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Can anyone help, was watching Gardners World on Friday past and Monty was talking about Tulips, which I love, how to care for them, but what he said was you are probably better buying news bulbs every season and disregarding the old one's as they do not flower very well the next year, so what I found puzzling was that Carol Klien has pots and pots of Red tulips displaying at Glebe Cottage every year, now does she replace all them pots every year. It would interesting to know. As I started growing tulips in pots last year and had a lovely display but this year they were not great which I put down to the bad winter we had. So was wondering do I start all over again!


If you want a fabulous display, probably yes.  If you noticed, Monty lifted his tulips and planted them in a nursery bed out of the way, where they'll carry on growing until the bulbs have grown enough to produce another fine display, I think he said it would be about 3 or 4 years.  If you have the room you could do that but you'll still need to buy new ones for a good display next year.

I did notice him putting the bulbs into a nursery bed for cut flowers for the house, but I'm afraid I don't have the room, so it look's like I will just have to buy news bulbs!


I grow some tulips in pots each year - after they've flowered I give them some general fertiliser and a good watering and put them in a corner until the foliage dies down. Then I dry them off and put them in a warm dry place (bottom shelf in the mini greenhouse usually) .  

In November I plant them out in the herbaceous border and buy some new ones for the pots.  

The ones in the border flower for several years, perhaps not as big and lush as the first year, but they still look beautiful. 


Mine usually reflower in the borders, especially yellow Darwin ones - they've been coming up for over 15 years.


before I knew any better I grew tulips every year...the same red and yellow simple types.  now only a few flower each year.  i guess its down to the type.  not too sure theyre worth growing..........theyre 'orrible things anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I'll get my coat)

If you saw Carol's excellent program "Life in a Cottage Garden", you would have spotted that Carol seems to buy tulip bulbs by the bag full every year and plants those up In pots using a gravely compost (to aid drainage).  Carol doesn't plant in the open ground because her soil is heavy.

No I never saw Carol's program on "Life in a Cottage Garden", when was that on? I would have liked to have seen it.

First shown a couple of years ago, and a shortened version repeated earlier this year. I think some of the episodes are on YouTube.


Alan Titchmarsh once asked an elderly lady gardener how she managed to get a good display of tulips in the ground year after year without digging up and replanting.  She said she buried the bulbs 9 inches deep - safely out of danger from most heavy frosts and rodents which eat the bulbs in the ground.

I planted 300 tall, well bred tulips one year but they didn't succeed - must have deep burrowing rodents - so now I plant the smaller botanical varieties and they do fine and come back year after year and have dainty flowers and foliage.  Love em.

I'm a tulip addict, but not the fringy/parrot or paony types, as those have failed after year 2. I always manage to keep the Darwins coming back plus the Lily one's seem pretty reliable. I do put all the potted ones in the garden after they have died back to fill spaces. Then joy of joys I repot with new ones. However, does anyone else think that the brochures sell the same colours and just change the names??

I am a novice gardener, infact just starting out this month but I really enjoy gardening and planning. I have a small patio garden, that faces south, so I need to grow in pots etc..... I have lots of pots and containers.

1. Do I need special potting compost/soil to grow bulbs?

2. What varieties of bulbs would be good to plant in pots?

Thanks everyone. Cathy

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