Forced Bulbs: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day February 2010

– Posted in: What's up/blooming

pink hyacinths forced in pot

Click to enlarge

The bulbs that I am forcing have started to bloom. I put one hyacinth in a forcing glass into the basement on November 29th. I potted the rest up on December 5th. I brought them all up when I saw green tips emerging from the bulbs. I now realize this was too early. According to Old House Bulbs, they are supposed to have at least eight weeks of chilling to develop the gibberellic acid which allows bloom stalks to lengthen. I was too impatient. Even though they are barely emerging from their leaves, they still smell nice and brighten my day. And here’s another odd thing: the bulb on glass was put down in the basement a week earlier, but the ones in the pot are blooming first. I wonder why?

Grand Soleil d'Or narcissus

Click to enlarge

I also am forcing some ‘Grand Soleil d’Or’ tazetta narcissus. According to Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, these are “best rooted at 50-60 degrees; then kept at 65 degrees with bottom heat of 70+ degrees to ensure bloom.” I kept mine in the basement (which is about 50 degrees F) for two or three weeks, then brought them up to the kitchen, which is usually about 70F. But they aren’t getting bottom heat. I’m glad I followed Elizabeth Licata’s advice and planted them fairly deep inside a tall, narrow container, because the tallest flower stem is eighteen inches long and leaning against the side of the glass.

I was surprised by the small size of the flowers

The small flower on the very long stem would look pretty ridiculous to anyone not half starved for the sight of flowers. Me, I’m excited to see it blooming. How ’bout that, it actually worked!

And there's more coming!

Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens, and leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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Modern Petals March 4, 2010, 12:26 pm

Hyacinth are so lovely, the fragrance is heavenly.

Lisa March 3, 2010, 2:18 am

I’m having a seed giveaway at my blog if you’re interested in free seeds šŸ™‚

maria February 25, 2010, 9:14 am

just a Q? I planted some bulbs indoors (I am in CT) in Nov hoping they would bloom for spring (guests coming šŸ™‚ in spring) but now I see the tulips are already blooming(gorgeous) maybe due to the heat indoors -can I salvage this any way,the shoots are just coming up..Can I trim them:-) Advice appreciated..

Kathy Purdy February 25, 2010, 9:28 am

There is no way you can stop the blooming tulips in time for spring guests. The blooms will stay nice longer in a cool room, but they’re not going to last more than a week and a half to two weeks. If you have other bulbs that are just emerging, keeping them very cool (just above freezing) will slow them down. It sounds like you wanted them blooming inside about the same time they were blooming outside. I think to accomplish that, you needed to have the potted up bulbs set in the ground outside, and then lift them and bring into the house a few weeks before you want them to bloom. But I’ve never done that myself, so, frankly, I am guessing. You might also contact Brent and Becky’s Bulbs for their advice.

commonweeder February 24, 2010, 3:26 pm

I didn’t force a single bulb this year – but that will never happen again.

greg draiss February 23, 2010, 8:00 am

Hyacinths will bloom without the cold treatment. They do survive better with the cold treatment however. This goes for transplanting them outside as well. Hyacinths put through the cold treatment will survive outdoors after blooming. Those not subjected to “winter” in my experience do not return when planted outdoors.

Can’t blame you for lack of patience…what gardener has patience this THYME of year.

Greg Draiss

MNGarden February 21, 2010, 5:37 am

Forcing bulbs is the perfect way to keep gardening alive in the winter months. I’m expecting crocus soon.

Providence Acres Farm - Sheryl February 20, 2010, 8:22 pm

I adore daffodils! The have always been my special favourite!

Lisa February 20, 2010, 6:51 pm

I’m starved for blooms as well, thank you for sharing yours! Love the bulbs in marbles, next year I’m going to try them…finally.

Swimray February 20, 2010, 4:46 pm

Ah, ha! So that gibberish acid stuff development is needed in the cold temperatures. I wondered why my indoor hyacinths looked, well, like yours when they bloomed. And they took f o r e v e r ! Still loved them.

Christine B. February 18, 2010, 1:39 pm

The marbles in the forcing jar are a nice touch. I’ve never seen them used like that before. Thanks for the little spring preview.

Christine in Alaska

Daffodil Planter February 17, 2010, 11:12 am

Forced bulbs seem even more magical to me than the ones outdoors. Yours are a delight!

Mike Jackson February 17, 2010, 9:52 am

Wow. It’s amazing to see the growth of these plants. This is the first time that I saw such a beautiful plant. Herbs too can grow inside. Here is how it should be done. growing herbs in pots and
growing herbs for profit

Layanee February 16, 2010, 1:42 pm

It does seem to work and I have the same hyacinth with one little flower emerging.

Teresa~ Gardening with Soule February 15, 2010, 11:04 pm

We have to take heart in these wonderful indoor bulbs blooming. I like the marbles around the bulb. It makes it colorful while you wait. I did the same thing with my narcissus that I forced this year. Won’t be long Kathy. Spring has to find us one day.

Dee/reddirtramblings February 15, 2010, 10:15 pm

Yes, right now, any bloom is a great bloom. I’m glad you’ve got something you like and it smells good too. Happy Bloom Day.~~Dee

Nicole February 15, 2010, 10:01 pm

Cute little blooms.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter February 15, 2010, 9:55 pm

Are your Hyacinths all the same variety? If so, then your experience with the different forcing methods is really curious. Now I’m wondering if I brought my bulbs in too soon. Oh, well, time will tell.

Nell Jean February 15, 2010, 9:43 pm

It’s all a learning experience and so much fun! It’s like magic, especially in the middle of winter. Happy Bloom Day.

Kathryn/ February 15, 2010, 9:33 pm

I had the same experience. I put amaryllis bulb in a pot and amaryllis in water, and the one in the pot opened first. šŸ™‚ They are probably more comfortable and getting what they need in the soil, I’m guessing. Enjoy!
It’s fun!