Daffodils in bloom
image by Dez Pain/sxc.hu
Growing bulbs indoors supplies spring color before winter's end. Daffodils, crocus and tulips are a few of the bulbs you can successfully grow indoors in containers. Choose varieties that are recommended for forcing or container-growing from seed catalogs and nurseries. Just like with garden-planted bulbs, the time to plant bulbs indoors is 6 to 8 weeks before the first autumn frost date for your area. They require a period of dormancy before they will bloom in late winter or early spring.
Choose well-draining pots between 8 and 12 inches in circumference. Use clay pots for their ability to transfer moisture and prevent bulb rot.
Fill the pots with rich, well-draining potting soil up to 1 inch from the rim of the container. Make your own soil by mixing 1 part compost with 1 part peat moss and adding a handful of sand for additional drainage.
Plant bulbs 1 inch apart in the pot. Plant each bulb root-side down, with the pointed end 1 inch beneath the surface of the soil.
Water in the bulbs until the soil is moist but not soaking wet. Water once a week thereafter or when the soil surface begins to dry.
Set the pots in a warm, sunny window for 8 weeks so they develop a strong root system before you force them into winter dormancy.
Move the pots to a dark, cool room, such as a garage or basement, for 8 to 12 weeks. Store at temperatures of 40 to 45F to force the bulbs into dormancy, a requirement if they are to bloom in the spring.
Move the pots to a dimly lit area of your home with average temperatures between 55 and 60F. Move them a week later to a sunny area at room temperature.