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How to Force Bulbs to Bloom Indoors

Forcing spring bulbs is a delightful way to continue your gardening passion throughout the coldest month and bring a taste of spring and summer into your home.  Plus, it is simple and easy. Here's what you need to do.

Forcing Bulbs Indoors

"Cold Time for Indoor Bulbs"cathal-mac-an-bheatha-223618-unsplash

Many common bulbs need some "cold time" before they can be forced. Count backward 12-18 weeks from when you want them to bloom.

Daffodils, Narcissus, Tulips and Crocus are all going to need about 15 weeks of cold time before they will bloom indoors. Cold Time means 35-48 degrees, meaning you can keep them in your garage, unheated attic or even the fridge.

But first you need to plant them!

  • Standard potting soil
  • Plant bulbs close together
  • Flat side of tulip bulb facing the edge of the pot
  • Leave ¼ at top for watering
  • Remember to keep the soil moist!

Ready for Blooms?

It's easy, just pull the bulbs out of "cold time" and find a sunny spot.

  • Place in a warm, sunny window and wait. It will take a couple of weeks for them to sprout and bloom.
  • As hyacinth emerge, place in the dark to “draw out” the flower
  • For a longer bloom time - once the bulbs are in bloom, move to a cooler room at night.
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Forcing Amaryllis and Paperwhites

Good news, if you love amaryllis and paperwhites. They don't require any cold time! Just pop them into a pot and wait for them to bloom!

Want to learn more about bulbs? Read these other recent articles:

How to Plant Bulbs in Layers

Unique Perennial Bulbs for the Garden

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