Q&As/Bulbs and Tubers/Planting Over Bulbs

Question

I have a large patio pot planted with tulip bulbs. During winter it looks bare - is it alright to plant some primulas and pansies over the bulbs which have not sprouted yet? Or should I wait for the bulbs to sprout and then plant only in the gaps?

Answer

You can definitely plant your primulas and pansies on top of your bulbs at this time of year. They take little nutrients from the soil and their shallow root system means they will not impact the dormant bulbs. Water the primulas and pansies sufficiently so they don’t wilt, but be careful not to over water as this could adversely impact the dormant bulbs in the container and cause them to rot.

Around August/September remove your primulas and pansies to allow space for your bulbs to grow. When the green foliage starts to appear through the soil, feed bulbs by applying a side dressing of Daltons Premium Bulb Fertiliser to promote healthy, vigorous blooms. Once they have finished flowering, feed bulbs again to support them in bulking up their stores for next season. 

At the end of the season, once flowers have finished, let the leaves brown and die down naturally to protect the plant and ensure maximum nutrients have been stored in the bulb for the next season’s flowering.

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