How to Force Bulbs to Create Beautiful Winter Blooms

Happy Monday, Friends! There's nothing that brightens winter months like beautiful fresh blooms. Maybe you're a longtime bulb coaxer, but if this is a project you haven't tried before, today I'll show you how easy it is to force bulbs indoors...

how to force bulbs

Pictured above is my first paperwhite bloom from bulbs I planted Thanksgiving weekend. The last few years bulbs have been sold out in early December in my small town. This year, I learned my lesson and shopped early! I'll start with a few tips that have given me the best results:

  • Opt for individual bulbs over kits.*
  • Use pebbles and moss instead of dirt. 
  • Place near a sunny window, but don't overwater! 
  • To encourage straight stems, occasionally turn pots the opposite direction the bloom is reaching. Use raffia to secure droopy or leaning stems.

*When I refer to "kits," I mean the ones that are often packaged for the holidays with that hard soil disk, which I am not a fan of. Unless you've had good results using those, I would ditch the disk (or use it outdoors) and plant the bulb directly on pebbles instead. See how, below!

how to force winter bulbs

First: gather bulbs, pebbles, moss, pots and urns. Next: Add pebbles to about 1/3 of the container. Then: Place the bulb on top of the pebbles and cover the pebbles and the very bottom of the bulb with water. Last: Add extra pebbles for support and top with moss. 

how to force winter bulbs

I planted paperwhite and amaryllis. The bloom in the first photo is an update of the urn in the center. You can also see how much the amaryllis has grown by comparing the photo above from November 26! 

how to force winter blooms
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how to force bulbs

The amaryllis are a little slower to bloom, but stay tuned for updates! So what do you think, will you try forcing bulbs indoors? 




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Would you like to comment?

  1. Cecelia,
    Very pretty!! Thanks so much for stopping by!! Happy New Year!!

  2. It's been years since I've forced bulbs for the holidays, but you've inspired me! I'm going to put a reminder on my calendar for next Thanksgiving! Thanks for the great tips, and Happy New Year!

  3. I would love to try this someday! Thanks for the tips 😊

  4. Love your tutorial for forcing bulbs in the winter, Cecilia! And thanks for the pretty container ideas, too! Pinned, and I'm happy to be featuring you at Tuesday Turn About this week!


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