How to Grow Flowering Bulb Plants in Pots / Naturalised Bulbs
Growing Flowering Bulb Plants
Daffodils and Narcissi
These may be grown in a mixture of 2 parts leaf mould (or peat), 1 partand 1 part coarse sand, or in bulb fibre and a little charcoal and silver sand, the latter being obtainable from garden sundries shops. Varieties of flowering bulb to flower at Christmas, like Soleil d’Or and Paper White, should be planted not later than early September; if these are available in August, so much the better.
The main batch of varieties such as Rembrandt and Golden Harvest (both good large trumpet varieties), Fortune, Geranium and Carlton, should be planted in October for March flowering. It is a good policy to plant at intervals, thus ensuring a long display of flowers.
If the flowering bulb plants for indoor flowering are in pots, with drainage holes, provision must be made for drainage. Arrange a layer of “crocks” (broken pots), about an inch deep at the bottom of the pot. Nearly fill the pots with fibre or bulb (use the latter for bowls), firm it slightly and plant the bulbs nearly touching, at such a depth that the tops only protrude above the fibre. Leave sufficient room for watering – about in a 5in Pot.
A 5in. pot is convenient for mostand narcissi, and will take 3 double-nosed bulbs of average size. Set the bulbs firmly and firm the fibre or bulb compost with your fingers.
The planting medium should be moist for best results. Keep the pots or bowls in a cupboard, or similar dark place, until the green tips of the leaves appear above the soil. They can also be plunged out of doors and covered with a 4in. layer of soil or fine ashes.
If the gardening pots or containers are kept in the dark, bring them out into the light when the shoots are 3ins. high. Stand them on a sunny window sill and examine daily for water requirement.
If plunged out of doors, bring the flowering bulbs inside when the leaves are about 3ins. high. This will mean examining them after about 6 to 8 weeks in the “plunge”.
The taller varieties will need some small stakes, as support, and thin material, like raffia, used for tying. The cooler one can grow daffodils and narcissi the sturdier the growth, and the longer the flowers will last, although the flowering period will be delayed slightly. As the leaves grow more freely, more water will be needed. Move the pots or bowls slightly each day, to obtain balanced growth.
Bulbs that have been grown in fairly cool conditions can be planted out of doors the following August. Continue to give water after the flowers go over, until the foliage dies down naturally.
Hyacinths in Pots or Bowls
Bulbs should be planted in September for Christmas flowering and specially prepared bulbs, which will flower earlier than un-prepared, can be obtained. These should be planted as soon as purchased. Later planting will mean later flowering; i.e. October planting gives flowers in March, under “home” conditions (i.e. not forced).
Hyacinths can be planted 3 bulbs to a bowl, and should be 1 inch apart. The depth of planting is such that the nose or tip of the flowering bulb just protrudes above soil level. Plant firmly.
Hyacinths can be kept in a dark place indoors or plunged out of doors as are daffodils. After about 3 months, bring the bowls into warmth, but keep fairly cool until the flower bud is clear of the neck of the bulb. A neat stake and tie, may be needed for each hyacinth but, here again, grow under as cool conditions as possible, for long-lasting flowers.
This is a very good light blue variety, and does well for early flowering in pots and bowls.
King of the Blues
This is a late variety and is an attractive indigo blue, having a very large spike.
A good variety for growing indoors. The flowers are red and keep their colour well.
For a white variety this is often the first choice. It is good for pots, bowls or bedding purposes.
This, a clear pink, is a favourite for indoor growing. The spike is broad and makes a bold display.
A light blue variety with large bells, forming a good spike. It is a very good variety for growing in bowls.
Grown for bedding and in pots. It is a salmon pink and makes a good display.
Daffodil and Narcissi Varieties
This is one of the largest-flowered varieties, rather tall for growing in bowls but a very easy variety to grow. It is one of the earliest to flower and a “must” for outdoor planting.
This is another very good variety, especially suitable for pots and bowls due to its moderate height. It is another early-flowering variety. Its flowers are large and golden yellow in colour.
Queen of Bicolours
This variety has a white perianth and canary yellow trumpet. It is a strong grower and one of the best garden varieties.
Large Cupped Narcissi:
This is a good variety for growing in pots or out of doors. It is a vigorous grower and the flowers are especially attractive. The perianth is yellow and the cup (trumpet) margined with orange red.
This is one of the best varieties in this group. Although rather tall, it does very well in pots or bowls as well as out of doors. It has a lemon yellow perianth, and a copper-orange cup.
This does well both out of doors and in pots or bowls. It has a creamy white perianth, and an orange cup.
Small Cupped Narcissi:
Like the rest of this group, this variety has smaller flowers than the varieties already mentioned. The white, flat perianth and crimson scarlet cup make this a most attractive variety for pots, bowls or outside.
These are not generally so popular as the other types, but the double trumpet daffodil, Van Sion, is grown both in pots and outside. It is good for early flowering in pots and also for naturalizing out of doors.
These are sometimes grown on the, and are also very suitable for growing in pots or bowls. One attractive variety is Shot Silk, which has several small flowers on a stem, all creamy white. It grows 12 to 15ins. high and for a bowl of bulbs with a difference can be thoroughly recommended.
These too, are useful for rock garden plantings, or in pots and bowls. An especially useful, easy to grow variety is March Sunshine. It is one of the earliest to flower in March, with reflexed yellow petalled flowers. It is very free flowering, and would be my choice if only one variety could be grown.
These have a charm of their own and the variety Campernelli, Orange Queen, is scented, with 3 or 4 golden orange flowers to each stem. It does well in pots and bowls.
These varieties have several flowers to a stem, and one of the easiest to grow is Geranium. It has broad, white petals with an orange scarlet cup. It does very well out of doors and also in pots.
The best known variety in this group is Actea – the Pheasant Eye type, and the broad flat, white flowers with the dark red eye, are particularly attractive.
The Miniature Narcissi:
These make very good plants for pots and bowls, especially the varieties 5 or 6ins. in height. They do best if grown as cool as possible, and should not be forced. If the bulbs are very small, some sorts may not flower during the first year. Plant the bulbs about 1in. apart in bowls rather than pots.
Some suitable species are: Narcissi Bulbocodium Conspicuus; N. Canaliculatus and N. Minimus, which is only 3ins. high. All these can be grown on the rockery as well as in bowls. If in the latter, stand them outside after flowering and keep well watered until the foliage dies down naturally.
If the soil is very heavy use the stronger-growing varieties like the trumpet and large cupped sorts.
Depth of planting of each flowering bulb should be 4 or 5ins. and this should be done in September and October.