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Guide to Forcing Tulips and Growing Tulips Indoors

Forcing TulipsTulips are known as one of the most popular and beautiful spring flowers you can grow.  They are easy to grow, making them perfect for lazy gardeners everywhere.  For those avid Tulip lovers that can’t get enough of them in the spring, you can grow tulips indoors all winter using this guide to forcing tulips to flower indoors!

One of the important aspects of growing tulips indoors is that they need a cold period to break dormancy.  This can be done by placing the bulb in the fridge for a few weeks, or storing them in the unheated garage or basement, among other ways.  Without this simulated winter, your Tulips will not grow and you will waste your time.
You will need some soil and some clay pots; clay pots work better for growing tulips indoors because they dry out faster.  Tulips are susceptible to rot, so you do not want the bulbs to stay too wet.  If you are growing taller species, you will need to use a deeper pot than you would with a shorter species.  Make sure that your pot has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.

Make sure that you use soil that allows for good drainage.  Soilless growing medium is always preferred when growing indoors if possible:  It gives you the best chance for survival because it is sterile and typically drains really well.

For more great information on growing tulips, check out this article on Tulip Gardening

Start by using the largest bulbs, as they give you the best chance for success for forcing tulips.  Discard any bulbs that look weak or diseased.  Place some soil into the container until it is about ¾ full.  Place as many Tulip bulbs as you can, without letting them touch each other, into the pot.  Make sure all your bulbs have the tips facing up, and cover them with soil.

Once they have been planted in the pots, you will want to put them in a cool area that resembles spring.  When growing tulips indoors, the key is to simulate all the necessary seasons faster than on a calendar.  Place your potted tulips in a dark room that doesn’t get any warmer than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  Leave them here for 10-12 weeks so that the roots have a chance to grow.  Make sure that you keep track of how dry the soil gets to ensure it does not dry out.

The next step in forcing tulips is to move them to a warmer area when you first see sprouts.  Move the pot to a warmer area, between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, that receives a good amount of indirect sunlight.  Gradually move the pot into more direct sunlight to encourage the bulbs to flower.  This is best done by gradually moving the pot closer to a window that receives direct sunlight.

Soon enough, you with have you very own tulips that you grew indoors.  You can admire them in the pot, or cut them and put them in a vase.  Once they have expired, just dump the waste into your compost pile and start all over again!

About The Author

I am an avid bonsai grower with over 2500 bonsai trees growing in my backyard at all times. I was born and raised in Boston, MA where I returned after 6 years in the US Army.


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