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Not having a big garden I tend to plant my bulbs in pots. Today I had a check on them. All the bubs have rotted, this happens to me every year I just can't keep them for the following spring. What on earth am I doing wrong? I moved the pots into a shaded part of the garden & just left them to die back watering occasionaly. I did lift some as I wanted to reuse the pots over summer so hope they come back into bloom next spring. Any advice on what you may think I have done wrong will be greatfully accepted. I just love spring bulbs but don't have a big enough garden to plant them out, hence pot planting.



Are you watering and feeding your bulbs as they die back after flowering? And are you allowing the leaves to die back naturally. The majority of bulbs need a dry summer dormancy period if they are in the ground you do not need to do anything but if they are in pots you need to keep the pots dry. Wet soil will allow the bulb to rot. Also depending on the size of the pot and the number of bulbs in it you will need to un-pot replace compost and repot.

9 Sep, 2010


Thanks Moon grower, I did let them die back naturally, but may have overwaterd them. Didn't know they needed a dry period, thats what i think I may have been doing wrong, will have to try better next time. I spend a fortune every year on bulbs and loss them. Thanks so much, I'm sure your right in what you have said.
Regard Gina

9 Sep, 2010


after flowering & leaves have completely died down one suggestion if practical is to rest the pots on their side for better drainage throughout the summer. Remembering to stand them up again early Spring. I dry a variety of bulbs like this & have kept them year on year. Some fritillaria & species narcissi require a real dry baking in the summer to assist flowering the following year. Get tough with them & they should respond & as Moongrower advises feeding is important.

9 Sep, 2010


Many people tend to use peat based potting composts for containers. Leaving the 'peat' issue aside, these composts are not good for bulbs as they retain too much water and this is likely to cause the bulbs to rot. We use a John Innes loam based compost with extra grit added to improve drainage. Once the foliage has died back I would suggest leaving the pots in the sun and witholding water until winter. Most of our garden bulbs originate from the region around the Mediteranean, just think what the summer weather is like there!

9 Sep, 2010


Thank you one and all, I have had some really good advice that I will certainly follow I have learned a lot from your comments. Thanks again.........

9 Sep, 2010


Agree with Bulbaholic on the compost front - but also, I'm wondering whether you have unblocked drainage holes in the bottom of the pots? Are there drainage holes to let the water out? And the pots aren't standing in a tray or something to retain water?

10 Sep, 2010


Thank you Bamboo,
I have got drainage holes that I cover with crocks, but yes I do have them stood on a tray. Done everything wrong by the sound of things, but will know better next time.
Thanks again

10 Sep, 2010


Cranberry, next year raise the pots up off the ground using pot stands or flat pebbles. Te soil has to be free draining to enable bulbs to keep growing year on year.

10 Sep, 2010



11 Sep, 2010

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