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Create a Spectacular Tulip Show in Containers

by Amanda

The classic, colorful blooms of Tulips in early spring are often the most anticipated event for the enthusiastic gardener. However, many shy away from planting these early-blooming beauties because of hungry deer or limited space. This fall, try planting Tulips in large pots to not only protect them from hungry critters, but to create a spectacular show with little space and worry.

Choosing Varieties

When deciding what types of Tulips to plant in your containers, you can either plant all of the same type for a big show of color all at once, or plant different varieties that will bloom all season long. For an early burst of color, try any variety of Triumph Tulip, spectacular Red Emporer Tulips, charming Pink Impression, and more.

To create rolling color throughout the spring, try pairing early blooming Tulips with midseason bloomers and later bloomersfor a long-lasting show!


Plant your Tulips in pots at the same time in early fall that you would plant them in the ground. Any type of container will work, just make sure the pots are at least one foot tall and about 1.5 feet in diameter. Plant the Tulips at the same depth (around 5" deep) as you would in the ground and be sure to increase the amount of bulbs you plant/square foot. We recommend planting around 15-20 bulbs per container, if using the size we highlighted above. Once planted, be sure to give your bulbs a good watering to remove any air pockets.


We recommend placing your containers in a controlled environment, such as a cool garage or shed. You will want to make sure the Tulips are in a location that will protect them from completely freezing or becoming too warm. If you don't have an un-heated garage or shed, try a colder basement or other location, making sure to keep the bulbs just above freezing temperatures. After the initial watering, you will not need to worry about watering your Tulips until early spring. Once you notice the green shoots popping up in spring, bring the containers outside for display and water regularly.

Once your Tulips have finished blooming, you can either move the bulbs to the garden bed or compost them and plant some gorgeous summer-blooming annuals in their place!

Happy Gardening!