Bring a little Spring into your house while it’s still cold and snowy outside with early blooming flowers. I tried my hand at forcing bulbs this winter and I must say that I was happy with the outcome.
These are Paperwhites that I picked up before Christmas. Hyacinths, crocus, and any narcissi all work well for forcing in water.
To force them, put a layer of rocks in the bottom of vase. This one was about 3 inches in diameter, but you can use any water tight container you’d like. Make it clear because half the beauty is the rocks and water in the bottom. The smaller the bulb, the smaller the rocks should be for stability. Set the bulb on the rocks and fill in around the bulb with more rocks. Be gentle. You don’t want to drop the rocks into the vase and break it. Fill the vase with water to about a 1/4 –inch up the side of the bulb.
Put the vase in a cool place that gets a full night of darkness. Keep them from direct sunlight for a few weeks until you see roots starting to form. Then move the vase to a sunny location. Mine was a little slow in forming roots, so I moved it to a sunny window early and that got it going. The bulb will bloom in about 4 – 6 weeks. Once it starts to develop leaves, it grows very fast. My bulb split into 4 stems, so I’m looking forward to continuous blooms for awhile.
These make great gifts for Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Put 3 or 4 bulbs in a decorative glass bowl or cylinder shaped vase and tie a bow around the outside of the vase with wire-edged ribbon.
Enjoy the beauty and fragrance!