Caring for Indoor Bulbs

Growing bulbs indoors is a great way to give your green thumb a workout while the winter weather keeps you cooped up inside. Before you get started on your indoor greenhouse, plan ahead and familiarize yourself with the types of bulbs you are growing, as many popular varieties require different growing environments and techniques. Prepping with this type of know-how helps ensure bulbs receive the proper maintenance and care they need to survive come spring.

Amaryllis and paperwhites naturally belong to warm climates and don't require chilling, making them easier to plant and maintain indoors. These bulbs can grow with indirect sunlight in a pot filled with soil, or placed in a shallow bowl with pebbles to hold the bulbs in place. After adding a small amount of water, the bulbs will usually bloom within four weeks. Blooming flowers can be kept inside in direct sunlight, or transplanted to the garden in the springtime.
Bulbs that need chilling require a bit more planning. Popular bulbs that need chilling include tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, Dutch iris and scilla. These types of bulbs rely on cool temperatures to begin growth development. However, finding the right place to chill your bulbs can be tricky. Many gardeners opt to plant them in deep soil outdoors in fall, as they need to be kept at 35 to 45 degrees for the entire cooling period of 16 to 18 weeks; however, bulbs can be kept in a shed or detached garage to achieve the same results.
Once you remove your bulbs from cold storage, move them into indoor pots for about two weeks of indirect sunlight and 60-degree temperatures. When the bulbs' shoots are three to five inches high, move the pots to a slightly warmer environment like a bright, sunny window. Once your buds begin to develop color, you can move the pot to indirect light to prolong bloom.
The Dirt from Troy-Bilt®
February 2017