We use the term “indoor forcing” a lot. It is a common phrase in the bulb world, but lately I realized- mayne this is not a common phrase for everyone.
Forcing is such a strong phrase- normally not a requested action. No one likes to be forced. So, is forcing a bulb as harsh as it sounds…?
what we should call it is Tricking… a little less harsh- right?
In the act of forcing bulbs to grow indoors we are acting as Mother Nature herself- and tricking the bulb into thinking that it is time to bloom.
Bulbs have an internal clock- they have a certain lifespan that they work with- here is how we are tricking these flowers to arrive early. Not all bulbs timelines are the same and not all bulbs are created equal.
For this description we will use Hyacinths as our example:
- Hyacinth bulbs require a cooling period (for me… this is the worst part- because it takes the longest!)
- Hyacinths need about 12-14 weeks of cooling at about 48 degrees or less. (most retail bulbs , including ours, are pre-cooled- so this step is taken care of for you)
- They then require 4 weeks to establish a root system. This can happen if planted in soil or in a water vase. Still maintaining a cooler temparature
- Once the root system has established- you can now move the bulb into a warm indoor location- 62 degrees or warmer.
- Keep the roots moist.
Similar requirements are needed for Tulips, Amaryllis and Paperwhites. We take care of the long term cooling for you, but in some cases product ordered do require a longer wait time.
So, indoor forcing is essentially just telling the bulb to speed up its time span… I mean… who doesn’t want Spring to come faster!?