When the weather is still chilly outdoors, bring spring inside using potted plants. The same kinds of plants that will eventually come up in the garden are available throughout the spring from nurseries and home stores. Add decorative, foil paper around the pots or place the nursery pots in saucers inside larger more decorative pots or baskets.
Buy spring bulbs already blooming or plan ahead and plant bulbs in pots yourself 12 to 13 weeks before you want the blooms indoors in the spring. This process, called "forcing," requires that the bulbs be kept in a dark, cold spot such as an unheated basement or garage. Once you bring them indoors, you will have brightly colored tulips, cheerful daffodils, delicate lily-of-the-valley and sweet-smelling hyacinths that will flower up to one month. Use a quicker forcing process by placing hyacinths, crocus or narcissus in a glass or vase that holds the bulb just at water level. Place the bulbs in a cool, dark spot for four to eight weeks before bringing them in to room temperature.
Similar to the Christmas cactus that blooms in November or December, the Easter cactus has long, arching stems with thick, succulent leaves joined together one after another. Its clusters of tube-shaped flowers in shades of red or white bloom in the spring, making a festive and spectacular display. The Easter cactus is long-lived and easy to grow in bright or filtered light. It is somewhat slow growing, but can grow up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide.
Easter Lily Cactus
The Easter lily cactus, originally from South America, has a round, globe-shape with vertical, spiny ribs. In the spring, the plant sends up tall stems with large, pink flowers that open in the evening and produce a sweet smell. The Easter lily cactus needs a bright window, frequent feeding and well-drained soil.
Easy to find in grocery and home stores, the primrose is a favorite spring bloomer which you can grow either indoors or outside. There are more than 600 species with flowers in a variety of colors and patterns and with single petals or double, more lush petals. Most have profuse ribbed leaves and flowers growing from tall stems. Use them either in single pots placed on the kitchen windowsill or grouped together in baskets to create a fresh, spring display on the dining or kitchen table.