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Forcing Bulbs Indoors For Winter Blooms: How-To & Tips

Imagine the dreary months of January and February…dull, bleak, windy…brrrr.

Here’s a lovely way to add a touch of Spring inside the home: Prepare bulbs ahead of time to bloom indoors during these cold, snowy months. It’s easy to do too!

Understanding How It Works:

Flowering bulbs like Tulips [1] need to be planted in the Fall so that they can experience cold temperatures and a period of dormancy during the winter season. Once it begins to warm, they know Spring is near and start growing their shoots to the top of the soil that will then produce their colorful petals.

Many won’t perform until they first experience this chilling period. Forcing has to accomplish this same experience:

Here’s How To Do It:

Varieties That Work:


Paperwhite Narcissus

*First published October 12, 2009 and moved to this page for better organization

From the daffodil family, these are one of the easiest to force and they don’t need to be chilled first like others do. Directions:

Good To Know: For displays of continuous blooms, prepare a new pot every 10 days or so.