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Forcing Bulbs
Forcing spring flowering bulbs can be a very rewarding project!  Flowering plants can cheer up any home after the long winter blahs. 

Here is a chart of how long to keep the bulbs cold before starting the forcing process.  After cold storing, bring into a sunny spot at 60-70 degrees F.

Plant Weeks Cold Weeks to bloom.  Store at 60-70 degrees F.
Tulip 12 weeks 4-5 weeks
Daffodil 12 weeks 3-4 weeks
Hyacinth 13 weeks 3-4 weeks
 

Hyacinth Glass Forcing

You can enjoy the fragrance and color of hyacinths all winter.  The bulbs are easily forced into bloom using a specially designed glass.  You need only water and cool temperatures.  No Soil.  The glass supports the hyacinth bulb just above the water, allowing roots to fill the glass below.  Almost any hyacinth bulb may be used.  However, look on the package for "Hyacinths for indoor growing".  These bulbs are also larger in size than the standard garden varieties and will produce larger flowers.

Growing Instructions:

  1. Place hyacinth bulb in glass, tip pointing up.
  2. Fill glass with water, as close as possible to the bottom of the bulb without touching it.  If the water is too low the roots may dry out, and if too high, the bulb may rot.
  3. Place glass in a cool, dark, well-ventilated area where the temperature stays between 40-50 degrees F (basement, refrigerator, garage.)  Do not let freeze.
  4. Keep in storage for 13 weeks, check weekly and maintain water level just below the bulb.   Roots will fill the glass and a shoot will appear from the tip of the bulb.
  5. After 13 weeks, when the shoot is 2-3" high, bring into a warm room, 60-70 degrees F. Keep in a filtered light area until the shoot greens up, then place in full sunlight.
  6. Your hyacinth will fill your home with color and fragrance in 2-3 weeks.  Once in bloom, keep it from direct heat to prolong flowering.

Your hyacinth glass makes an excellent cut-flower vase during the summer.  Re-use in fall again with hyacinth bulbs.

 

Paperwhite Forcing


Welcome guests into your home this holiday season with a centerpiece of fragrant, blooming paperwhites. Easy to force indoors, the paperwhites will bear clusters of small flowers within 3-6 weeks, releasing their rich, intoxicating perfume throughout the room.  A wonderful gift, these paperwhites in a bowl will be appreciated anytime throughout the winter

Dish Method:

  • Select a shallow dish with no drain hole.  Fill in half way with pebbles.
  • Nestle the bulbs into the pebbles, pointed end up, and fill the rest of the dish with the remaining pebbles.  Then add water, keeping the water level just below the bottom of the bulbs. Use 4 or 5 bulbs in a 6" or 7" dish or 7 bulbs in a 8" dish.  
  • Place the dish in a dark place for a week or two until roots form and bulbs feel tight in the pebbles.  When sprouts begin to grow, move the dish to bright light and watch as the foliage and flowers emerge. 
  • Remember to water periodically, do not let the bulbs dry out.
  • Cool temperatures keep the flowers fresher longer.

Flower Pot Method:

  • Select a pot with a drain hole and fill it half way with a good quality potting soil.  
  • Place the bulbs in pointed end up and fill the rest of the pot with soil.  Water well and put in a dark place until sprouts begin to grow.
  • Then move the pot into bright light. 
  • Remember to keep the bulbs moist but not soggy.
  • Cool temperatures will keep the flowers fresher longer.
 

Amaryllis Forcing

At first glance, an amaryllis bulb is nothing to get excited about. In fact, it's hard to believe that these brown, softball-sized bulbs eventually produce spectacular blooms in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Once planted, it generally takes an amaryllis bulb only six to eight weeks to develop a crown of magnificent flowers.

Growing Instructions:

  1. PLANTING.  Add potting soil half way to the top of a 4-6" pot.  Put the bulb in, spreading the roots as much as possible.  Put in the rest of the soil, leaving the top 1/3 of the bulb uncovered. 
  2. WATERING.  Water thoroughly with water that is at room temperature.  Then keep the soil damp but not soggy. DO NOT overwater.
  3. GROWING.  Keep the bulb in bright light at room temperature (70-75 degrees F) while it begins to grow. Flowers will appear in 6-8 weeks, followed by attractive foliage. Once the flowers open, (60 degrees) cool temperature will keep them fresher longer.
  4. FUTURE FLOWERING. When all flowers fade, carefully cut off the flower stalks just above the top of the bulb without damaging the leaves.  Keep the plant in bright light inside, or outside where it will not freeze. Apply a balanced fertilizer regularly.  Amaryllis will reflower once a year.  Four monts prior to the desired bloom date, keep the plant in a cool place and gradually reduce watering until the foliage withers and the bulb goes dormant.  After 8-10 weeks, follow the growing instructions given above.

 

 


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