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How to Grow Bulbs in Forcing Jars

By Melissa Lewis ; Updated September 21, 2017

You can force bulbs to grow anytime of year indoors. There are a couple of methods to do this, including the use of forcing jars. You can use a traditional forcing jar called a hyacinth glass or jar, or you can use any vase that is narrow in the middle, but wider on the bottom and top. While hyacinths are typically forced in this manner, you can also use other bulbs including crocuses and narcissuses (not paperwhites).

Fill the jar up to just beneath the narrow part with marbles, sea glass or decorative rocks. This step is optional and is only for aesthetics.

Set the bulb inside the forcing jar until it is stuck in the narrow part. The tip of the bulb should be facing up and the bottom should be just above the marbles, sea glass or decorative rocks if you used them.

Fill the jar until the water just touches the bottom of the bulb.

Store the jar in a cool and dark location that is between 40 and 50 degrees F. You can place it in the refrigerator if necessary. Usually, bulbs need to be stored in this manner for 4 to 8 weeks; however, since each bulb is different, check on your bulb every once in a while. Once the roots start to grow and the green stem emerges, it’s time to remove the jar from storage.

Move the jar to a sunny spot in your home, such as a south-facing window. Change the water every 2 weeks.


Things You Will Need

  • Forcing jar
  • Water
  • Marbles, sea glass or decorative rocks (optional)

About the 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.