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How to force bulbs

How to force bulbs

Some bulbs such as hyacinths and certain narcissi can be bought prepared, or heat-treated to encourage them to flower earlier.

These bulbs, if planted in September, can be ‘forced’ to produce flowers for Christmas.

Good bulbs for forcing include prepared hyacinths, large flowered crocus and some tulips and daffodils.

The most popular narcissus for growing indoors is the highly fragrant ‘Paper White.’

Choose some healthy prepared hyacinth bulbs for forcing.

Ordinary hyacinth bulbs will not produce the same results.

Choose a suitable container to grow the bulbs that will look good indoors when the bulbs are flowering.

Always wear gloves when handling hyacinth bulbs.

Step 1

Place a layer of gravel in the base of the container to improve the drainage and cover with a layer of Westland Bulb Planting Compost.

Step 2

Position the bulbs onto the layer of compost, making sure they do not quite touch.

Plant them with the pointy nose end upwards.

Step 3

Cover over the bulbs with Westland Bulb Planting Compost so that the nose of the bulbs is just protruding from the compost.

Firm the compost very gently between the bulbs, adding more if necessary and then water gently.

Place the container in a cool, sheltered, dark place until they start to sprout.

Step 4

When the leaf shoots are about 5cm (2 inches), move the container to a cool, light room where the plants can slowly develop.

Tall flower stems may need supporting to prevent them from flopping.

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