Spring bulbs in containers Zone 6 B


Hi in zone 6b I am told. Full sun and wet! I was going to attempt planting all my spring bulbs in pots and was told maybe they would not survive unless in a unheated garage. I purchased 12″ diameter,!2″high containers and have some plastic larger ones. Is this a pretty risky idea if next to the house or on the earth under low hoops with a few layers of floating row cover? Thanks!


Good Morning, 

I commend your efforts to think ahead and prepare your garden for the early spring. Autumn is the ideal time to plant spring bulbs, however our zone 6 Toronto winters are too cold to keep bulbs outside in containers unless they are in very large containers that are insulated and mulched well.  While planting next to the house or under row covers offers some frost protection containers above ground are more susceptible to freezing. So much so, that it is recommended to go at least two zones lower than your local zone. Alternatively, pots can be planted in the ground, where the earth provides insulation, to prevent repeated freezing and thawing.

For some additional suggestions for overwintering bulbs in containers please visit this recent Ask a Master Gardener post: Planting Bulbs in Containers for Spring Transplant.