Procedures for Planting Bulbs Indoors

Bulbs are almost a guaranteed success. The embryonic plant is tucked away inside the bulb, just waiting for the right conditions to get growing. Provide those conditions and you'll have a beautiful flowering plant in no time. Most bulbs started indoors are spring flowers. After the bulb has bloomed transplant to your garden

Spring Bulbs that Require Chilling

Bulbs like daffodils, hyacinths, crocus and tulips require a period of dormancy in cold conditions. Place the bulbs in the crisper container of the refrigerator for eight to 16 weeks depending on the bulb. Do not place in the freezer. If temperatures outside don't get below freezing, but stay below 45 degrees during the day, the bulbs can go outside. Critters like squirrels love to eat bulbs so be careful where you place them outside. Daffodil bulbs are poisonous, but the other types may be eaten by animals. Remove the bulbs from cold storage and plant in potting soil. The bulb should be planted at least its own length under the soil. The optimum planting depth is twice its length. For example: A tulip bulb 2 inches could be planted at 2 inches, but should be planted 4 inches under the soil in the pot. Keep the pots in a dark, cool room until the bulb sprouts. Move to a sunny window. Turn the pot on a regular basis so the leaves don't bend toward the light.

Alternative Method for Chilled Bulbs

Another method for forcing spring bulbs that require chilling is to plant the bulbs in the pots. Water and let it drain thoroughly. Place the pots in the refrigerator for the required amount of time. If you plan on forcing quite a few bulbs and using this method buy a second-hand fridge. The pots take up quite a bit of space.

Water Method for Chilled Bulbs

Chill bulbs for the required amount of time. Place in shallow glasses that have a few inches of marbles or glass pebbles in the bottom of the glass. Fill with water until the water reaches about 1/3 the way up the bulb. Do not cover the bulb with water. Place in a sunny window away from heating sources. Don't put on a radiator or under a heating vent.

No Chilling Required Spring Bulbs

Bulbs like freesia, narcissus, bella donna lilies, and ranunculus don't require a chilling period. Plant in new potting soil at a depth that is twice the length of bulb. Water and place in a sunny window away from heat sources.

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About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.