Spring Bulbs as Houseplants

marquest(z5 PA)December 14, 2011

Anyone chilling any Spring Bulbs for the house this year? I have never attempted this before but my sad feeling is making me do things I never tried before.

If anyone has done this before can you give me some hints. I have them in the fridge. I have read 8 weeks then pot up.

If it does not work I am not out of a lot of money. HD had them for 75% off, I picked up Hyacinth, Daff and Narcissus paperwhites.

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I once grew paperwhite during the winter in a bathroom that got lots oaylight. the smell was so wonderful!they didnt last very long, maybe a few days to a week, probably due part to the dry air and heat in the house. i got them at a steep discount too, but at the time i thought when they die im suppose to throw them away like cut flowers. wish id known then what i kno now lol!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 5:48PM
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Sometimes my Mom forces paperwhites & gives them to us for Christmas; usually they're potted in something really coarse so they can be watered pretty freely without rotting the bulb. Your house is going to smell heavenly with both pw's AND hyacinth!! When the bulb is done doing its thing, let it dry out, store in a cool place & bring it out again next year :) Good Luck & Have Fun!


    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 8:36PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Why don't you try some herbs in a sunny window? Rubbing my fingers over the leaves and smelling them always makes me happy. Plus the food you can make with them tastes so much better.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 10:17PM
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With the paperwhites you should have received some directions to bring about their flowering.
The other bulbs, properly planted in the fall, given the cool soil, will develop roots. Once they have roots, they then are protected from deep winter freezes---down to 40 below.
Without roots, they are just fodder for animals wishing to have a free meal.
In the spring, they turn to mush and then are open to insects using them to plant nests in.
Forcing a bulb is done by giving them a period of cooling.
But if you wait too long the flowering comes when you probably were better to have put them into the ground in the fall.
To finish the 8 weeks you started, they will require a further 6 - 7 weeks.
You can see from this time period that you must start the process in October/November to have flowering January through April. You can cool them for longer periods, but the stems will be shorter for those cooled shorter than 13 weeks and long on those cooled longer than 14 weeks.
Generally plant in October for flowering in January; mid October for February; and early to mid November for April flowers.

In the case of planting them outside, you could then bring them inside for their flowers.
But digging up a bulb when it hasn't had a chance of sending the starches back down into the bulb can result in the bulb not ever flowering again.
Whatever you do, bulbs forced must have excellent drainage but never should they dry out.
They do not need fertilizing during forcing.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 6:00PM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

Brings back memories from my childhood. I was walking home from school in early spring thru the back alleys and noticed someone threw away some flowerpots with soil in them. I brought them home with me and noticed bulbs in them. I started to water them. Looked like the 1st. time all winter. Then the tulips started to sprout and each pot had at least 6 in them. They all bloomed and my aunt took them home to her place to plant afterwards. Couldn't do it again. My guess they were in a unheated area and some one through they were dead. Lucky me.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 3:45PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Pot 'em up, water then in, and THEN put them back in the fridge. Those spring flowering bulbs develop their roots in the cold.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 6:18PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Paperwhites and other tazetta type Narcissi don't need chilling. They can be grown at room temperature. And they grow really fast.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:08AM
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