Early Spring Flowers for Lifting Seasonal Depression

How to plant a pot with spring flowers that will give you a display from Feb to May. Seeing it's colors every day helps put a bounce back in your step.
This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of this site!

A splash of happiness on a cold spring day

For years, the first of my flowers emerge from low-maintenance planters that I set next to my front door. After the darkness of winter they never fail to put a smile on my face in those early months of spring. If you’re like me and really feel the affects of cold and dark winters then a planter like this is important. Early February is one of the low points and a bright display of flowers that I can see every day helps lift my mood and makes me feel more positive.

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your continued support of this site!

How to plant a pot with bulbs that will flower from February to May

Plant bulbs in the autumn for spring displays

A springtime planter is also one of the easiest gardening projects you can put together. The ones I plant require next to no effort and can be relied upon to put on a good show each spring. In February delicate Snowdrops emerge, then in March come the Crocus. In April and May tulips and Hyacinth bloom with an explosion of color and fragrance. After a long winter it’s exactly what you need to put a bounce back in your step.

How to plant a pot with bulbs that will flower from February to May

Plant a Spring Flowering Container

Most bulbs need to be planted in the Autumn and early winter so make sure to plan ahead. Source a variety of bulbs that will flower over an extended period. If flowers bloom at the same time, try to make sure that the colours work well together and to your taste. The packets of bulbs I bought contained between three and ten bulbs and includes:

How to plant a pot with bulbs that will flower from February to May

You will also need…

  • A pot around 1-1.5′ in diameter and 15″ deep. Ensure that it has drainage holes at the bottom.
  • Free-draining compost. For the DIY version, mix one part Perlite with two parts compost.
  • Broken pot shards, shale stone, or gravel for drainage
  • Gravel for finishing the top

How to plant a pot with bulbs that will flower from February to May

Fill the pot with your drainage materials

1Start by filling the bottom of your pot with broken pots or about an inch of gravel. This layer will help keep the soil above it in place and well drained. In other words it helps keeps your bulbs from drowning in the pot and the planting material from running out of the drainage hole.

How to plant a pot with bulbs that will flower from February to May

Plant the deepest bulbs

Add a layer of compost over the drainage materials about three inches deep. Next layer on the largest bulbs that need the deepest planting space — the bulb packet will tell you just how deep they should be. Space them out, no bulbs should be touching, and remember that the pointy ends of the bulbs are the tops. Sometimes your bulbs will already be sprouting and that will let you know how to place them.

After they’re laid out how you like, cover the bulbs with another layer of compost. The compost can just cover the tops but how deep you cover them is dependent on how deep the next layer of bulbs should be in the pot. Refer to your own bulbs for guidance on how deep this layer should be.

How to plant a pot with bulbs that will flower from February to May

Plant the second level of bulbs

Next layer on the second largest sized bulbs and try to space them out so that they don’t sit on top of the bulbs below. You can see in the photo above that a couple of the hyacinth bulbs from underneath are just peeking through the compost.

When your second layer of bulbs are spaced out, cover them with another layer of compost and then add a third layer of bulbs. You could even add a forth and fifth layer if you wish!

How to plant a pot with bulbs that will flower from February to May

 

Protect your pot’s soil with a layer of grit

Finish the top of the container with a layer of fine gravel or grit about 1/4″ to 1/2″ in depth. This last layer serves several purposes: it keeps the container from drying out, it helps keep soil from eroding out, it stops weeds from taking root, and it also looks nice. The bulbs below will be able to push their way through without any issue at all.

When you’re layering the grit or gravel on top, make sure to leave around 1/2″ of space between it and the top of the pot.

How to plant a pot with bulbs that will flower from February to May

Now for the waiting game

For the summer and winter months your container will look fairly barren and I’ll sometimes move it to a place that’s out of sight. If you live in a place with cold and snowy winters then consider placing it in a greenhouse or polytunnel during the winter.

In late January I bring the container out and set it by my front door. It’s such a delight to see the first succulent green leaves popping through the stones! A sure sign that spring is on its way.

How to plant a pot with bulbs that will flower from February to May

How to care for your bulbs

During the time that your plants are green and growing make sure to keep the compost moist by watering it every day. As the parade of flowers bloom try not to cut the leaves of the plants that are starting to die off. The leaves need to soak up as much sun-energy as possible so that next year’s display is just as beautiful.

In late spring your display will die off completely and it’s then that you can gently pull the brown leaves out. Set the pot somewhere until autumn when you should empty, organize, and replant the bulbs.

Ideally you should empty your containers every year. Since they’re growing in such an enclosed space they’ll need new compost and also some separating — many bulbs will grow larger or even make babies which means even more flowers for next year.

Also note that some bulbs might not survive the winter, especially in very cold climates — these include Dahlias and Calla Lilies. You can lift and store these after their leaves have browned and then replant them again in the spring. Alternatively, you can move your container into a greenhouse over winter. Check the bulbs you’re using and think of your own climate.

 

How to plant a pot with spring flowers that will give you a display from Feb to May. Seeing it's colors every day helps put a bounce back in your step.

Sign up for the Lovely Greens Newsletter here.
Find Lovely Greens also on: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest
Browse Lovely Greens handmade soap and beauty products here.

6 Discussion to this post

  1. Lovely helpful post, Tanya. It's easy to do once you know how and you've definitely covered all the important points. I have summer bulbs coming up in my pot as well (lilies) so their foliage hides the tatty tulip and daff leaves. And, even though we're barely into September, I saw the first blades of a bulb (not sure which, possibly narcissi) pushing up in my shade border just a couple of days ago!

  2. deebi27 says:

    I love this idea for the welcoming of Spring. Now to convince hubby of this…he like flowers to bloom steading spring to fall, lol! Thank you to Pinterest!

  3. Linda says:

    Thank you, I have learned a lot from this post. Mine is all over in the garden with no focus point. Now i know what to do!! Thanks I appreciate!

Leave a Reply

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