You do still have time to force bulbs for late winter and early spring house flowers. You will also know what to do and not do for next falls forced bulb flower display.
This Information is provided by Home Forcing of Daffodils (Narcissus)
* The proper forcing cultivars must be selected for the desired flowering periods. This is necessary since all cultivars are not suitable for all flowering periods.
* After being rooted and cooled, they should be placed in a well lighted 60 to 63 degree area in the home. On the average, the bulbs will take about 3 to 4 weeks to flower.
* Selection of the proper cultivars for the desired period is very important. It is strongly suggested, since some cultivars may be in short supply, that bulb orders be placed with your bulb dealer in the spring to ensure that they will be ready to begin the forcing process in the fall.
Potting soil The purpose of the planting medium is to anchor the bulbs and to supply moisture. Thus, the planting medium must be well drained and yet retain sufficient moisture for growth of the bulbs. A good mixture would be 1 part loamy soil, 1 part peat, and 1 part sand. Fertilizer should not be added to the mixture.
Use only clean pots with adequate drainage holes. Six to 8-inch diameter pots can be used. If they have been previously used, clean and rinse the pots thoroughly. If they are new plastic pots, be sure the holes in the bottom or sides of the pot are open. When clay pots are to be used, it is advisable to soak them overnight prior to planting so they will not draw moisture from the planting soil.
* It is extremely important that all flower bulbs be handled with care. They are living plants and should not be dropped or subjected to extremely high or low temperatures. After purchasing, keep the bulbs in well ventilated area. If they are in paper bags, open the bag to allow maximum air movement. If possible, store them in open trays. Keep the bulbs in a room with a temperature between 45 and 50 degrees. Bulbs can be stored for several weeks at these temperatures. Temperatures above 63 degrees should be avoided.
* Planting can take place any time from mid-September to December, depending on the desired date of flowering, and the type of storage used. As a general rule, for early flowering, plant early, and for late flowering, plant late. For flowering in late December, the planting must be done in mid-September. For February flowering, the bulbs should be planted in mid-October and for March and April, in mid-November.
When planting, the pot should be loosely filled with enough soil so the nose of the bulb will be even with the top of the pot. Place 3 to 4 daffodils in a 6-inch diameter pot and more in larger pots.
Do not press the bulbs into the medium! The medium under the bulbs should be loose so rooting will take place quickly. When covering the bulbs, do not fill the entire pot. Fill only to within 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the top so the plants can be more easily watered.
In the house, place the plants in an area with a temperature of approximately 63 F. For best results, place them in direct sunlight. The plants will flower in about 3 to 4 weeks. Once the flowers begin to open, take the plants out of direct sunlight. The flowers will last longer. Since the bulbs contain enough plant food, it is not necessary to fertilize them. Unlike most flower bulbs which have been forced indoors and are usually of little value for outdoor plantings, forced daffodils (Narcissus) can be removed from the pot and placed outdoors in climatic zones 4 to 8. Do this in early spring.
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