What better way to delight the senses during the drab months of Winter, than an Indoor Blooming Bulb Garden! If you love to garden, and feel deprived during the colder weather, 'forcing' bulbs is a fun way to bring color and beauty indoors. Forcing is the term used to describe the process that stimulates bulbs to bloom out of season. This is a fun project to do with your kids too!
Check it out...
When you buy your bulbs, be picky! Avoid any bulbs with soft, diseased, or insect damaged areas. Tulips should have their skins intact (also called tunics) or they'll be vulnerable to disease. Here are the bulbs that I've chosen for this design, from left to right, top to bottom. I used the same variety of daffodil twice; I liked the repetition.
• (5) Annie Schilder Triumph Tulip - unique orange and red color in varying shades
• (10 / 5 each pot) My Story Double Daffodil - white outer petals with an inner peachy salmon color
• (5) Apricot Beauty Single Tulip - fine, sweet scent with apricot to light orange colored blooms
You will also need:
• (4) 6" Plastic pots with drainage holes and plastic saucers
• Good general organic potting mix that drains well
• Decorative container wide and deep enough to accommodate the pots
• Sheet moss to hide the rims of the pots
Step 1. Planting
Fill the pots with soil; leave 1/2" of space below the rim to allow for watering. Plant one type of bulb per pot. I like to use 3-5 bulbs per pot, depending upon their size.
Place the bulbs about a finger width apart and make sure you allow a minimum of 1 inch of soil beneath the bulb; actually, tulips and hyacinths can have their tips poking through the surface and they'll be just fine.
No fertilizing! Bulbs contain enough food in them for developing their roots and flowers, so don't fertilize during the forcing process.
Step 2. Chilling
The bulbs need approximately 14 weeks of chilling time. There are a few ways to chill the bulbs and all work great. If you have a second fridge you can store the pots in the refrigerator, but make sure you do not store with apples. Apples produce ethylene gas which can inhibit flower development. A cool corner of a basement or garage works great too, as long as the temperature remains between 35 to 45° F (2-4° C), and there is very little light. And, you can also use a cold frame or greenhouse in a shady location. Keep in mind, bulbs in pots are very vulnerable to cold damage, so if you live in a region that gets severe winters, pots in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse may freeze solid.
Check frequently to see if the bulbs need water. Don't let the soil dry out completely, but you also don't want them soggy, as they will rot.
Step 3. Bringing Your Bulbs Indoors
After about 10 weeks, begin checking to see if any pots are ready to bring indoors. As a rule of thumb, they are ready when new shoots start popping up. Bring the pots inside and place them in an area that receives indirect light.
Once the shoots start to green up and grow, you're ready to place the pots in your decorative container; hide the pot rims with sheet moss, and move to a sunny location and away from a heat source. Water regularly to keep the soil moist, but not wet. It will take approximately 3 weeks for the flowers to appear.
Enjoy your Indoor Blooming Bulb Garden, and as always love hearing from you!
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask, in the comment box below. Click the rectangle icon and give it a little time, the computer has to think...:)
Till the next time...
Love, Holly ~ Your Queen Bee at The White Pear