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How to Force Daffodil Bulbs

Yellow Daffodils image by paulosjonesos from

Daffodils signify the arrival of spring with blooms of white, yellow, gold and peach. The American Daffodil Society notes that there are over 25,000 registered cultivars of this perennial spring favorite. Daffodils are easy to grow, whether outdoors in flowerbeds and edgings or in containers to liven up dreary rooms during the cold winter months. The University of Missouri Extension recommends varieties such as Avalanche, Bridal Crown and February Gold for producing the best forced blooms.

Combine equal amounts of potting soil, sand, peat moss and perlite in a large bucket.

Moisten the soil mixture thoroughly without creating mud. Add water gradually, and stir until the right consistency is achieved.

Place pieces of broken pottery or larger stones and gravel in the bottom of each container. This prevents soil from running out through the drainage hole.

Fill each container half full with potting mix.

Place daffodil bulbs with pointed end facing upward. Bulbs should be close together but not touching. The University of Missouri Extension advises that a 6-inch container will hold up to five bulbs.

Fill the container with soil, covering the daffodil bulbs completely.

Water containers thoroughly to settle soil around the bulbs.

Place containers in a cool, dark location. recommends placing bulbs in an area that is between 35 and 48 degrees Fahrenheit for five to six weeks. Containers may be covered with cardboard boxes or garbage bags to create a completely dark environment.

Move containers when shoots extend 2 to 3 inches above the soil line. The University of Missouri Extension recommends moving pots to a location that is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit for two weeks, then to a location that is 60 degrees Fahrenheit for another two weeks.

Water daffodils to maintain consistent moisture without over-saturation. Do not allow soil to completely dry out.

Tip recommends feeding established daffodils weekly with a 50-percent dilution of household plant fertilizer. The forcing process can take up to 12 weeks from planting to bloom.

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