The actual forcing begins at the stage when you remove the bulbs from the root-growing environment into warmth and light, triggering the growth of leaves and flowers. Sunshine and temperature are the most important factors in promoting successful flowering. Most bulbs will require about 2 to 4 weeks from the time they are removed from cold storage before they come into bloom.
After the chilling period specified for your particular bulb variety, transfer the pots to a place indoors with indirect sunlight and temperatures about 60°F (16°C) for few days (up to 2 weeks, if necessary). A warmer temperature is undesirable, as it encourages rapid growth of long, lanky stems and foliage.
The bulbs should be kept moist. When the shoots are 4 - 6 (10 - 15 cm) inches tall, move the pots to a bright, sunny window to stimulate blooming. A temperature of about 68°F (20°C) and direct sunlight will produce the best results.
Back to Indirect Light:
When the buds take on color, move the plants into a moderately lighted location at fairly cool temperatures (65°F/18°C) and away from hot and cold drafts; this will extend the length of the blooming period. Water plants when the soil surface is dry to the touch.
To enjoy a succession of bloom, remove a few pots from chilling storage every 2 weeks. If the blossoms begin to develop too quickly, you may be able to retard blooming a bit by moving the pots out of direct sunlight and into a cooler location. Re-acclimate them to sunlight and warmer temperatures when you want them to resume growing.
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Indoor Forcing: Introduction
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Last modified: October 10, 2008