Forcing Bulbs Indoors For Winter Blooms
Imagine the dreary months of January and February…..dull, bleak, windy…brrrr. Here’s a lovely way to add a touch of spring inside the home: prepare bulbs ahead of time to bloom indoors during these cold, snowy months. It’s easy to do, too!
To force bulbs to bloom it is important to choose a flower pot with good drainage so the bulbs won’t rot. Cover the bottom with gravel, then top with potting soil.
It will take 13 – 15 weeks of “chilling” for the bulbs to be ready. Bulbs are readily available in the fall, so this is the time to prepare.
Position the desired amount of bulbs on top of the soil with the pointy side up and roots down. You can place them as close as you want to but don’t let them touch each other or the sides of the pot. Cover the bulbs with soil, leaving the tips exposed. Water thoroughly and allow to drain.
Place the pot in a cool, dark location (unheated garage, basement or garden shed). Make sure the location does not drop below freezing. For the next 13 weeks just water the bulbs sparingly to make sure the soil does not dry out.
When they are ready to be moved indoors you will see roots in the drainage holes at the bottom of the pots or new stem growth at the top that is about 2” high.
It is now time to move them indoors. Place them in your coolest room with some light at first. Water thoroughly once you bring them in. After a few days, you should notice some new plant growth. They may them need to be moved to a warmer area. For the next three weeks you should see the shoots grow, and then blossom!