How to Grow Bulbs for Indoor Flowering

A good autumn project is planting bulbs to flower indoors in time for Christmas. Time is of the essence. Prepared Hyacinths have been specially treated to promote early flowering indoors and should be planted as soon as possible after purchase. There are also several varieties of Narcissi and Tulips which do very well inside. Check the packet for suitable varieties such as the Narcissi, Paper White and Sir Winston Churchill and the Tulip, Red Riding Hood.

Choose a container with drainage holes and plant in bulb fibre or (if the bulbs are to be planted in the garden afterwards) a seed and cutting compost. The bulbs should be planted at least their own depth preferably deeper and they should not touch. The compost needs to be kept moist and the pot placed in a cool dark place such as a garage or shed. When the shoots have appeared and look a little white and anaemic bring them into the house to enable them to green-up. The leaves and the flower buds will then appear. Keep out of direct sunlight and in a cool spot.

Some bulbs such as Crocus and Iris do not need to be forced in this manner. Just plant them in a pot in the garden and bring them into the house when the flower buds have appeared.

After flowering the flower heads should be cut off but watering and feeding should continue until the leaves have withered. The bulbs can then be taken out of the pot and stored in a cool dry place ready for planting outside the following autumn