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How to Force Crocus Bulbs

By Melissa Lewis ; Updated September 21, 2017

Crocus bulbs are typically planted in the fall and bloom in the spring. They are hardy bulbs that need cold temperatures in order to grow. Fortunately, you can get spring crocuses to bloom any time of the year through a process call forcing. Begin to force your crocus bulbs 3 to 4 months before you want them to bloom.

Choose a pot with several drainage holes. It should be at least 8 inches deep. Fill it half way with soilless potting mix, which is available at most local nurseries and garden centers.

Layer the crocus bulbs on top of the potting mix with the tips pointing up. They should be planted directly next to each other without touching. This is different from planting them outdoors where they should be placed at least 3 inches apart from one another.

Cover the bulbs halfway with more potting mix. The top half of the crocus bulbs will be exposed.

Water the bulbs well and set them in a cool location for 10 to 12 weeks. Temperatures should be between 40 to 50 degrees F. An unheated attic, garage, crawl space or basement may work well. You can also place the pot in the refrigerator; however, place it in an open paper bag first to help it retain water.

Check on the bulbs every week or two to be sure the soil has not dried out. Add just a little bit of water to keep the soil moist.

Move the pot to an area that receives indirect sunlight. When the plant emerges from the bulbs, move it to a sunny location, such as a south-facing window.

Continue to water crocuses so the soil is evenly moist. The crocuses should bloom in a couple of weeks


Things You Will Need

  • Pot
  • Soilless potting mix
  • Water


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.