Time to check on your forced bulbs for winter colour

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Time to check on your forced bulbs for winter colour

     By the time you read this article we will be into December and if you haven’t already done so it is a good idea to check on your pots of bulbs for indoor flowering.

I have several pots of prepared hyacinth bulbs in the garden shed under a black polythene sheet and having taken a peak at them this morning, to make sure that they are not drying out, I am delighted to see that they are all showing healthy green growths.    The pots will however be left in the dark until the shoots  are about 1”or 2” high.  If you started off other prepared bulbs in August/September some of them, like the Paperwhite Narcissus, should be nearly ready for flowering around Christmastime.

     Don’t be in too much of a rush to bring your bulbs out of the dark as this can lead to stunted growth if they have not developed a good growing point first. When you do bring them out, they will need a period of adjustment before settling into their flowering position.     Initially, place them in a cool shady spot and you will notice the foliage starting to develop.  Gradually move the pots into more light and watch for the flower buds to appear. At this stage you can place your bulbs into their flowering position, a spot which is cool with plenty of light.  Turn the pots occasionally to encourage even growth and keep the compost moist, adding  a houseplant fertiliser to the water occasionally.

     It is not only the colour that we will be enjoying over the cold winter days but with hyacinths and narcissus we will also have their lovely perfume to look forward to.

     Although prepared bulbs won’t flower again indoors, dry them off after flowering and plant them in the garden in autumn for a floral display the following spring.