Planting Spring Bulbs in Bowls

02 Mar, 2022

If you are looking for a way to display your spring bulbs in a tight, beautiful display outside on the patio or inside without cutting them, try planting them in pots and bowls instead. Here are some tips and information about creating these displays.

Bowls vs pots

Spring bulbs can be grown in many different containers – as long as they have adequate drainage holes. Pots can offer a range of different growth heights – where some bulbs can be planted deeper than others, and they will all grow together within the same time frame – making for a tight and natural looking bouquet. Bulb ‘Bowls’ are usually wider and flatter, offering more soil surface for the bulbs to sprout from and grow.


Bulb spacing and sizes will depend on how many you can put in a bowl without out restricting their blooms or growing habits. If you are looking at planting daffodils – larger pots and bowls will be needed as their bulbs are much larger, where as small crocus corms can be planted in tighter pots, or planted closer together.


All spring bulbs need free-draining mix to grow in. Garden beds are great but what about pots?
The best mixes to use are specific bulb mixes or potting mix. Both of these do not contain water crystals or lightly absorbent medium, meaning rot will be less likely to happen.


Always take note of what positions your spring bulbs need. Most enjoy full sun, but some can withstand part shade and are happier under trees or with morning sun.


Both spring and summer bulbs are light feeders as they store their energy within the bulbs. Over time they will need a little boost – especially if their blooms are getting trimmed each year. We recommend giving them a light sprinkle of slow-release Kings Bulbs food once a year either as they sprout, or begin to fade.

Water bowls

Some bulbs (Hyacinths, tulips and daffodils) can also be grown in water, or clean pebbles with water for different displays. The roots of the bulbs will happily grow in water – however if the bulb gets too wet, it will become waterlogged and rot.

Hyacinth glasses are wide at the bottom and narrow at the top, ensure that the glass is filled to the narrow point and place the bulb on top, with the roots in the water only.

Otherwise, put pebbles in the bottom of a wide glass bowl and put the bulbs on top, pushing them in a little so they won’t roll around. Fill the bowl with water but make sure the bottom of the bulbs sit just above the water line.

The bulbs will start to grow within two weeks. Most bulbs grown this will will not produce the following year as this exhausts all the bulbs energy – making this a one-time display.

Spring Bulbs

Here is a list of our most popular bulbs and the info you will need for planting them in bowls.
If you are new to spring bulbs, click HERE for all your basic information.


Bulb size: Large
Spacing: 8cm deep, 10cm apart
Bowl/Pot sizing: Large/ at least 20cm deep
Position: Full sun
Extra info: Slugs love daffodils so if you are getting holes in the leaves, use some Tui Quash around them.


Bulb size: Small
Spacing: 5cm apart
Bowl/Pot sizing: Small to medium/ plant 6cm deep
Position: Full sun to part shade
Extra info: Freesias can be naturalised in the garden if left – if you want to replant them lift them in December, dry them and replant them in March.


Bulb size: Medium to large
Spacing: 3-5cm apart
Bowl/Pot sizing: Small to large/ Can be grown with soil just covering the bulbs, or can be planted to a depth of 10cm.
Position: Full Sun
Extra info: Hyacinth bulbs need chilling so their flowers don’t become stunted. Chill for 4-6 weeks in the fridge.


Bulb size: Medium
Spacing: 10cm deeps, 1-2cms apart!
Bowl/Pot sizing: Small to large / Tuilps can be packed in together for a stunning display!
Position: Full sun to part shade
Extra info: Tulips need to be chilled prior to planting in the fridge. We recommend 6-8 weeks of chilling before planting.


Bulb size: Small
Spacing: 2-5cm apart
Bowl/Pot sizing: Small to large/ 5-8cms deep
Position: Full sun to part shade
Extra info: These are happy under trees with dappled light, to full sun positions.


Bulb size: Small
Spacing: 5-7cm apart
Bowl/Pot sizing: Small to large/ 2-3cms deep
Position: Full sun
Extra Info: Anemones need chilling for 3-4 weeks in the fridge. Soak the ryzomes in water for a couple of hours before planting.


Bulb size: Small
Spacing: 8cm apart
Bowl/Pot sizing: Small to large/ 2-3cms deep
Position: Full sun (Part shade for cut flowers)
Extra Info: Anemones need chilling for 3-4 weeks in the fridge. Soak the ryzomes in water for a couple of hours before planting.

‘Lasagne’ Planting

This is a term for bulb layering when planting. This can be done in the garden or in deeper pots.
First leave about 10cm of soil in the bottom of the pot, then choose your large to medium-sized (daffodils) bulbs and plant them with the correct spacing on top. Cover with 5cms of potting mix, them choose your medium to small bulbs (tulips/ hyacinth). Again cover these with 5cm of soil and then add in your last later of small bulbs (crocus, freesias and anemones).

Always water well after planting, and water as the temperature warms up when dry.

Share this post