By Cindy Cloninger
There are two kinds of bulbs that can be forced
The first type don’t have to be ‘wintered’ at all as they naturally come from warmer tropical climates. These are specifically the Amaryllis and Paperwhites. That means you can have flowers in as little as 3-5 weeks! Which is a major plus if, like me, your life is too hectic to often think months ahead.
The second group need to experience a ‘winter’ so to speak. This variety of bulbs will need to be chilled at around 40 degrees. The time frame varies depending on the individual flower type
Warm weather Non-chilling Bulbs
While individual times vary, a general rule to follow is:
Easy Peasy! That’s why these make such great holiday gifts! Use a bag of our terra zest and mix in some wool pellets and you’ll have thriving plants that will do well in an arid house using a heater.
Easytogrowbulbs.com has this great how-to video on Paperwhites. Check out their great online store for a large variety of bulbs.
Cold weather bulbs
As in life, Chill for best results
Check out this great little video for a step by step look at how this processes goes.
Caring for your holiday poinsettias
Aside from bulbs, winter holidays give us a few other plants to care for. The most common of these is the Poinsettia. The plant is native to Central America and was introduced to the United States in 1825 by Joel Roberts Poinsett. Poinsett was the first US minister to Mexico.
Because it is a tropical plant, protect if from cold temperatures and chilling winds. Poinsettias like 65-70 degrees, ideally, with about 6 hours of indirect light daily. Over watering is a common cause of death for these plants. Take note that while not overly poisonous, if eaten by humans or pets they will cause vomiting and can cause rashes is some people. So keep away from pets, children, and dare-taking teenage boys.
Light and darkness are both equally important to the Poinsettia, who’s scientific name is Euphorbia pulcherrima. It is actually the this contrast in light and dark, beginning in October for about 15 hours of darkness nightly, that turns the normally white leaves red. Once buds develop, it needs less darkness.
The colored “flowers” are actually specialized leaves called brachts, while the true flowers are inconspicuous beads found in the center of the brachts.
You can move your plants outdoors once nighttime temperatures stay above 50 degrees. Prune and shape to keep it ‘bushy’ until next fall.
Virtual Assistant, blog manager, email & social media marketing assistant, web development. I enjoy hiking, fresh fruits & veggies, planting flowers, cooking great meals. But I love being a wife and mother the most. When I'm not doing all of those, I love to read and try new things. No matter the forecast, live like it's spring.