Want to beat the dreary winter dull-drums? Try growing these flowering bulb plants indoors to brighten your winter days!
Gardeners love the first hints of spring when flowering bulbs burst forth with color after a long winter season. Some spring flowering bulbs can be forced to bloom early, however, bringing beauty and color right into the house.
Enjoy bulb blooms months ahead of the spring flowering season by planting indoors instead of planting bulbs outdoors in the fall. These bulbs are known to be easy to force indoors.
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A popular flowering bulb for forcing indoors, gardeners can usually pick narcissus up in ready-to-plant bulb kits as Christmas presents or hostess gifts during the Holiday season.
Paperwhite bulbs flower white most of the time but cream, yellow and pink varieties can also be found. Fragrant flowers will appear within a few short weeks of planting the bulbs in a shallow dish or container.
Paperwhite bulbs do not require a long cooling off period to encourage flowering and will bloom faster in a warm, sunny window than a cooler table top.
Tulip bulbs need to be cooled off at about 40º for at least 10 weeks prior to forcing for the best show. Many gardeners have success cooling their flowering bulbs in the refrigerator!
Tulip varieties that are especially good for forcing are usually marked in garden catalogs but include ‘Apricot Beauty’, ‘Diana’ an heirloom tulip, ‘Merry Christmas’ a blood-red flowering tulip, and ‘Abba’ a double flowered tulip.
Tulips are often fragrant and forcing them to flower indoors protects the tender bulbs from squirrels and gophers that like to eat them.
One of the most popular flowering bulbs for indoor forcing, the Amaryllis bulbs do not require cooling off and grow quickly. Large, dramatic flowers on sturdy stems make these bulbs a welcome sight to winter gardeners.
Amaryllis bulbs flower about 6-8 weeks after potting and just need a little light and water to begin their fabulous show.
Amaryllis bulbs have a wide variety of flower colors and can be found in single or double forms in red, white, pink, apricot, yellow and multi-colored. Join a recent discussion about amaryllis bulbs.
Read also: Amaryllis flower meaning
While these early spring flowering bulbs are smaller than many of the others, they make excellent forced bulbs and accent pieces.
Try forcing a single bulb in a tiny vase of water for a delicate centerpiece on the dining table or plant an entire container full of crocus bulbs for an amazing display.
Cool crocus bulbs 10-15 weeks before planting them in the pot and enjoy the charming flowers while they last. To extend the bloom time layer these flowering bulbs with others such as hyacinths, muscari or Iris reticulata.