How to force bulbs

Many spring-flowering bulbs can be tricked or forced— to bloom indoors in winter, providing color and fragrance when few plants are stirring outdoors. Rooting time refers to the amount of time during which cold-hardy bulbs must be kept cold (about 40° F) and moist after planting in pots. After that time, they will be ready to put up their flowers. Learn more about bulb forcing in this article: Forcing Hardy Bulbs. Please read Paperwhites Care for a special guide on forcing Paperwhite Narcissus or to watch our video below.

In December, we ship forced bulb collections for gift giving that are potted, pre-chilled, and fully prepared to grow on arrival.


Recommended Rooting Times for Cold-Hardy Bulbs

See below for specific varieties that force well.

  • Anemone (Windflower), 8-10 weeks
  • Chionodoxa (Glories of the Snow), 10-12 weeks
  • Crocus (Spring-blooming Crocus), 8-10 weeks
  • Galanthus (Snowdrops), 10-12 weeks
  • Hyacinthus (Hyacinth), 12-14 weeks
  • Dwarf Iris (Iris reticulata and other spring-blooming bulbous species), 10-12 weeks
  • Leucojum (Summer Snowflake), 8-10 weeks
  • Muscari (Grape Hyacinth, to keep the leaves shorter, store cool and dry for 6-8 weeks, then give 2 weeks of cool rooting time)
  • Trumpet Daffodils, 14-16 weeks
  • Large-Cupped Daffodils , 15-17 weeks
  • Small-Cupped Daffodils, 16-18 weeks
  • Double-Flowered Daffodils, 16-18 weeks
  • Split-Corona Daffodils, 14-16 weeks
  • Narcissus (Triandrus), 16-17 weeks
  • Narcissus (Cyclamineus), 14-15 weeks
  • Narcissus (Jonquilla), 15-16 weeks
  • Narcissus (Tazetta), 14-15 weeks
  • Narcissus (Miniature), 14-16 weeks
  • Scilla (Squill), 10-12 weeks
  • Tulipa (Tulip), 14-16 weeks