Most people enjoy flowers. Some more than others, of course. This is a project that any age group can do, and you get flowers to enjoy, too! Forcing fall planting bulbs can be a great way to get some indoor blooms. Forcing can be a long process, due to the fact that the bulbs need so many weeks of cold before they will produce any flowers. BUT if you buy bulbs that have been pre-chilled, it becomes more simple & easy!
You can do this project on your own or include the rest of the family. Do it just for fun, as a classroom project or even as a homeschooling project! Choose from Hyacinths, Tulips, Daffodils, or use them all!
1. Purchase some ‘prepared bulbs’ or ‘pre chilled’ bulbs. (Tulipworld.com is currently carrying some varieties)
2. Unpack your planting containers and some potting soil. Or to make it even more simple, you can even buy planting kits (container, soil & bulb) from WillardandMay.com.
3. Plan on planting as many bulbs that you can fit in the container. You decide. Cover bulbs with soil and water lightly. No fertilizer or any other additives needed.
4. Once your bulbs have been fully chilled (each type of bulb has a certain amount of chilling weeks needed), simply set out under normal lights for about a week. Then place in a bright window or under brighter lights for 2-4 weeks.
5. Once blooms begin to open, move to normal lighting area for a longer bloom time. Now Enjoy!
- Leave some under normal light until bloom
- Compare the difference in blooms when bulbs are planted closer together
- Track growth rate
- Plant some bulbs with just water and compare the results
Just in case, I have included a timing chart for most bulbs:
Name of bulb Weeks of cold Weeks to bloom
|Amaryllis||None||6 to 8|
|Chionodoxa||15||2 to 3|
|Crocus||15||2 to 3|
|Hyacinths||11 to 14||2 to 3|
|Iris||15||2 to 3|
|Muscari||13 to 15||2 to 3|
|Narcissus||15 to 17||2 to 3|
|Paper-whites||None||3 to 5|
|Scilla||12 to 15||2 to 3|
|Tulip||15 to 20||2 to 3|