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The forcing of the bulbs makes it possible to accelerate the development of the plant to be able to benefit from its flowering in any season. The technique is relatively simple and the result is always pleasant. It is also a recreational activity to practice with children. She teaches them the cycles of nature and patience because it takes even a few weeks, to enjoy the flowers of hyacinth, crocus or amaryllis, even in winter.

Bulbs forced for flowers all year long

Bulbs forced for flowers all year long

The principle of forcing bulbs

Forcing consists in creating in a few weeks the conditions of the development of the bulbs in the natural state and in particular the winter conditions: cold, darkness and finally heat and light.

Forcing technique is realized on carafe, gravel or pot in an earthy mixture. Whatever the choice of support, the principle remains the same:

  • Create winter conditions: the bulb must know the cold and the darkness. Either it is placed directly in the refrigerator for 6 weeks. Either it is already installed in a pot in a black and cold room until the appearance of the first shoots.
  • Create spring conditions: After its artificial winter, the bulb is placed in a carafe or on a bed of gravel, kept still in the shade and cool until the first shoots appear. Then finally placed warm and light it will bloom.

Which bulbs can be forced?

Many bulbs lend themselves to forcing. But it is the spring-flowering bulbs that give the best results: crocus, hyacinth, muscari, amaryllis. You can also try the experiment with narcissus or tulip but the results are much more random for an amateur.

For small bulbs, such as crocuses or muscaris, install them group of several specimens. It will be very pretty. While the amaryllis must be planted alone.
Hyacinth is only forced into water in a carafe.

Using the pot forcing technique, you can also try to bloom early summer flowering bulbs: gloxinia, gloriosa or Malabar lily, lachenalia or cape cuckoo, and so on.

How to force a bulb

Depending on the type of bulb you force them on a carafe, on a bed of gravel or in a pot in an earthy mixture:

  • Make a hyacinth or an amaryllis bloom on a carafe:

Heat the hyacinth bulb with heat for 6 weeks in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Amaryllis does not need this transition to cold.
Install the bulb in a special carafe for the cultivation of hyacinths and amaryllis. The base of the bulb never touch the water. Only the developing roots will draw nutrients.
Store the carafe in a dark and cool room (about ten degrees) until the shoots reach 6 to 8 cm.
Make sure the roots are still flush with the water.
Then place warm (18 to 20°) and in the light, the bulbs will continue their development and flower.

  • Make spring bulbs bloom on gravel:

Place the bulbs for 6 weeks in the tray of your refrigerator.
Take a nice container wider than tall. Line the bottom of coarse gravel. Install the bulbs taking care that they do not touch each other or the walls of the container. Fill with gravel up to half the height of the bulbs. Fill with water to the base of the bulbs.
Store the bulbs in a dark and cool room (about ten degrees) until the shoots reach 6 to 8 cm.
Then place warm (18 to 20°) and in the light, the bulbs will continue their development and flower.
Make sure the roots are always in the water. To prevent the water from crumbling, place a few pieces of charcoal between the gravel.

  • Make flowering spring or summer bulbs in pots:

Fill the bottom of the pot with a draining layer of coarse gravel then fill with a mixture of 1/3 of soil, 1/3 of sand and 1/3 of potting soil. Bury the bulbs 2/3 in the mixture.
Store the pot in a dark and cool room (about ten degrees) until the shoots reach 6 to 8 cm.
Then place warm (18 to 20°) and in the light, the bulbs will continue their development and flower.
Always keep the wet earth but without excess.


Video Instruction: Bulbs: Grow Bulbs Anytime - forcing bulbs to bloom