Forcing bulbs to get beautiful spring flowers this winter
If you can’t get enough of the beautiful and colorful flowers that bloom in spring, this article will teach you how to force bulbs so you can grow your favorite flowers indoors and enjoy their gorgeous colors and smell throughout the whole winter.
You can plant spring bulbs indoors, using pots. If amongst your favorites figure the hyacinths, narcissus, tulips, lilies of the valley, paper whites, and crocus; you are in luck since these flowers can be grown indoors without much trouble. Actually, if you plant them now, you’ll be able to see the beautiful blooms by the end of January or the beginning of February.
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But how can you force bulbs to get them to bloom during the winter season?
Well, the first thing about forcing bulbs indoor is to choose the right bulbs. You will need high quality bulbs, regardless of the flowers of choice that you might have in mind, larger bulbs that are top quality are highly recommended.
Once you’ve planned your indoor garden design, you have to separate the flowers by pots and ensure that the difference between each flower blooming time frame does not interfere with your design. Use clean plastic or clay pots and line the bottom of the pots with unbleached coffee filters before filling the pots with a mixture of three parts soil, two parts peat moss, and one part sand. Keep the pointy tips of the bulbs exposed above the soil, and leave about a quarter-inch of headroom at the top of the pot for watering.
You must water for the first time right after you’ve planted the bulbs, and then you have to make sure the soil remains moist and does not go dry. Your bulbs will need to be exposed to cold temperatures (i.e., 35 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit) during 12 – 13 weeks before they start growing and blooming.
Take advantage of the fall and its cooler temperatures if you live in an area with nice and cold climate. You can place the pots in an unheated attic, garage or basement, or simply try a cold frame outside. If by the time it’s November your hometown is actually freezing and stay consistently below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll need to insulate your pots with several layers of mulch before placing them in a cold frame.
If you don’t experience winter in your area, then you’ll have to place the pots in your refrigerator, covering them with a plastic bag and poking holes through the top to allow for airflow. Keep the bulbs away from freezing temperatures. The trick to force the bulbs is in exposing them to a temperature cold enough to trigger the early blooming but warm enough to eliminate the threat of freezing. Keep in mind that any temperature above 65 degrees Fahrenheit will also act against your bulbs. After the pots are in cold storage, mark your calendar with the appropriate removal date. Most flowers will bloom between 3 and 4 weeks after you pull them from storage.