Blooming Bulbs in Winter | Living the Country Life
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Blooming Bulbs in Winter

Spring-flowering bulbs, including hyacinths and paperwhite narcissus, can be tricked into flowering indoors during winter. Make it your new fun annual ritual. Or make it a gift that will bloom happily for a winter-bound gardener or party host.
  • Paperwhite Narcissus

    Paperwhite bulbs require no special treatment in order to sprout and grow indoors in pots full of gravel and a bit of water. Plant paperwhites in a waterproof container, such as a ceramic dish, that is nonporous and without drainage holes. These tender bulbs, which cannot survive freezing winter conditions outdoors, will bloom only once. Enjoy their blooms indoors, then let the spent bulbs go to the compost pile.

    Date Published: November 14, 2016
    Date Updated: December 1, 2016
  • How to Force Paperwhite Bulbs

    Paperwhite narcissus bulbs require neither soil nor prechilling for forcing. Start bulbs anytime from early fall to midwinter for blooming in three to six weeks. Plant paperwhites in a potting medium of pebbles, glass marbles, sand, or potting mix. Cover the bottom of a watertight container with gravel or potting mix 2-3 inches deep. Snuggle the narcissus bulb bases into the pebbles with their pointed ends facing up. Cover the bulbs up to their necks with pebbles. The tips of the bulbs should remain above the gravel. Add enough water to reach the bottoms of the bulbs — about 1 inch deep in gravel or until the potting mix is moistened. To maximize blooms, set the container in a cool (40-60 degrees Fahrenheit)  place with bright light. 

    Date Published: November 14, 2016
    Date Updated: December 1, 2016
  • Hyacinths in Glass

    You can set up a perfect home for hyacinths in minutes. Place several inches of colorful marbles in the bottom of a clear glass pillar, add an inch or two of water to just below the marbles’ surface, and voilà! The tall container will support the top-heavy flowers, keeping them upright as they bloom. The marbles will allow room for root development while suspending the bulbs above the water.

    Date Published: November 14, 2016
    Date Updated: December 1, 2016
  • Hyacinth Punch Bowl

    A vintage glass punch bowl makes a light-catching centerpiece, especially when brimming with glass pieces and forced blooms. Here hyacinth bulbs (9 to 12 bulbs) snuggle in a bed of clear recycled glass and white garden rock that mimics ice and snow. 

    Date Published: November 14, 2016
    Date Updated: December 1, 2016
  • Prechilling Hyacinth Bulbs

    Buy prechilled hyacinth bulbs at a garden retail outlet or prechill them yourself. (Other hardy spring-flowering bulbs, such as grape hyacinths, Fritillaria, and crocuses, also can be prechilled.) To prechill the bulbs, place them in a paper bag and store the bag in the refrigerator (away from fruits) for 12-14 weeks.

    Date Published: November 14, 2016
    Date Updated: December 1, 2016
  • Amaryllis

    Amaryllises, especially the cultivars with cheery red blooms, make classic holiday decorations and gifts. To give your recipient the joy of watching them grow, nestle amaryllis bulbs in a container. There should be about 1 inch of space between the bulb and the side of the pot. Keep 25 percent of the bulb above soil level. Press potting soil firmly around the bulb. Water the soil once with lukewarm water. If gifting bulbs, note these growing instructions on an accompanying tag: Don’t water the bulbs until green growth appears. Set the container in direct sunlight at room temperature. Rotate the pot to keep flower stalks upright. There are many decorative options for planting amaryllis so have fun with it!

    Date Published: November 14, 2016
    Date Updated: December 1, 2016

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