overwinter our pots outside on the north side of the garage. I build a hay bale wall around the pots and then fill in between them with leaves or straw. I have to cover our pots with 1/4 inch mesh hardware cloth weighted down with bricks. If I don’t, the voles get in and eat the tulip bulbs. Our main pots are 24″ wide and I use 50 bulbs per pot. Smaller pots can be sunk in the ground but I would still cover them with hardware cloth (metal screen).

  7. Deirdre in Seattle says:

    “I guess many might see this as wasteful, high-maintenance gardening”

    So they don’t have to do it. You don’t have to apologize.