Tulips, Narcissus (Daffodils), Hyacinths And More

Forcing Bulbs For Winter Flowers is easy, fun and comes with a colorful reward.
Source University of Minnesota October is the time of the year to begin potting your favorite spring bulbs to prepare them for winter flowering. Tulips, narcissus (daffodils), hyacinths, crocus, scillas, grape hyacinths, and lily of the valley are good choices and all can be forced into flower in late winter and early spring. A pot of tulips on the window sill can make a long cold winter easier to survive.

Select only top quality, good sized(large) bulbs, (bigger is better) should be used. Your neighborhood greenhouse operator will tell you the varieties that are best suited for forcing. Don’t mix varieties in the same container, since they vary in their flowering dates.

Potting the bulbs in clean, sterile clay or plastic pots. Normally the “noses” of the bulbs are exposed. Do not bury the bulbs. The soil should be an open mixture of good (3 parts)garden loam, (2 parts)peat moss, and (1 part)sand. Don’t worry about soil fertility or feeding bulbs because they have enough stored food to flower one time.

Plant the bulbs close together(not touching) in the pot. Usually 6 tulip bulbs, 3 hyacinths, 6 daffodils, or 15 crocus, will fit into a 6 inch pot. The flat side of the tulip bulb should be placed next to the rim of the pot since the largest leaf will always emerge and grow on that side, producing a more desirable looking pot.

It’s extremely important that bulbs be handled with care. Never allow the bulbs to be in temperatures above 65 degrees. The pot(s) should be loosely filled with soil. Don’t press the bulbs into the soil. Allow 1/4-inch or more of space at the top of the pot so it can be easily watered. The bulbs should be watered immediately upon planting, and thereafter the soil should never be allowed to become dry.

Forcing bulbs in Water Hyacinths, crocus, and narcissus also can be forced in water. Special clear, glass vases are made for hyacinths or crocus. The bulb is placed in the upper portion, water in the lower portion. The vase is then kept in a cool, dark room (preferably under 50 degrees F) for four to eight weeks until the root system has developed and the top elongates. At this point it should be placed in a bright window, where the plant soon will blossom.

Bunch Narcissus, such as Paper White and Soleil d’Or, can be grown in shallow pans of water filled with crushed rocks or pebbles. The bulbs should be secured in the pebbles deeply enough so that the basal plate is in contact with the water. Keep them in a cool, dark room for several weeks to ensure root growth, then place in a sunny location. Each bulb will send up several flower stems bearing many blossoms.

Amaryllis Culture The amaryllis is a tender bulb that will bloom without special treatment when first purchased. It should be potted up in light, rich soil in a pot that is only 1 or 2 inches larger in diameter than the bulb. The upper half of the bulb should be exposed above the soil. After watering thoroughly, allow the soil to become quite dry. Water more frequently after the flower stalk appears, but never water when the soil is already moist. Put the plant in a warm, sunny spot until the flower buds show color, then move it out of direct sunlight.

After blooming, cut off the flowers to prevent seed formation. The foliage should be handled as if it were a sun loving houseplant. Place it in the brightest possible location indoors until it is warm enough to sink the pot in soil outdoors where it will receive dappled sunlight at first. Gradually move it to a brighter location where eventually it has full sun for at least five or six hours daily. Fertilize with a balanced houseplant food at regular intervals to build up the nutrients needed for blooming next year. Amaryllis should be brought indoors before the first frost in the fall.

Read more:
Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service
University of Missouri fact sheet
Iowa State University Horticulture Guide ‘PDF File’

Country life is a good life.

Happy Fall gardening

Not from the USA. Please leave me comment about your home town and country.

If you see or read something you like Please Share By Re-blogging, Twitter or Email To A Friend.

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your Comment(s).

9 responses to “Tulips, Narcissus (Daffodils), Hyacinths And More

  1. Pingback: Forcing Bulbs For Winter Color | Town & Country Gardening

  2. Thank you for liking my blog. I do hope you will check back from time to time. Happy gardening

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One of the things I miss living here..spring bulbs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow did not know Lily-of-the-Valley could be forced! Could I dig some of my naturalized bulbs, chill them then force those? I received anemone bulbs to force from a Dutch friend but thy look more like tubers similar to dahlias. Do you know anything about forcing those? Thanks so much!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Soak them in water for a couple of hours before planting.
      Plant no more than 1 inch deep, leaving the tips just exposed.
      Research said hey don’t need pre-chilling however some think they grow more vigorously if chill them for six weeks at about 40 degrees. Place your pot in bright light and a cool location keep soil consistently damp Not Wet. Don’t let soil dry out.
      Happy Gardening

      Planting to flowering 10-12 weeks Keep or plant out? Leave them where they are to flower next year, or dry them off for re-planting in the autumn.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Do you ever have problems with squirrels or other animals digging up your bulbs ? Sometimes mine will end up getting dug up and scattered around the yard. Looks like the animal figures out what it is and discards it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No not really, the south plains is a very dry and near tree less area, few squirrels, gophers, moles and such. On occasion an Armadillo will dig something up, but don’t eat them, he was looking for worms and grubs.
      Happy Gardening

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s