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Forcing Flower Bulbs to Bloom Indoors
You can grow Spring flower bulbs in your home to brighten even the dreariest Winter day! It takes a little planning ahead, but with some time and a sunny window, you’ll have happy little daffodils in about six weeks.
The Right Size Planter
Before you can begin to force the bulbs to grow and bloom you have to give them a chance to grow a good root system. To do this you will need to pick a planter that will allow enough depth for about 1/2 inch of gravel on the bottom so that water will drain from the soil without rotting the bulbs. The container should also be deep enough to hold the depth of the flower bulb plus about two to three inches more.
Potting the Bulbs
Line the bottom of the container with fine gravel. Add potting soil to about one inch below the top of the container. Push the potting soil to the sides of the container to allow room to press the flower bulbs into the dirt, root side down. Firm the dirt around the bulbs and cover with another inch of potting soil. Finish off the top with some dried Spanish Moss.
Establishing Good Roots
In order to force the bulbs to develop significant roots, you will need to place them in a location that will stay between 40 and 60 degrees for at least two weeks.
If you live in a temperate climate you can put the container outside near the wall of your house and cover lightly with some mulch or leaves. If you live in a frozen tundra you will want to keep the container in a slightly warmer location such as an unheated sun room or basement. The goal is to keep the bulbs cozy enough to grow roots but not warm enough to start growing upward yet.
Forcing Spring Flowers Indoors
After allowing two to three weeks for the bulbs to develop roots, bring the container indoors and place in a very sunny location. You will want to water the bulbs very lightly about every ten days. The soil should stay moist but not soggy. In about a week you will begin to see a bit of Spring greenery peeking through the top of the dirt and depending upon how sunny and warm your window is, you will have happy, Spring flowers blooming no time!
Plan a Planter
If you are going to keep the container indoors to grow the roots, consider adding one or two indoor plants to the container prior to planting the bulbs. The combination will be striking once the bulbs bloom and it makes the container a little more interesting until they do. You can buy bulbs from a local grower or look online for an even larger variety. Mix and match different types of bulbs for a variety of colors and displays.
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