The Q&A Archives: Forcing Bulbs

Question: I have planted tulip, daffodil and crocus bulbs in a pot the required depth of in-ground plantings. I would like them to bloom after New Year. Would this work if I leave the pot outside until after Christmas? I live in Illinois, Zone 5/6

Answer: You will need to chill the pot (without freezing it) for about ten weeks or more until nice roots have formed, then expect the bulbs to bloom within a few weeks after being brought to a warmer area. The reason for the time difference is that tulips may bloom between 14-17 weeks from potting, and daffodils from 12 to 16 weeks from potting, and so on, depending on the variety and the temperatures. Tulips potted in early October could probably come out of the cooling area in mid January, so your bulbs will definitely bloom after the New Year.

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