How to Grow Spring Bulbs in Pots Inside


Growing spring bulbs, such as daffodils, tulips and crocuses, indoors is referred to as forcing bulbs and is a process that simulates cold temperatures in order encourage growth. You can force springs bulbs in pots any time of year so they can be enjoyed indoors in any season. Spring bulbs planted indoors in pots will bloom about four months after planting.

Step 1

Fill a pot with soil-less potting mix until it is about 4 to 6 inches below the rim. Soil-less potting mix is available at most local nurseries. Use a container that is at least 8 inches deep and has several drainage holes.

Step 2

Layer the bulbs on top of the soil. Do not bury. When planting bulbs indoors in pots, they can be planted close together, but not touching.

Step 3

Cover the bulbs with more of the soil-less mix so that half of the bulb is under the soil and half is above the soil.

Step 4

Water the bulbs that the soil is evenly moist, but not saturated.

Step 5

Place the pot in a cool location that is ideally between 40 and 50 degrees F. Common places that may work well are unheated attached garages, attics, basements and crawl spaces. You can also store the planted bulbs in the refrigerator. Put the pot in an open plastic bag first to help maintain moisture since bulbs stored in this manner lose moisture faster than bulbs placed in other cool areas.

Step 6

Water your bulbs as necessary. Check on them every week to be sure the soil is still slightly moist.

Step 7

Wait 10 to 12 weeks. Place the pots in an area of your home that does not receive direct sunlight. You should see green leaves appear in a few days. Keep the bulbs evenly moist.

Step 8

Move the container to warm sunny location, such as the window sill of a south facing window after the green leaves first appear. In a few weeks, the bulbs should bloom. Continue to keep the bulbs evenly moist throughout the growing season.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not plant hyacinths or paperwhite daffodils in this manner. Hyacinths grow indoors in forcing jars and paperwhites grow in shallow containers of with rocks and water.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot/Container
  • Soil-less mix
  • Water


  • University of Wisconsin
Keywords: plant spring bulbs indoors, force spring bulbs, grow spring bulbs container

About this Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.