It may be Fall outside, but you can make it Spring on the inside by forcing bulbs to bloom over the winter.
If you’re like me you enjoy planting bulbs around your yard each year to help usher in the spring season. But did you know you can force bulbs to bloom indoors even in the wintertime? It’s a simple way to make a dramatic impact around your home.
Here’s how to force bulbs into bloom:
Chilling the bulbs
Bulbs you plan to force need to have been refrigerated for at least 8 weeks. If you plan to chill them yourself, make sure you store them away from fruits and vegetables to avoid any exposure to the gases they emit. Some bulbs like paperwhites (my favorite) do not require this amount of chilling and can be potted using the package instructions.
Here are just a few of the bulbs that can be forced to bloom indoors:
- Paperwhites (my favorites)
- Dutch Iris
Potting the bulbs
- Pick a pot that is clean and and has a drainage hole. Fill the pot halfway with potting soil.
- Add as many bulbs as possible without them touching each other.
- Cover the bulbs with potting mix, leaving just the tips showing.
- Water the bulbs periodically.
- Move the potted bulbs into the sun when you begin to see growth.
If dirt in the house isn’t your thing, you may want to try forcing paperwhites to bloom. I love them because they don’t require dirt to grow indoors. Here’s how to do it:
- Find a clear glass or plastic vase with no drainage holes.
- Pour in 2-3 inches of glass or pebbles.
- Add 3-4 bulbs per vase.
- Fill with water to just below the bottom of the bulbs.
Some bulbs do not require chilling and can be forced immediately. These are perfect for those of you who haven’t had time to plan ahead.
Have you ever tried forcing bulbs to bloom? What was your experience like?
For more information about forcing bulbs indoors, visit http://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/bulbs/forcing-spring-bulbs/