Forcing Bulbs

This time of the year can be very dull.  Why not bring a little color and life into your home by forcing bulbs.

The best bulbs to force are crocus, hyacinth and paperwhite narcissus.  You can also try daffodils and early-blooming tulips. 

You will need a container to force bulbs in.  You may use either a special vase for hyacinths (it has a cupped top that tapers to a waist  and flares out again) or you can use a glass or jar by poking toothpicks into the bulb and resting them on the rim. 

The water should be below the base of the bulb.  Smaller bulbs (paperwhites or crocus) usually are grown in shallow trays lined with pebbles or beads.  Put the bulbs into the pebbles to secure them and add water below their bases.  A clear container works best so you can see the water level.  You do not want the bulb to touch the water. 

Keep the bulbs in a cool, dark location for a few weeks.  Roots should begin to grow down into the water and the green top growth should begin to develop. Move them to a brighter location and enjoy the blossoms as they come. Paperwhites can be placed in a bright warm location immediately.