How to force flowers from bulbs

With a little knowledge and effort, we can cheat nature and bring some much needed spring colour into our homes in the depths of winter.

Forcing bulbs is easy! You will need:

  1. A selection of containers such as bowls, jam jars or small plant pots.

  2. A selection of spring bulbs - we like to use crocuses, hyacinths, daffodils (especially miniature ones), miniature irises, grape hyacinths (muscari) and Siberian scilla.

  3. Some all-purpose compost, broken pots or gravel for drainage and something to cover your planted bulbs.

First, cover the bottom of your container with a layer of drainage material, cover with a layer of compost and place your bulbs on top. Try to plant them closely but make sure they are not touching as they can rot if they are in contact with each other. Cover the bulbs with another layer of soil so the tips are just poking out and water carefully.

Next, place your containers in a cold, dry place (a shed or garage would be ideal) and cut out the light with your cover - ensure the bulbs receive no light whatsoever!
After around 8 weeks, a little less for paperwhite daffodils,  you should start to see shoots.
Once they’re around 5 cm tall, it’s time to bring them inside and enjoy them as they grow. It’s best they are kept in a cool light situation. If they’re too warm they’ll grow too fast and become weak. 

Once you’ve enjoyed your early indoor spring, you can take the bulbs outside to grow again the following year. Follow our instructions here on how to do it.

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