Forcing of bulbous plants


The forcing of the bulbous plants is an operation that is done on the spring bulbous plants with the aim of having flowers even in the winter period. To do this, the bulbous plants are grown in a warm, internal environment, to ensure that the heat first begins the development of the root system and then that of the flowers. For forcing we must choose winter or spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths.

The ideal place in the house to force bulbous plants is a bright, warm and humid area, such as a window sill or a window near a heat source. The bulb can be grown in common soil or using modern containers that keep the lower part of the bulb always in contact with water.


Blooming Bulbous Plants At Home, In Winter: Here Are Which To Choose And How To Treat Them

Flowering indoors
How to make bulbs bloom indoors, without waiting for spring? To force flowering, pots and containers with drainage holes in the bottom, filled with light soil, can be used. The bulbs must be positioned leaving the tip protruding, the soil must be moistened by spraying water with a sprayer. The pots will then be left in a dark and cool place, such as the stairwell or the garage, for about 6 weeks, keeping the soil moist. This time in the cold is necessary because the spring-flowering species need, in order to vegetate and flower, a period of vernalization, that is, a stay in the cold, similar to the one they would spend during the winter in the garden, where usually these bulbs are planted in Autumn.

After this period of time in the cool, the pots will be brought indoors to a bright area and flowering will take place within about a month. By planting bulbs in a scaled manner starting from November, you can have blooms indoors throughout the winter, from Christmas to March.

Forcing into the water
An alternative technique is forcing in water: equip yourself with the appropriate onion-shaped glass containers, or use any glass container with a mouth that allows the base of the bulb to touch the water, without touching it. Monitor evaporation and keep the water level constant.

At the end of flowering, the bulbs will be moved again to a cooler place, cut the withered stem and continue to cultivate them even if only the leaves are left, in this way they will be able to regenerate and accumulate the energy necessary for the next flowering cycle.

Add liquid fertilizer for green plants to the watering water at half the indicated dosage and let the leaves wilt and dry. When the leaves are completely dry, remove them and transplant the bulbs in the garden or give them to those who have one. Remember that the bulbs cannot be forced into the house more than once!

To learn more, read also: Guide to Choosing Bulbs

Tell us: do you like bulbous? What is your favorite species? Write it in the Comments and share a photo of your composition.


Forcing "do it yourself"

Hyacinthus orientalis ANNE MARIE

Normally the bulbous they bloom because they feel the change in temperature and light. To force this process will be enough make them believe that the season has changedsensing this change the plants will normally begin the flowering process.

You should proceed normally, then placing the bulbs in a vase and covering them with sandy loam. We will never tire of reminding you that, even in this case, it is It is important to ensure perfect drainage to the plant, as usual just equip yourself with expanded clay to be placed on the bottom of the vase. Then proceed as follows: place the pot outdoors (both day and night) and cover it with a black cloth.

Normally the plant should remain in this state for about 40 days, but it is possible to reduce the time to four weeks.

After this period in the cold bring the bulbs back home and place them in a warm, bright area: this climate change will lead the plants to believe that the spring season has begun, and this will lead first to the development of the stem and then to flowering.


When to plant the bulbs?

The early bulbs - such as snowdrops, crocus, Eranthis hyemalis, tulips, daffodils - should be planted in September - and will bloom in spring. Late bulbs - such as hyacinth, allium, iris - can be planted between October and November, and will bloom in the summer.

Plant the bulbs at a suitable distance from each other - you will surely find information on this on the packaging, or ask your trusted nurseryman directly. Keep in mind the bulb should be buried at a depth of approximately double the diameter of the bulb. As for the positioning and the distance between one bulb and the other. play with your artistic sensitivity and the combination of colors.


How to force bulbs

How to force bulbs: instructions to forcing the bulbs in water or in the dark. Two foolproof methods for force the flowering of bulbous plants.

Spring flowering bulbous plants might surprise all your guests by showing off flowers in the middle of winter! Who can not give up flowers in the coldest period of the year, it can take advantage of the forcing the bulbs and make them bloom so early.

How to force bulbs: which bulbs are suitable for forcing

With the technique of forcing the bulbs it is possible to anticipate the flowering 6 - 8 weeks. THE bulbs best suited to forced flowering they are all spring flowering bulbous plants, among the many we mention: narcissus, hyacinth, muscari and amaryllis. The instructions that we will see can be useful for a lot force hyacinth bulbs how much for force the flowering of daffodils! There are two techniques: forcing the bulbs into water and forcing the bulbs in the dark.

After forcing, the bulb it should be kept in pots and grown indoors: the winter climate would tragically perish the plant. There forcing the bulbs, therefore, you perform in order to grow bulbs in pots, in home, in an environment with a protected climate and excellent light exposure.

How to force bulbs

This technique is suitable for hyacinth, narcissus, muscari and amaryllis. For the tulip, forcing in water is more suitable.

Transfer the jar containing the bulb, in a dark and cold environment, with temperatures between 2 and 8 ° C. The pot must remain in this environment for about a month. So if you start between late October and early November, you will have the bulbs in bloom for Christmas and if you do it in late November, you will have flowering bulbs around January.

You can also put the jar in the refrigerator but it must be away from fruit and vegetables which, by releasing ethylene, would damage the bulbs.

In this dark period, the bulbs will develop roots and apical shoots. When the apical shoot is about 3 - 4 cm long, you can bring the pot indoors: place the bulbs in a well-lit area with a temperature between 15 and 18 ° C (no more!). Within 7 - 8 days, your bulbs will have bloomed.

The soil, throughout the forcing period, must be kept moist.

How to force bulbs in water

There forcing into the water it is suitable for all bulbs but is particularly suitable for short-stemmed tulip bulbs and hyacinth. The times are no shorter than those seen previously and in reality the technique is similar, as it is based on the same principle: fooling the bulbs and inducing flowering by simulating winter cold and spring warmth.

Also in this case, the first step is to place the bulbs in the cold: keep the bulbs in a refrigerator, in the cold cellar or in an area where the temperature remains constantly below 10 ° C. The bulbs must be exposed to the cold for at least a month.

There is talk of "forcing the bulbs into the water" but, in reality, the bulbs must not touch the water otherwise they will rot. The bulbs must remain suspended above the water layer, in this way the roots will begin to grow towards the water. On the market there are special jars for forcing the bulbs, however you can modify a plastic bottle or adapt a glass jar.

Place the bulbs in the container without letting them touch the water. The "pointed part of the bulb" must be facing upwards. The base of the bulb should not touch the water but only be proximal: the roots, as they develop, will penetrate the water.

Keep the bulbs, thus organized, in a cool and dark environment, such as a cellar, with temperatures around 10 ° C. This phase is expected to last another month.

Finally, when you notice the roots developing in the water, move the bulbs indoors, with a mild temperature and plenty of light (but not in direct sun). The bulbs will bloom within ten days.

Published by Anna De Simone on 5 February 2018


The most common and decorative bulbous plants of the season

The bulbous ones that bloom in spring have been planted between autumn and the previous winter and then blossom with the arrival of summer, continuing in many cases even throughout the summer. Their flowering is emblematic and a sign that spring is almost upon us.

THE spring bulbs they are also the best known and, if you respect the indications related to the timing of cultivation, they grow easily and do not require special care and attention.
Some of the spring bulbous plants most known are the hyacinth, i tulips, i daffodils, lilium, lilies, freesias is anemones, just to name a few.


All these bulbs, as if by magic, give life to a variety and a quantity of spectacular flowers for color and often for the intense fragrance and intoxicating capable of spreading inside the home. This is the period in which the first bulbs, planted last autumn, will see the light as the hyacinths, beautiful clusters full of small very noble flowers that can be pink, blue, white.
This is also the season of blooming of tulips, flowers always highly appreciated for the elegance and beauty of the half-closed corollas with variegated colors and again yellow or white daffodils or scylla.


As you can imagine, there is no shortage of proposals and those wishing to try their hand at the cultivation of one or more of the aforementioned qualities and others still need to go to a nursery and have the characteristics of each explained making sure you can enjoy the better flowering respecting the fundamental indications.


When and how to plant summer bulbous plants?

THE summer bulbs they are so called because they are planted in the summer to make them bloom in the fall.

  1. All the bulbs are planted in large and deep holes twice their diameter, always with the apex facing upwards.
  2. After planting for at least a week, the growing substrate should be kept slightly moist to facilitate the rooting of the roots.
  3. The soil intended to accommodate the bulbs must be well worked, soft and well drained to avoid water stagnation.
  4. Excess water leads to the rotting of the bulbs and therefore to the death of the plants.
  5. If the bulbs are planted in the flower beds of the garden, it is advisable to periodically free them from weeds which, as is known, deplete the soil of the nutrients essential for the growth of ornamental and non-ornamental plants.

Fertilization of bulbous plants that bloom in autumn and early winter

Flowering plants from autumn to early winter, grown in pots or directly in the ground, such as spring and summer bulbous plants, need correct fertilizations to be able to flower.

All ornamental plants grown as annual, biennial or perennial, bulbous plants need different nutritional elements which must be added to the substrate at least every 15 days based on the type of plant and the flowering time.

  1. Generally, the soil is fertilized a few days before planting the bulbs by administering a product rich in nitrogen (N) which is important for the plant mass.
  2. After mid-flowering, the soil is enriched by adding a small dose of a fertilizer rich in phosphorus and potassium.
  3. Fertilization must be done at regular intervals, always using small quantities of fertilizer.
  4. During the autumn season, a complex fertilizer or pelleted manure can also be distributed on the ground.
  5. During the winter season the fertilizations must be suspended completely as the bulbs enter the dormancy phase.

Among the winter flowering bulbous plants, the most demanding in terms of fertilization is the cyclamen a plant that under optimal conditions gives splendid blooms throughout the winter period until the first warmth of spring.

The cyclamen during the period of growth and development it needs a fertilizer with a title slightly higher than nitrogen (N) while during the flowering period requires a fertilizer with a higher titer of potassium (K).

What fertilizers to use for bulbous flowering plants

There are different types of fertilizer on the market, liquid, slow-release granular, pelleted manure, which require different methods of administration. Liquid fertilizers must be mixed with irrigation water according to the recommended doses on the purchase package.

In order not to damage the bulbs, water and fertilizer must be administered in the saucer which must be emptied after about 15 minutes, the time required for absorption.

The granular fertilizer, on the other hand, can be mixed directly into the soil or distributed around the plant a few centimeters from the collar.

When to extract the bulbs from the ground and how to store them

Fall flowering bulbs like everyone else can be left planted for years or uprooted from the ground.

In the case of uprooting of the bulbs, need:

  1. cut off the stems and wait for the leaves to turn yellow
  2. before drying the leaves continue to ensure the essential nutrients for growth thanks to the process of chlorophyll photosynthesis
  3. only when completely yellowing should they be eliminated and at this point the bulbs can be removed from the ground
  4. After uprooting, the bulbs should be left to air dry for a few days
  5. The earth is then removed, placed in wooden crates or paper bags and stored in a dry and dark room until the moment of implantation.

Advice for optimally storing the bulbs

For a better conservation of the uprooted bulbs it is advisable to sprinkle them with fungicide. If, on the other hand, they are left in the home, it is best to protect them from the cold of winter with a light mulch of straw and dry leaves.

Poisonous bulbs for humans and pets

Some bulbous plants that bloom in autumn-winter are poisonous to humans and some are listed in the list of poisonous plants for dogs and cats such as colchicum and cyclamen.

The colchicum bulb, due to the presence of colchicine, a highly toxic alkaloid if accidentally ingested causes burning in the mouth, nausea, colic, bloody diarrhea, delirium and even death. Even ingesting the flowers of these plants can cause skin irritation and therefore should be handled while protecting hands with gardening gloves. These bulbs should be planted in places not frequented by children.

THE cyclamen bulbs for the presence are of cyclamine and saponins they are instead toxic to dogs and cats. If ingested by our pets, the symptoms of poisoning manifest themselves with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and serious gastro-intestinal problems which, in some cases, can even lead to death. Also flowers of cyclamen, even if to a lesser extent, are toxic to dogs and cats especially if they are puppies.

Exotic and autumn flowering plants

In addition to bulbous plants, nature offers us many types of plants that bloom in the months ranging from autumn to the first winter and often even late winter:


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