Picture of grow a pot of bulbs for the holidays
Growing Narcissus bulbs in a container is a time honored fall tradition. Bulbs will sprout, grow buds and blossom within 6-10 weeks of planting, providing you with a gorgeous show this holiday season.
p.s. There are tons of narcissus beyond paperwhites - experiment away!
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Gather your supplies.

Picture of Gather your supplies.
- 4 bulbs
- a container at least 8" wide and deep*
- soil to fill
- trowel (optional - go ahead and get your hands dirty!)
- moss or pebbles to cover the soil 
*make sure your container has at least one hole in the bottom to let water drain through

Step 2: Fill your container to within 3" of the top.

Picture of Fill your container to within 3
When you plant bulbs in pots, you want to place them as high as possible, to give their roots room to grow.

Step 3: Nestle the bulbs into the soil.

Picture of Nestle the bulbs into the soil.
Space them out evenly around the pot, and keep the pointy side upright. The top of the bulbs should be just about level with the top of the container.

Step 4: Fill the container to the top with soil.

Picture of Fill the container to the top with soil.
finish with moss.jpg
Tamp the soil down gently with your fingers to secure the bulbs in place. You don't need to cover the tops of the bulbs. Cover the soil with moss or rocks for a finished look.

Step 5: Water well.

Picture of Water well.
Use enough water that some runs out the bottom of the container. The first watering is important - make sure the soil beneath the moss gets soaked.

Step 6: Next steps....

Picture of Next steps....
Set outside and water every few days, keeping the soil damp.  When green leaves start to sprout, bring the container inside to enjoy watching the bulbs grow. Keep watering every few days.
You could also leave the container outside in the garden and enjoy the blooms there.
kathynv2 years ago
You say to "set it outside." Does it matter if the nighttime temperatures are below freezing? It's often in the forties as high temps this time of year (which is the week before Thanksgiving). I'd hate to have my garden become a gardensicle! Or do the bulbs need some period of cold before they bloom? Thanks so much.
StemandLeaf (author)  kathynv2 years ago
Hi -
If temps are below freezing, it would be better to grow the bulbs inside. Grow them in a cool area of your house (garage, basement etc) for the first week or so to get some roots growing. Then bring inside to a bright spot and watch the show! If you are planting paperwhites or similar narcissus, they don't need a winter chill. Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions!