Forcing Bulbs for the Winter

Wax bulbs amaryllis by rochelle greayer www.pithandvigor.comI am afraid I am probably a little behind for having beautiful blooming bulbs for the holidays — so I picked up a few waxz amaryllis at Lowes today.  Have you seen these?  I have to admit at first I hesitated to pick one up – it just seemed a little wrong to cover a bulb in wax and seal it all up.  But then on the other hand…they were already a few inches tall, seemed healthy, and I can’t deny a certain novelty….so I am giving it a try.  I think closer to the season, I might arrange them into a centerpiece for the dining room table – and the litle metal base will be helpful to anchor it into something bigger.

forcing bulbs puschkinia fritillaria and gallanthus
But not one to give up on my bulb forcing goals….I also picked up a bag of Puschkinia, a bag of fritillaria meleagris and another of convallaria.  I read over on Tovah Martin’s blog that she had good luck forcing fritillaria meleagris by simply keeping the bulbs near a cool window (around 50 deg F) and they forced beautifully.  I view this as fantastic news, as I am not keen on opening up space in the fridge for a few months to keep them cold.  But I might be able to sort out something in the attic or my chilly porch.  I also read that early blooming bulbs are easier to force and need shorter amounts of times of cooling….so I am hoping to have some good luck with the Convallaria and Puschkinia.

potting up

Forcing bulbs is not so difficult – but it does take time.  After planting up the bulbs, you need to simulate a cold period that they would have otherwise had outdoors.  This generally needs to last about 12 weeks – but some bulbs are longer and some shorter.  This means of course that my projects will not be traditional holiday blooms but rather Martin Luther Kings day blooms, and Valentines day blooms….perhaps even president’s day blooms. But whatever…

images via 123.rf.com and rochelle greayer

This post is sponsored by Lowes.   I am not an employee of Lowes and all opinions are my own.  See the other posts in this series. 

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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1 Comment

  1. Bethany~Furnishmyway on November 12, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Rochelle,

    Great information for growing plants indoors. I’m new to gardening so your last paragraph was helpful advice. I love the idea of growing your own centerpieces. Thanks for the post!

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