Reuse of Bulbs from Containers

Table of Contents

Many potted bulbs can be saved for reuse, though hybrid tulips will not put on the same quality of repeat show as hyacinth or narcissus. Fall is the optimal time to plant out saved bulbs and get the highest survival rate. Planting them out in spring is worth a try if you have no place for storage or are just eager to get them into the garden. Be sure to choose a location with well-drained soil whether planting in spring or fall.

For spring planting:

If you’d like to try planting your potted bulbs into the garden in spring, do it as soon as the blooms fade and the soil outside is workable.

  1. Leave all the green leaves and all the potting soil around the roots in place.
  2. Transplant into a hole in the garden deep enough for the top of the potting soil clump to be level with the garden soil surface.
  3. Water thoroughly after planting.

For fall planting:

Potted bulbs to be planted in fall still need sun and water, after flowering, to rebuild energy reserves before storage.

  1. Continue watering the bulbs regularly until the leaves yellow.
  2. When the leaves are brown and dry, dump the container to retrieve the bulbs and lay them out to dry.
  3. Once dry, brush off any soil and trim off dead leaves before storing in a cool dry location until fall planting time.
  4. Plant bulbs with the pointed side up. You will see some shriveled roots on the flatter side.
  5. The bulbs should be planted at a depth of about three times their diameter.
  6. Mix some bone meal or superphosphate into the soil at the bottom of the hole at planting time. This encourages strong roots.
  7. Cover the bulbs with soil. Water after planting, to help them settle, closing any air pockets.

If you’d like to add to your planting and create a spring bulb garden that blooms over a long time, then check out our tips for Planning a Long Blooming Bulb Garden.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Posts You Will Love

How to Repot a Plant

Knowing when and how to repot a plant is essential for its long-term health. Follow our tips to learn how to repot a plant to keep it healthy, with plenty of room to grow.

How to Sterilize & Clean Plant Pots

Cleaning and sterilizing plant pots is an easy process that can go far in protecting your plants and extending the life of you pots. Whether your pots are clay, terracotta, plastic, wood, or metal, you can learn effective ways to clean and disinfect each.