How to Plant Bulbs in an Indoor Garden


Flowers grown from hardy bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, can easily be grown as part of an indoor garden. Planted in the fall, just as they would be out of doors, they can brighten the dark winter months. But it's not as simple as just sticking the bulb into a pot of dirt and keeping careful watch. Growing bulbs successfully indoors requires a little planning and extra care.

Step 1

Mix your potting mix with the bone meal and put in a large can or tub. Small trash cans are ideal for storing potting mix you can later use for other indoor plants.

Step 2

Scoop out enough potting mix to fill your pots and water thoroughly. Let stand at least an hour so the water can thoroughly penetrate the soil.

Step 3

Plant your bulbs in the pots, in accordance with the directions that came with the bulbs. If there are no directions, a good rule of thumb is to dig a hole three times as deep as the width of the bulb.

Step 4

Store your pots outside, in a trench, hole, or frame, for six to seven weeks. Cover them with ashes or sand. Use between 6 inches and a foot of ashes or sand as covering. The goal is to replicate the cold underground bulbs experience out of doors, which is when they develop their roots. After six or seven weeks you should see roots start to come out of the bottom hole in the pots. That tells you are they are ready to bring inside.

Step 5

Position your pots in a cool room with dim light. As the top part of the plant develops, gradually increase the amount of both light and heat. Ultimately put them in a sunny windowsill or other location where they can get direct sun, but after the first bloom move them out of direct sunlight to prolong the life and intensity of the blossoms.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be sure to plant your hardy bulbs is late fall or early winter, when outdoor bulbs typically begin to develop their root structures. The "cold treatment" is critical to root development, which is why hardy bulbs cannot be successfully planted in the summer.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots (10 inch or bigger)
  • Home-made potting mix consisting of 1 part sharp sand, 2 parts loam, and 1 part leaf mold or humus
  • Large can or tub
  • 5-inch flower pot full of bone meal for each bushel of potting mix
  • Ash or sand


  • Plant Ideas
  • The Plant Expert
Keywords: planting bulbs indoors, indoor bulb flower gardens, how to plant bulbs indoors

About this Author

Thomas K. Arnold is the publisher and editorial director of Home Media Magazine and a regular contributor on entertainment to "USA Today", "The Hollywood Reporter," "San Diego Magazine" and other publications. An alumnus of San Diego State University, Arnold has appeared on such TV shows as "CNN", "E! Entertainment" and "G4's Attack of the Show" to discuss home entertainment and technology issues.