planting bulbs in pots for indoors

(10 Posts)
MissBoPeep Sun 14-Oct-12 11:20:22

Can anyone help? When the bulbs in pots come into stores, they are all planted with the bulbs set high in the compost- not buried. It gives them a nice "look".

Can anyone tell me why and if it's okay to do this at home- i thought bulbs only grew in the dark? if you plant them with the bulb exposed, does this mean they have to be kept in a dark cupbaord etc until the spout?

GreeenFingers Sun 14-Oct-12 14:07:44

The bulbs are in now. Do you want to grow them outside or inside as indoor bulbs are treated differently.
When planting bulbs, put them in about 3x the depth of the bulb. Use bulb fibre ( it doesn't get waterlogged)
With paperwhites, those lovely smelling ones, you plant them on mostly gravel quite closeley packed and not too deep. Bear in mind they will come into flower just a few weeks later so check when is the best time to plant if you want them for Xmas. The same applies to indoor crocuses.
If you don't have a proper garden centre nearby, I'd suggest going to Wilkinsons. The bulbs are of a good quality amd large .They are also well priced.

lunar1 Sun 14-Oct-12 14:09:27

Watching this as I would like to plant some for christmas

GreeenFingers Sun 14-Oct-12 14:09:37

Hyacinths are a different matter. By treated ones for " forcing" and not those intended for outdoor planting. Bulb fire again, not tooo deep, keep dark. I'd suggest any of the RHS sites for further information.

RonettePulaski Sun 14-Oct-12 14:23:29

I've got some bulb vase things, I've never known what or when to plant them

My mother always had hyacinths in a bowl at Christmas

I'd quite like some too so am watching with interest

purplewithred Sun 14-Oct-12 15:31:11

I think this is mostly right:

Bulbs need a period of cold first, then light and warmth to trigger growth. Ones sold for indoors have been pre-chilled so are ready to start growing in your warmer lighter place.

A bulb basically has everything stored inside that it needs to flower in the coming season: some can even manage without any water. So you can plant them artfully proud of the growing medium in a delightful little container a la Waitrose/Sarah Raven/Martha Stewart, or perched on water in one of those pretty bulb thingies like your mum, or just lying around on a windowsill somewhere, and if they have some light and warmth and enough moisture they will get on and do their flowery thing.

Now is too early to plant paperwhites for xmas - they tend to take about 6 weeks to flower (IME) but if you leave it till then to buy them they will all be gone. So you have to buy them now, and then keep them somewhere cool and dark until you want to plant them - I keep mine in the fridge.

Which reminds me - must buy some...

MissboPeep Sun 14-Oct-12 16:15:03

Thanks all- maybe I hadn't explained this very well...
I am not a novice gardener- I've been planting bulbs out side in the garden and in pots all weekend!

What I need to know is- you know when you buy pots of bulbs almost in flower in Waitrose etc in Dec and Jan? Well they are packed together on TOP of the compost- not under it ( 2-3 times their depth) as you'd plant in borders or outside pots.

Well, how do they grow like this? I know that hyacinths do- but other bulbs like grape hyacinth ( muscari) , narcisis etc.

GreeenFingers Tue 16-Oct-12 14:09:35

I'll get back to you on that one. You'll save a fortune doing your own as waitrose cost a packet.

bumperella Tue 16-Oct-12 22:36:32

The traditional pots (eg the blue-and-white Dutch bowls) have no/little drainage, so planting with their noses poking out the top helps them not rot.
And forcing them indoors means that the plant tends not to generate enough energy for the following year, so no need to worry about making them develop good foliage etc.
Also burying them deeper protects them over the summer (from beasties and excessive wet etc) but that doesn't matter for indoor ones.

I put mine in pots with noses poking out and put them in a dark place (cupboard) until the shoot appears. Also, if you plant them into individual pots then you can select ones that are at the same stage of growth to put into a group - just put the pots into your display bowl and disguise the top with moss or whatever.

Track down Gardeners' World from a week or two back - Monty had a section on planting pots for Christmas.

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