Forcing Bulbs Indoors

As the air turns chilly in late autumn, many of us begin to dread the long, cold and dreary winter months ahead. But while there's little you can do about the state of things outside, you can create your own little bit of spring indoors. By forcing bulbs, you can trick your favorite flowers into blooming inside during the winter. This process isn't difficult, but it does take a little bit of preparation to get it right.

Choosing the Right Bulbs

Before you can fill your house with a bit of color, you need to first decide which plant you want to force into blooming. Technically, all spring-flowering bulbs can be forced; however, certain varieties are easier than others. Hyacinths and daffodils are considered the easiest plants for this, but any will do  as long as you follow the proper procedure.

Planting Your Bulbs

Plant your bulbs by the end of September and no later than mid-October. Choose a deep pot that is at least twice as deep as your bulbs and fill with potting mix. Add just enough water until it begins to leak from the pot's drainage holes and let it sit for about an hour. After this, remove any water that is left in the saucer.

Chilling

After they have been planted, bulbs must be kept at a consistent temperature between 35 and 48 degrees Fahrenheit to help bulbs gradually adjust to their new environment. This can be achieved by storing them in a cool basement, garage or accommodating environment. Any plants kept outside will typically have enough moisture to survive, but indoor plants should be kept watered on a regular basis.

Blooming

As flower bugs begin to form, make sure to keep them watered and provide them with enough sunlight. Most plants will take about 12-14 weeks of chilling before they are ready to be brought inside, and will start to bloom within three to four weeks of indoor growth.