Forcing Bulbs

Many spring bulbs need the chilling effects of an outdoor winter before they will bloom. To accomplish this either when forcing bulbs indoors or in a warm zone of the country where there is little or no freezing, one must artificially create a chilling period. They usually require 14 to 20 weeks of cold at 41 to 48 degrees. A refrigerator or cool basement can be used, but do allow for air circulation while the bulbs are chilling, i.e. do not wrap them up in a bag. For indoor blooming, bulbs can be planted in a pot and then chilled. After chilling period, either plant or return pot to warmth and within two to three week bulbs should bloom.

Required chilling time for:

tulips - eight to 10 weeks
daffodils - 12 to 14 weeks
small bulbs (crocuses, grape hyacinths and freesias) - four to six weeks

Narcissus tazetta (paperwhites) none 3-5
Narcissus tazetta orientalis none 3-5


 

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