Forcing Bulbs for Indoors

Forcing Bulbs for Indoors

Indoor forcing of spring bulbs

Indoor forcing of these bulbs is not difficult and it’s fun to do. Indoor forcing means that we ‘fool’ the bulbs, or force them, to bloom when or where they would otherwise not bloom. To do this it is essential that the bulbs receive a cold period to break the dormancy. To get good results with our bulbs we advise the following. 

How to do it

Plant the bulbs in big enough pots and fill these with potting compost before the winter starts. Position the bulbs level with the top of the pot with a small gap between each bulb and the edge of the pot. Cover the bulbs with compost and gently pat it down. Then drain the pots with water and the bulbs are ready to start rooting and receive their cold period (winter).

For most bulbs, optimal temperatures during this period range from 5°C to 10°C or 40º to 45ºF. The temperatures should not exceed 13°C and should not be below zero for too long. Especially hyacinths and daffodils can suffer from frost damage. Basements, sheds or refrigerators can be used provided that you stick to the advised temperatures and that the soil does not dry out!

Most bulbs need about 14 weeks of cold to break their dormancy. For hyacinths it can be a little shorter: about 12 weeks. The bulbs will then have nice sprouts of about 3 to 7 cm and the pots are ready to be brought into your home. Place them at room temperature in a bright position and enjoy!

Bulbs for Christmas

Commercial bulb forcers pre-cool bulbs to achieve earlier forcing. This means the dry bulbs are cooled prior to the normal winter cold. The dormancy is broken earlier and the flowering can take place from December! You can do the same, but this is real specialty that is even difficult for professionals.


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