The Q&A Archives: Forcing Bulbs

Question: Hi,

I would like to force some with older adults at an assisted living home. I want to force bulbs both inside and out. Is it too late to start that process outside? What would be the most simple and sucessful way to force them and what bulbs should we force?

Answer: The easiest bulbs to force are "paperwhites", a special type of daffofil or narcissis sold specifically for forcing. These can be started in a simple bowl of pebbles with water kept at a level a hair below the base of the bulbs. Blooming takes just a few weeks with these bulbs.

Planting bulbs outside in the ground is the easiest method and not really forcing of all -- nature does everything for you. Simply plant the bulbs at the suggested depth, water, and wait until spring.

Favorite spring flowering bulbs are crocus (very early) and of course tulips and daffodils. These are all easy to grow in a sunny location with well drained soil. Crocus are easier to plant because the holes do not need to be as deeply dug as for the other larger bulbs.

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