From My Garden to Yours
September 22, 2019

Spring Blooming Bulb Lasagna

It’s time to get started on planting my spring bulbs which I usually plant as a single variety. This year, I’m trying out bulb lasagna with a variety of bulbs in one container. It’s easy! Just layer the bulbs according to recommended depth. This can be done directly in your garden or in a container.

I love bulbs in containers because it makes it easy to move them according to the season. Over the winter, they’re in full sun, then as they start to bloom in the spring, I move them to where I’ll see them as much as possible. I put small containers on my kitchen window shelf. After blooming, I water the containers until the foliage dies. Then I set the containers aside for the summer while they are dormant. I usually repot the containers about every two years to freshen the potting soil. I always use containers with a drainage hole, even if we have to drill ourselves.

For this container, I included: daffodils (Narcissus), hyacinth (Hyacinthus), grape hyacinth (Muscari) paperwhites (Narcissus), and Dutch iris (Iris × hollandica). Besides the beauty of these flowers together, it’s also a long-blooming container as they won’t all be blooming at the same time. Though there will be some overlap.

As a rule, bigger bulbs are planted deeper and smaller bulbs are planted shallowly. In the first layer, I placed hyacinth and daffodil bulbs. Next, paperwhites and Dutch iris bulbs. Lastly, a sprinkling of grape hyacinth bulbs. As I was planting, I mixed in bulb food with the soil throughout.

Hyacinth & daffodil bulbs, then more soil added.
Paperwhite and Dutch iris bulbs, then a couple inches more soil.
Grape hyacinth bulbs and then just about an inch of soil.

Does it matter if any bulbs overlap? No. The bulb sprouts will grow around any bulbs above them.

Can you add other plants? Yes. For my next container, I’m planning on pansies as they do well in my zone over the winter.

Tips for Cold Zones

I’m in 9b which is pretty temperate, but in colder zones, there are other considerations for bulbs in containers:

  • You can insulate the container with mulch on top – like leaves, pine needles, etc. But you can also place plants as the top layer.
  • If you’re in a deep freeze zone, the containers may need to be protected in a cellar, shed or greenhouse. Depending on the temperate, the containers may need to be wrapped for insulation.
  • If the soil may freeze, you might want to use a plastic container that won’t break when the contents expand.
  • If you do store the containers, be sure that mice and other rodents can’t get into them.
  • Once past your last deep freeze, bring out the containers and keep moist.

This bulb lasagna container is a birthday gift. My daughter inked a paint stir stick with calligraphy message and sprayed it with lacquer so it won’t bleed. The birthday girl just needs to water it and wait for the bulb foliage to emerge.

Small Bulbs

  • Chionodoxia
  • Crocus
  • Freesia
  • Fritillaria uva-vulpis
  • Grape Hyacinth

Medium Bulbs

  • Dutch Iris
  • Iris Reticulata
  • Galanthus
  • Tulip

Large Bulbs

  • Allium
  • Daffodils
  • Hyacinth
  • Lilies

Did I leave out any of your favorites? Comment below and let me know!

2 Thoughts

  1. Shannon Carr on December 3, 2019

    Ahhhh! I am in zone 6a and my bulbs have begun sprouting! It’s a little early for that.. by a lot. HA! I do have them in containers in my unheated garden room. I insulated them with bubble wrap b/c it will freeze in there and the containers were taken from someone’s trash on bulk day… so they must be old and probably will crack. HAHAHA By the way, I didn’t go garbage picking, my friend did and she was thinking of me. lol I love her! Anyway, if they sprout, it’s safe to say they will not bloom in spring? Not all are sprouting, should I just put my pots outside and hope for the best? I don’t know what to do. Hellllllllllp!

  2. gardening-for-purple on December 3, 2019

    I don’t know that sprouting now means that they won’t bloom in the spring. It seems like the bulb is waiting for temps to become warm enough to bloom. If there is sunlight to sustain the sprouts, I would be inclined to keep the containers in your garden room and/or add grow lights. In any case, I am all for garbage picking. I look for garden stuff to scavenge all the time. Let me know if they do last until spring and if they sprout. It’s a good experiment! 🙂

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