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Layered planting

Layered planting is a great way of creating a potted bulb display that’s full of colour and interest – it will also change and evolve as spring progresses. It’s a simple process where different bulbs are planted in layers in a container to create an extended period of flowering as the different blooms come and go. It’s a great idea if you’re tight on space, as it allows you to grow several different bulbs in one pot. You’ll fit three layers in a pot that’s 30cm deep and be sure to mix contrasting or complementary colours for the best results.  

 

For this guide for spring flowering bulbs the Crocus will herald the imminent arrival of spring and as they fade, and the days draw out; they will be replaced with the Minnow Narcissi. Then even before the Narcissi have gone the pot will be alive with the vibrant variegated foliage of Tulip Red Riding Hood, which eventually turns into a blaze of flame red flowers. 

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What you’ll need:

Ingredients:  

  • 35cm pot 
  • Peat free multi-purpose compost
  • Crocks / gravel 
  • 3 x Terracotta pot feet 

Bulbs and Plants:  

  • 20 x Crocus 
  • 20 x Narcissi Minnow 
  • 18 x Dwarf Tulip Red Riding Hood 
  • 6 x Winter Flowering Pansies 

Follow our step-by-step guide: 

  • Place 50mm of crock / gravel in the base of the terracotta pot for drainage

  • Fill the pot halfway with peat free multi-purpose compost

  • Place the Tulips upright and spaced evenly on the surface of the compost

  • Cover with compost carefully, leaving just the tips showing

  • Place the Narcissus upright and spaced evenly on the surface of the compost

  • Cover with compost carefully, leaving just the tips showing
  • Place the Crocus upright and spaced evenly on the surface of the compost 
  • Cover with compost carefully, leaving just the tips showing

  • Plant winter flowering Pansies at the top for winter colour

  • Move the pot to a sunny location once the bulbs begin to grow. Water regularly while the bulbs are growing and flowering

Aftercare: 

  • Prevent the pot from becoming waterlogged by standing in a sheltered spot and raised from the ground with terracotta pot feet

  • After flowering, feed the plants with potash feed and let the leaves die back naturally.  When all the leaves have died back, lift the bulbs, and plant out in the garden ready for flowering next year.