How to layer bulbs in containers


In line with my article “the best time planting for spring flowering bulbs” some additional information about how to layer bulbs in containers. 


How to layer bulbs in containers
magazine article

A few years ago, in Dutch magazine Home & Garden I read an article about layering bulbs. Excited about the beautiful pictures, I tried it myself. The results were less beautiful as in the article but still I enjoyed the yellow tulips and white Leucojum. So, I continued to plant every year about the same bulbs. 

What makes this container special 

How to layer bulbs in containers
winter plants to plant on top of layers of bulbs, skimmia, helleborus, calluna and bulbs

What was mentioned in the article, and makes this container special, is that plants were added on top of the layers to protect the bulbs and to be able to enjoy the containers already from Fall to Spring.  

how to layer bulbs in containers
Result: Winter plants on top op layers of bulbs

How to layer the bulbs: 

  1. Use a container with drainage hole 
  2. Use a piece of pot to cover the hole 
  3. My first layer in containers is always Hydro granulate. The clay granules absorb water and nutrients and gradually feed this to the plants.
  4. Add compost and your first layer of bulbs, (I started with big tulips) 
  5. Add a next layer of compost and bulbs, (smaller tulips) 
  6. Last layer of compost and bulbs, (Leucojum and white Muscari) and top off with a layer of compost. 
  7. On top of the bulbs, I planted white Skimmia, Helleborus Niger and white Calluna 

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Flowering in Spring 

In spring if the bulbs start growing take out the winter plants and put them in other containers to use them again next year. Add compost to the bulb container and put Myosotis in between. In this container I only used yellow and white. So, the “forget me not” blue will add some extra color to the container. And because it continues to flower until June, you can give the bulbs time to “die.”  

After Flowering 

Use the bulbs again next year, but after the second time it is better to plant the bulbs in the garden. 

Enjoy planting! 

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