Forcing Spring flowering bulbs Indoors
Learn How to Force Spring Flowering Bulbs Into Flowering Early
Forcing spring flowering bulbs indoors, tulips, hyacinths and daffodils can be forced to flower inside your home by planning ahead, pre-chilling and planting them weeks before their bloom date in springtime. Since some of the varieties of spring flowering bulbs force better than others, it would be best to check out a bulbs list of spring bulbs to note the best forcer bulbs to choose. Look for varieties with a good blooming height that is short to medium, approximately 14” is best. Some other varieties of spring bulbs to force into flowering are dutch iris these are usually seen in the supermarkets for sale earlier than flowering time in Australia.
Forcing Daffodils to Bloom
You can also buy the largest available bulbs from garden centres in Australia as they will have the necessary energy to force blooming, the bulbs need to be still dormant with no roots or growth noticeable. The planting time should depend on the desired time for blooming. For example, tulips require fifteen weeks of pre-chilling before planting and the crocus needs ten weeks of cooling. Therefore, daffodils, paper whites, narcissus need fourteen weeks of chilling. There are mainly two methods of forcing spring flowering bulbs indoors into flowering, potting them in soil and forcing them in water.
Forcing Hyacinth to Flower Indoors
The width of the pot determines the number of bulbs to be used, you can plant as many bulbs in a pot that can fit. Both the pot and the soil mix must be sterile so that weeds, mould and insects do not develop and grow in the soil. After placing the soil mix in the pot by filling between half and three quarters of the pot, place the bulbs flat side down with the pointed end of the bulb facing upwards. You must then add soil over the bulbs to gently firm to cover the tips of the bulb. Water each of the pots once to settle the soil so the soil makes good contact with the bulb after this the tips of the bulbs will be just showing. It is best to label the pots, with the date of planting, its contents and the date that the pot needs to be removed from cooling. The cooling temperature should range from 4C to 10C. You should make sure you do not freeze the bulbs or they will die. Do not place the pots in a garage or outside on the porch as they might freeze. For hyacinth bulbs need 12 weeks of pre-chilling before they are planted as they only require a few weeks for their roots to grow.
Spring flowering Bulbs Indoors to Flower in Water
Many types of Spring bulbs can be forced in water and rocks any time of year this means you can have spring indoors as houseplants whenever you like. When forcing spring flowering bulbs Indoors into flowering using the water method, a container with no drainage holes is used. You can buy special glass vases to force spring bulbs in, from a bulb supplier. Hyacinths that have not been pre-cooled require to be placed in a brown paper bag in a refrigerator for at least two and a half months before forcing using water. Do not place bulbs in plastic otherwise, the bulb will turn to mush in the fridge. Paper whites require a clay dish or a wide, shallow basin with ½” stone chips of marble, pebbles or gravel at the base. Place the flat end of the bulbs of the paper whites in the gravel securely surrounding them with more gravel stones. The hyacinth can be set on the stones or held off the bottom of the neck of the container. Water is added to cover the bulb’s bottom surface but should not go beyond half of the bulb for root growth. Keep a good check of the level of the water every other day and make sure the bulb bottoms are in the water. You will notice the bulbs will start to grow to display their white roots in the first weeks. Do not place them in direct sunlight only moderate light and a cool temperature. After the bulbs have rooted, the stem growth will follow with the flower buds appearing on the stem. At this point, the bulbs should be moved to more sunlight the bulbs should be supported if needed to prevent the stem from bending or turning. Most of the growth will take around five or six weeks. Fertiliser should be applied before the bulbs flower.
In conclusion, when you plan to force spring flowering bulbs Indoors into flowering, you should consider the time, type of bulb and the cooling temperature of each bulb. Bulbs that require cooling should be provided with the weeks necessary for cooling.
Note: that bulbs that have already been pre-chilled will flower faster than those that are unprepared.