By Cindy Cloninger
After stomping off the clumps of snow from your boots, removing the layers of outerwear, and still feeling cold, there isn’t a more beautiful sight than seeing a little bit of warm weather in the blooms of summer and spring. I’m talking about those vibrant colors and rich fragrances that come from forcing bulbs.
Forcing bulbs that normally bloom in spring and summer months into an early bloom has been done for years. Forcing might not be the right word for the kind of imagery that we are trying to invoke here. It’s more like tricking the bulbs into thinking they’ve had a nice cold winter.
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 (see the chart & images below).
Warm weather Non-chilling Bulbs
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
When it comes to forcing bulbs we often think of the larger varieties like tulips and amaryllis, but crocuses and grape hyanciths are able to be forced as well. Try layering the larger bulbs underneath some of the smaller ones for an indoor planter bursting with blooms.
Check out this great little video for a step by step look at how this processes goes.
Caring for your holiday poinsettias
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.