How to Grow Bulbs Indoors

Daffodils in bloom image by Dez Pain/sxc.hu

Overview

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.

Step 1

Choose well-draining pots between 8 and 12 inches in circumference. Use clay pots for their ability to transfer moisture and prevent bulb rot.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.

Step 7

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.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid overwatering, which will cause the bulbs to rot in the pot.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Soil mix

References

  • Oregon State University
Keywords: growing bulbs indoors, container flowers, forcing bulbs

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo by: Dez Pain/sxc.hu