As a gardener, I often notice myself looking for ways to continue growing and enjoying beautiful blooms deep into the winter months. The perfect way to do this is by forcing bulbs indoors. Forcing bulbs is basically when you trick the bulb into flowering by giving it an environment that imitates conditions that naturally occur outdoors. By giving the bulb these same conditions with warm temperature and sunlight indoors, it stimulates the plant to grow. This process is very easy to do and has rewarding results!
Some of the most popular bulbs to force are paperwhites and amaryllis flowers. With the holiday season upon us, these indoor flowers also make a great addition to your holiday decor. Adding the gorgeous floral display to a festive centerpiece makes for an eye catching presentation. Sometimes getting all the supplies around this time of year at your local garden center can prove to be challenging. Luckily, I'm happy to share that Longfield Gardens offers a wonderful online selection of Winter Bulb Gift Kits that makes forcing bulbs even simpler!
In this post, I will be providing simple instructions on how to grow paperwhites. Paperwhite Narcissus is a fast growing ornamental plant that has clusters of fragrant white blooms. It can bloom as early as 2-3 weeks after planting. They require a warm and sunny location to flower.
Longfield Gardens was kind enough to send me their beautifully made and full of rustic charm Wood Slant Windowbox Gift Kit along with 8 paperwhite Narcissus 'ziva' bulbs. The kit also includes soil and decorative Spanish moss. When growing paperwhites if you don't have a kit, make sure to have a 3-6 inch deep container of your choice. You also need some container filler such as potting soil, stones or rocks. Once you have your supplies, you are ready to get growing!
Wood Slant Windowbox Gift Kit from Longfield Gardens
How To Grow
In Soil-Fill your container almost all the way to the top with the potting soil. Add some water to the soil to moisten it before adding your bulbs. Then, press the bulbs gently into the soil, root side down with pointed side up. The bulbs don't need much room to grow, so you can place them relatively close together. Make sure the tips of your bulbs are peeking slightly out of the soil. Once the bulbs are in place, give your new plants a healthy drink of water. Place the container in a cool, sunny location and keep the soil moist. When watering, avoid pouring water directly over the bulbs to prevent them from becoming moldy.
In Rocks or Stones-Fill your container 2 to 3 inches with your stone or rocks. Place the bulbs closely together, root side down with pointed side up on top of your filler. Add some more of your substrate to hold bulbs in place. Fill container with water until barely touching the base of the bulbs. Place the container in a cool, sunny location and maintain water level at base of bulbs. Make sure your bulbs are not sitting in the water, otherwise they will become moldy.
Your paperwhite bulbs should be blooming within 4 to 6 weeks! It's that easy!
Bulbs beginning to sprout in soil on day 7
Bulbs covered in decorative Spanish moss
Paperwhites on day 14
Paperwhites in full bloom. They began to flower on day 21-Three weeks after being planted!
Watering With Diluted Alcohol: When watering with diluted alcohol such as gin or vodka, make sure it isn't too strong so it won't damage the plant. Here is a great article from About.com explaining how to do this in further detail.
How To Stunt Paperwhites With A Nip Of Booze
Holiday Bulb Giveaway!
More Bulbs I Have Grown
Have you grown or are currently growing indoor bulbs? Do you have a favorite bulb you like to grow year after year? Please tell me all about it or share pictures with me on twitter @thefreckledrose. I'm always looking for new ideas, as well as any tips and tricks you have picked up along the way! Thanks so much to Longfield Gardens for providing me with the gorgeous paperwhites I am currently growing as well as the Winter Gift Kit. Very grateful they are providing this giveaway for one of you lucky readers! I encourage you all to check out their website and take a look at the wide selection of bulbs they sell, as well as all the helpful information they provide.
For further information, Longfield Gardens provides these helpful links on their website. Please click the links below.
*Disclaimer: I received a Winter Garden Kit from Longfield Gardens as well as paperwhite bulbs free of charge. All opinions are my own, as well as photographs and reviews. I believe in sharing with my readers things that I truly enjoy in hopes of spreading the word of quality garden products to others.