Forcing Flower Bulbs To Bloom Inside Your Home


By Joey Martin

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT/TV ) If working on your garden is a life–long passion, but the cold winter weather is forcing you to hang up the gloves.

Don't worry...

In this week's segment of Grow Southern Idaho.

Joey Martin for Idaho’s First News tells us about one in–door growing project that will not only reveal amazing results.

But can also double as a family project to ease your cabin fever.

Forcing bulbs to grow.

It may seem like a cruel trick, but forcing flower bulbs indoors during the winter months can produce outstanding results.

Tony McCammon from the University of Idaho extension office in Twin Falls says the process of forcing bulbs is something anyone can do.

"This is a really easy process. Your just tricking nature... you're just telling the plant to grow in a season that it normally wouldn't grow in."

The process starts with chilling the bulbs.

"You put that into a chilling process for 2 or 3 days. They don't like to be too cold so about a 50 degree temperature will help them go through that chilling process.
And then you're going to move them into about a 60 degree temperature for about 4 weeks.
That will develop a root system, get the root system going and fill the container or whatever container you're using."
Said Tony McCammon, University of Idaho Area horticulturist.

After the chilling process, temperature regulation is still a crucial step.

"Then you're going to move that into an even warmer temperature. So you're going to go to a 70 degree temp... that's going to force it to bolt and put on some leaf surface and then you move that into more and more a natural light.
And then you'll start to get the blossom... the bloom starting to open up"

If you're worried about the possibility of using messy potting soil inside your home.

McCammon says the entire process can be done without dirt.

"You basically set it on a pile of rocks with water below. You don't want the bulb in the water but the root system will reach down into the water."

But is it too late to begin forcing bulbs in your own home?

"If you wanted to you can start right now and have something blooming in January or February that could really warm your heart."

It could not only warm your heart, but it can also be a great teaching tool for children.

"This is a great teaching opportunity if your kids are interested in gardening. This is a great school project that they can implement and have it in their house and taking care of another pet basically."
Said McCammon

Curing that cabin fever, understating the process and enjoying beautiful colors to brighten up your winter blues.
McCammon says that if you got to forcing your bulbs today…

You can expect to see beautiful blooming flowers sometime in January or February.