Will Tulip Bulbs Flower In Pots?

Updated/Fact-Chacked on March 1, 2022 by John

Many people love tulips. This flower is pretty as a picture and you can use it to bring colour and beauty to your garden. Tulips come in many varieties and relative to other plants, they can be much easier to maintain.

On many occasions, people plant their bulbs firstly in a pot and then replant them into the ground after blooming. Well, not everybody has the land to be able to replant their bulbs. People living in apartments, for example.

Also some people would like the enjoy their tulips unseasonably early.

So, this raises the question of whether it’s possible for tulips to grow in pots, or if they can only grow in the ground.

Fortunately, tulip bulbs can grow perfectly well in pots after they start blooming. Tulips naturally don’t need a lot of space to thrive. So, if in a large pot, the bulbs should be able to flower and do well.

However, for potted tulip bulbs to flower properly, there’s a few things you should do. Read on to discover what exactly.

tulip bulbs containers
tulips grown in containers

How to Make Your Potted Tulips Bulbs Thrive


Plant tulips at the end of autumn, ideally when the weather starts to turn cold which kills off any disease they are susceptible to.



Don’t just put the bulbs in a pot without providing how excess water will flow away. The bulbs will destroy if the pot is saturated with moisture. There should be a simple drainage opening in the pot through which excess water can pass.


After planting, ensure you properly water the soil. In most cases, bulbs don’t bloom well in pots because the soil is not properly watered. Remember, there should be an opening through which excess water in the pot can pass out as too much water is as bad as too little.


You can’t just use any soil. You should combine potting soil and sandy soil for the tulip’s optimal surroundings.

When planting the tulip bulb in the pot, plant the bulb so that its pointy tip is just poking out of the soil.

Forcing Tulips

If you want to have a much earlier bloom, you can do what is called ‘forcing’ a tulip.

To do this, you first need to chill the potted tulip bulbs for 12 to 16 weeks in a cool and dark place. The vegetable drawer in the fridge is a perfect place. A garage is another good place. Lightly water these pots once a week.

After leaves appear, take the bulbs out of the fridge or garage and then put them somewhere where they will get bright light. This light should not be over strong direct sunlight, however.

Keep them well watered and turn them regularly once in the light. In around 3 weeks of being in the light, your tulips should start to flower.

You can have winter-long colour by properly timing the bringing out of your tulip pots from cold storage. You can optionally plant the forced tulip in the garden once the threat of winter has passed to extend its life.

Certain breeds of tulip such as Triumph Tulips do much better than others when ‘forced’.


Tulip bulbs can flower very well in pots as long as the correct procedures and guidelines are taken. They can also flower much earlier during the winter if ‘forced’. Try it and enjoy some ‘happy’ springtime colour before anybody else in your neighbourhood.