How to Force Bulbs to Bloom Indoors
however the flowers may also bring with them a bad case of Spring Fever.
The Bulb Forcing ProcessThe best containers for forcing bulbs are Azalea pots or bulb pans.
Azalea pots are 3/4 of the height of normal size pots.
However... you can use anything that you'd use for other houseplants as long as it drains well.
Since a bulb contains all the nutrients that it needs to bloom the first year, the planting mix doesn't necessarily have to provide any nutrients, but I have found that using a good potting soil makes it much easier to transplant the bulbs to the garden later. The addition of bone meal or bulb food will help the bulbs prepare for an afterlife in the garden.
The pot should be filled one-half to three-quarters full with potting mix and then moistened.
Gently press the bulbs into the soil with the broad base down, and the nose pointed up.
They should be arranged as close together as possible without touching each other or the pot.
Face the flat side of Tulip bulbs toward the outside of the pot.
Barely cover the bulbs with additional potting mix and water gently until the soil is thoroughly moistened.
Add a little more soil if settling has exposed the bulbs.
Now the pot must be placed in a dark, cool area for 12 weeks or longer.
The temperature must remain below 48° F. but above freezing (35°-40° is recommended).
Total darkness is best, but if you are chilling the bulbs in the refrigerator don't worry about the light coming on when you open the door.
Growing your flowering bulbsOnce the roots of the chilling bulbs begin to grow out of the drainage holes in the pots, or the new shoots begin to show at about twelve weeks, give the bulbs a gradual transition to warmth.
The bulbs can be separated by gently and slowly pulling them apart.
Unfortunately, forcing takes a lot out of a bulb so it may not bloom again for many seasons.
Bulbs should never be forced a second time, always start with NEW BULBS!
Bulbs that are Suitable for Forcing
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