Forcing Flower Bulbs


Flower bulbs provide color not only in gardens but also indoors. Here are two ways to be able to enjoy flowering bulbs inside before the world outside starts blooming.


Home forcing

This method involves chilling the flower bulbs yourself to get them to produce flowers earlier. A nice hobby for people who like to stimulate their green fingers. Home forcing lets you have a bit of springtime indoors as early as Christmas. Indoors, flower bulbs can be planted in a wide array of pots and containers, even in glass vases. The only important thing is that the bulb has to have enough room to produce roots. (Most flower bulbs need at least four inches of soil in order to root.) The only other essential point is that the pot has to allow excess water to drain away from the bulbs. So put some stones at the bottom of the pot. Potting soil is fine for flower bulbs. For good results, it is important for the flower bulbs to receive a sufficiently long cold period (see schedule) at a temperature around 50° F. And, although not absolutely necessary, a dark room would be preferable. If you don't have such a room, ou could chill the pots temporarily outside in the garden or on the patio (and check to make sure that the potting soil does not become too wet). The schedule indicates how long you need to chill the bulbs and when you can expect them to bloom.

You could start planting as early as the beginning of September and continue planting until December. The earlier you plant, the earlier the bulbs will bloom. If you decrease the number of cold weeks, the stems will be too short and the flowers will not develop properly. Chilling too long results in extremely long sstems, After the cold period, you can bring the pots into a warm room indoors. Here, the bulbs will produce flowers within two to three weeks.

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) and Paperwhites (Tazetta narcissus), however, can be placed in a worm environment immediately after planting. These bulbs require no cold period.

Home forcing step by step

  1.  Select a pot that is not too small. A large pot can hold several bulbs, so the effect produced will be even prettier. Put some stones or potsherds in th ebottom of the pot so that excess water can escape easily through the hole at the bottom of the pot.
  2. Fill the pot halfway with potting soil. Press down somewhat firmly. Then press the bulbs into the soil. They can be arranged to almost touch each other. When planting tulips, the finished effect will be prettier if you plant the flat side of the bulb facing toward the center of the pot.
  3. Continue filling the pot with potting soil until it covers the tops of the bulbs. Then water the bulbs to encourage rooting.
  4. Provide the flower bulbs with the required number of cold weeks at around 50° F. As soon as the flower bulb emerges from the bulb, the pot may be brought indoors.


Help from the grower

During the winter months, there is a second and easier way to make sure that you have flowering bulbs indoors. Buy pots of bulbs that have already been given their cold period at the grower's facility. Some of these bulbs will already be blooming in the shop and will flower for around seven to ten days indoors before they fade. If you buy posts displaying only greenish-yellow shoots, you can enjoy your purchasemuch longer. After all, it's fun to watch this natural process unfolding right before our eyes!

Also nice for outside

These pots can also be placed on your balcony, patio or garden table. Outside, they will take longer to bloom, but this also means enjoying them even longer. Try this out with daffodils, grape hyacinths or tulips.


  1. It is better to leave these flower bulbs in their original pots to avoid damaging their roots during transplanting. Instead, look for a nice outer pot or basket to serve as a more attractive container for the original pot. You might also consider topping the potting soil with moss or other decorative material to conceal the top of the plastic pot from view. If the plastic pot has to be removed, squeeze the sides of the pot a few times and then tap the bottom carefully so that the bulbs come out soil and all.
  2. Bulbs in pots should be watered regularly but not be given too much water all at once.
  3. Plant an uneven number of bulbs in a pot or shallow container. This always results in a more attractive look. If you plant bulbs that  produce flowers of the same color in each pot, you can later move the pots around to create different color effects.
of cold
at 50°F
begins on
'Yellow Present'01-10/01-1215-1715-02
'Prinses Irene'01-10/01-1215-1715-02
'February Gold'01-10/01-1212-1315-01
Special bulb varieties
Iris reticulata01-10/01-1112-1305-01
Muscari armeniacum01-10/01-1114-1501-02

These are just a few of the bulbs you can use for home forcing.

Garden Joy from  Holland 2022