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Forcing Bulbs

Forcing Bulbs

Bulbs can bring spring cheer indoors and brighten up your home, particularly in the middle of the long winter.

Bulbs can be planted in almost every type of container, providing it has good drainage.  The bulbs will be planted closer together in containers than outdoors. You can combine bulbs with other plants or with other bulbs to prolong flowering enjoyment.

Step by Step


Select a pot that is not too small so that several bulbs can be planted at the same time. Cover the bottom with a layer of pot shard or clay marbles for better drainage.


Partially fill the pot with soil, (you can also use the marbles o stone chips), and pat down lightly. Next, press the bulbs slightly into the soil. They can almost be touching each other. Place tulip bulbs with their flat side toward the wall of the pot, so leaves will grow on the outside and flowers on the inside of the planter.


Put additional soil in the pot so that the tips of the bulbs disappear under the soil. Water the soil liberally to encourage rooting. It would be wise to dust with bulb Dust Fungicide.


Give the planted bulbs the required cooling period.

Forcing bulbs

Use this planting guide for timely blooming

Popular Varieties

Planting Time
Mth/Day   Mth/Day

# of Weeks of Cold 
(2-9 Degrees C)

Earliest Bloom From

Prepared (pre-cooled)
Not Prepared

09-15 / 12-1511-01 / 12-01



Tulips BlendaFlairProminenceYellow PresentArmaPrincess Irene 

10-01 / 12-0110-01 / 12-0110-01 / 12-0110-01 / 12-0110-01 / 12-0110-01 / 12-01



T’te & T’teFebruary GoldStandard Value

10-01 / 12-0110-01 / 12-01
10-01 / 12-01



Special Bulbs
CrocusIris ReticulataMuscari Armeniacum

10-01 / 11-0110-01 / 11-0110-01 / 11-01



Useful Tips

  • If bulbs are cooled for too short a time, the stems of the flowers will be too short; too long a cooling period ensures that stems are too long.
  • The flowers can be held back for up to a week if needed. Simply store the pot in a cold area, but do not freeze!
  • Amaryllis and Paper Whites (Tazetta) require no cooling period. Plant and place in a warm area immediately after purchase.
  • Once potted, water thoroughly and store in a frost-free environment (not above 55 degree C). You may bury outside in a well-drained area of the garden. Cover bulbs with straw for protection.
  • Beware of squirrels and rodents which may use the bulbs for a food source (Use Ropel or Bloodmeal to deter the rodents).
  • If indoors, store for 8 to 13 weeks (depending on bulb type) at about 40 to 45 o C. As the roots are the first to develop, the pots do not need any light. After the cold period, bring pots into light and warmth (68 to 70 o C). Water plants thoroughly and keep moist during blooming. After blooming, plant outdoors in an out-of-the-way area for bulbs to develop in size, which allows for reblooming, or simply discard.

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