Bulb Forcing Tips

Bulb Forcing Tips

Bulb forcing is a technique of forcing the bulbs to flower early by imitating the cool environmental condition. Most of the bulbous plants require a chill or cold period of about twelve to sixteen weeks to produce flowers. The bulbs that require cold condition for growth and flowering includes hyacinth, non tropical narcissus, crocus, tulips etc.

Tips for Forcing the Bulbs


Plant the bulbs in shallow pots that have enough drainage holes. Fill the ¾th of the pot with peat containing potting mixture as it helps in moisture retention. Now plant as many as bulbs that can in the same pot and cover the top of the bulb with one inch potting mixture. Water the pot with enough water so that water comes out through the drainage hole.


Now keep these pots on a place where the temperature is about 32 to 45 Fahrenheit. You can choose a cellar, window wells, cold frames or unheated garage for this purpose. Even the vegetable room of your refrigerator can be used for this purpose but you have to make sure that there are no apples or other fruits that emit ethylene. This is because ethylene is harmful to the normal growth of the bulb. You can also spread dry straw or dry leaves or pine boughs on top of the pot in order to insulate the bulb. Keep the bulbs in this chilling temperature for about 16 weeks or more

Post Chill

When the bulbs get enough chill then they will produce roots. This is the time when you can move the pots to a warmer area having a temperature of about 60 degree F. Here the bulb must get indirect sunlight and then the shoots will emerge slowly in two weeks time. once the shoots are about 5 inch height then keep the pots in direct sunlight where the temperature is around 68 degree F. this will encourage budding and when you notice  buds and colors then move your pot to a place where it gets indirect sunlight and enjoy the beautiful flowers.