How to Force Spring Bulbs

Plant bulbs in containers for early spring color indoors. Here’s how!

Start spring a little early by forcing bulbs indoors. Forced bulbs are perfect for adding a splash of color and fragrance when it's still cold and gray outside. Forcing bulbs is easy. The process typically starts in fall. Purchase your favorite bulbs from your local garden center and plant them in pots with high quality potting mix. If you like an even bigger and better display, layer your bulbs by planting smaller ones over the top of your larger bulbs. Water them in then store bulbs some place around 40 degrees for 12 weeks or so. Places you can store bulbs include cellars, unheated garages and refrigerators. Water the bulbs periodically while they're being kept cool. After about 12 weeks, move your bulbs to a warmer spot in your home. They'll start to grow. Most bulbs take 2 to 4 weeks to bloom once they come out of their rigid shell. After the bulbs bloom, it's usually best to compost them. Forced bulbs rarely perform well in the garden when planted outside.