Forcing bulbs to flower brings a bulb into flower before its natural flowering season and indoors, away from its natural surroundings.
Keep in mind…
Containers must be clean.
Select bulbs that look healthy, are firm and of high quality.
The number of bulbs depends on your container size, but an uneven number always works best, such as groups of 3 or 5.
Growing bulbs in soil is done by setting the bulb pointed end up on top of planting medium (consisting of equal amounts of potting soil, sand and perlite), so that the tip is the same height to the pot’s top. Space bulbs closely together without touching and fill with planting medium and water. Always moisten to damp consistency before planting. Place container in a cool and dark place (they can be covered in a box and kept in the fridge too) and keep moistened. After 12 weeks, the pot can be taken out, uncovered and moved to a light (indirect) area where you can feed and water them weekly. When the leaves and buds are firm the pot can be moved to a sunny window, but once flowering they should be moved to indirect light again.
After flowering, stems can be cut off and the pot moved to direct light. Let the leaves carry on growing and leave them to die back completely as this serves as food for next year’s flowers. Bulbs can now be planted out into the garden.
Growing bulbs in water (like hyacinths and narcissus) is possible and instead of soil, washed pebbles are used in a glass container and filled with water. Bulbs are secured in the pebbles, but not covered, and the container should stand in a cool, dark area until a flower cluster has emerged from the bulb (about 3 months) – after this, your bulb can be moved to a bright window sill. Note: bulbs will only grow one season in this method.
Bulbs planted in an attractive pot or glass vase makes for a fantastic ‘living’ gifts. Instead of taking someone flowers, why not grow your own stash of living bouquets!
Forcing bulbs to flower indoors consist of 6 easy steps:
1) prepare to give your bulbs 8 – 16 weeks of cold (check the kabel for guidence). Most bulbs need this with the exceptions being paperwhites and amaryllis.
2) Chill bulbs at a 40 degree angle in a dark and cool place like the fridge – but take care to keep them in a sealed tupperware container as ethylene gas from fruits and vegetables can keep bulbs from blooming.
3) Wait for about 4 weeks for the bulbs to root. Take the container to a cool spot with indirect light.
4) Place and plant the bulbs in the container you chose. Wait for shoots to turn into 10cm leaves and flower buds to appear.
5) Move to a warm, full sunny spot and wait for the flowers to open.
6) After the flowers have opened, move the container out of the sun so that the flowers will last longer.
Consider Forcing bulbs to flower from these top favorite bulbs:
– Tulip – spring flowering
– Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus Orientalis) – summer flowering
– Tuberous Begonia (Begonia Tuberhybrida) – summer flowering
– Caladium (Caladium Horulanum) – summer flowering
– Canna (Canna) – summer flowering
– Cyclamen coum – winter flowering
– Crocus – winter flowering
– Lily of the Valley (Convallaria Majalis) – summer flowering
– Dahlia (Dahlia) – summer flowering
– Gladiolus (Gladiolus) – winter flowering
– Hyacinths – winter flowering
– Amaryllis (hippeastrum) – summer flowering
– Iris (Iris)- summer flowering
– Daffodil (Paperwhite narcissi) – winter flowering
– Lily (Lilium) – summer flowering
– Calla Lily (Zantedeschia) – winter flowering