Do you force blooms at this time of year?

(Zone 7a)
There are a total of 94 votes:


I cut branches from flowering shrubs like forsythia and bring them inside.
(15 votes, 15%)
Red dot


I force bulbs.What kind? (tulips, narcissus?)
(12 votes, 12%)
Red dot


I do both bulbs and flowering branches.
(4 votes, 4%)
Red dot


I'd love to try, but don't know how.
(7 votes, 7%)
Red dot


I don't force blooms.
(42 votes, 44%)
Red dot


Flowers bloom outside all year at my house.
(12 votes, 12%)
Red dot


It is summer south of the equator!
(2 votes, 2%)
Red dot


Previous Polls

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

By the time I think of it, most everything around me is already in bloom. One year I did cut forsythia to bring indoors, and they promptly showered my dining room table with yellow petals. I probably should try again - but first I would have to plant something that could be forced to bloom. Hmmmmm....

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I don't.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Well, I have to do it early while I can still stand forsythia. Once they bloom outside, the whole world is yellow until the helenium is done, and yellow is not among my favorite colors. At this time of year, even yellow is better than nothing.

Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

I have forced tulips and amaryllis in the past, but didn't this year. I now have two flowering quince that, once they get bigger, I will bring branches into the house.
Barb

Hanceville, AL(Zone 7a)

Hyacinths. I have loved them as a child when I first smelled them. I have tried paperwhites but had no luck. I even planted them in the ground after they should have bloomed and they died. I always plant the forced hyacinths in the yard and they come back and bloom the next year. They say don't plant hyacinths or any bulb which has been forced, but I have never had any trouble with the hyacinths
Luciee {;^)

Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

I've successfully planted forced bulbs many times. I wonder the reason people think it won't work.
Barb

S of Lake Ontario, NY(Zone 6a)

I have pussy willows "in bloom" right now, cut the branches before Christmas.

Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

Oh! Pussy Willow! I had a friend who had a french pink one, but I don't think she does anymore. Loved it!

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Pussy willows for sure, also random clippings from pruning - sometimes they bloom other times they just sit there.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

No bulb forcing but do love to force things like my pink pussy willow and forsythia cuttings ... and flowering quince. :)

Shangshui, Henan, China(Zone 7b)

There is no need for me to force a cutting in winter. This winter sweet is just in bloom with scores of sweet yellow wax-like bell flowers.
But a couple years ago, I did force a Chinese narcissus bulb to bloom just before the coming of the Spring Festival.

Thumbnail by Jianhua
Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Lovely.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Flowers bloom here all year. Roses bloom roughly Mar/Apr - Dec. Camellias bloom Nov - Mar. There alone the year is covered. There are others that bloom here in 'winter', too, but the Camellias make the biggest show.

No need to force bulbs. My daffodils are blooming even as we speak and have been for a week or two. I did buy Amaryllis to bloom indoors for several years when I 1st bought my house. Then I planted the spent bulbs in my garden where they have grown huge and rewarded me with enormous blooms year after year.

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

At this time of year I can barely force MYSELF to bloom.

Divernon, IL(Zone 5b)

Very soon

Thumbnail by jmorth
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

My kind of guy!!!!

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

jmorth..

What kind of plants are those in your picture? I was always under the assumption that most plants needed warm soil, so seeing them in a refrigerator and sprouting is kind of blowing my mind here LOL!

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)


meezersfive: LOL. I can SO relate!

jmorth: Wow! But where do you keep your FOOD?

Divernon, IL(Zone 5b)

Tulips and daffodils mostly, also crocus and iris reticulata.

Shangshui, Henan, China(Zone 7b)

Chinese gardeners like to force narcissus. This is a pot of forced Chongming narcissuses pictured by a gardener Dongghui.

Thumbnail by Jianhua
Hanceville, AL(Zone 7a)

Jianhua, This is lovely. How deep is the pot? I have a shallow pot that would work if it doesn't take too much depth. One of the old dish garden pots. I am sure I could buy a pot for forcing if I knew what kind to buy. My hyacinths are forced in water. What do you use in the pot? Thanks, Luciee {;^)

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

That is very pretty, Jianhua!

I would love to try to force some things to grow in the winter, but, I have no idea HOW to LOL! I tried to force an amaryllis bulb last year, since I read an article here on DG that you can force amaryllis bulbs to bloom more than once a year, but, most I got each time I tried was just leaves... no flower. So, finally I gave up and put the pot up to go dormant for a while. Pulled it out last week and noticed the whole center of the bulb was hollowed! Sadly, had to throw it away. Will buy another one at some point, because those things are just so beautiful!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

They really are easy, Mrs. L. Give them another try next winter. Just don't overwater!

Thumbnail by pirl
Shangshui, Henan, China(Zone 7b)

In order to hold the bulbs in place, put some pebbles in the pot.
The water-forced bulbs will become hollowed for they have consumed almost all the nitriention. What I deal with them is to throw them away or arrange in the ground to let develop. And after a couple of years, they will rebloom.

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

pirl.. arent those amaryllis' though?

Jianhua, what do you mean by "water forced"? Sorry, new to all this lingo, still learning LOL! I thought that, in order to force them to rebloom more than once a year, you would need to give them a semi-short rest period (couple months?), then start watering them again? Can you explain to me the different ways to force bulbs, in detail, so I can try my hand out at a few ways?

I did wind up throwing away the amaryllis bulb that hollowed out. With a big old hole in the middle of it, I figured, theres no way possible to fix that lol. I will be buying another amaryllis at some point this year, because, there's nothing like seeing a big beautiful flower bloom in the middle of December/January! I have a few indoor plants, all just green in color, and while looking at green in the middle of winter is always a little refreshing, I like other colors as well! I just don't know what things I can grow indoors that produce flowers.

I think part of my problem with the amaryllis that died was because maybe I tried to force it too soon. After it bloomed the first time (last december) then died back, I put it in my basement so it would be in a cool, dark location for rest. I brought it back upstairs around February and started watering it. It produced leaves and nothing more, so I let it die back again.. brought it back to the basement for a while. Then later (maybe about 6 weeks later), I went down to check on it and seen some leaves growing again so I brought it back up. That's when my hubby told me that he had watered it a few times because the soil was very dry. LOL I told him I did that purposely to allow it to go dormant for a while, so when he watered it, it sparked it up again to start its growing season again. LOL! Well, I guess, overall, it was a learning process for everyone in the house!

The biggest thing with that plant, that I have never really been able to figure out, was... after it did bloom the first time, the flower didn't last long at all (maybe 2 days?!) Again, I'm chalking this up to human error, I've just got to figure out what error I made so it doesnt happen again. I haven't thought much about this in a while, so I haven't really searched around much to find an answer yet, but I will, eventually, before I buy another bulb. It was a pretty expensive lesson to learn, though, I must say! I bought a kit for $15, and while, overall, considering the kit contained everything needed, it was a good price... I think I'm just more disappointed in myself than anything LOL!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Yes, Mrs. L, they are amaryllises. We've had 30 blooming since Christmas.

If you want blooms in winter then don't put them to sleep immediately. Allow the leaves to grow and let the bulbs spend summer outside giving them food and water. Put them in a dark, cool spot in September and don't give them a drop of water or sunlight until November. Then put them someplace sunny and water them thoroughly just once. No more water until you see a bud forming and only water from the bottom - that's where the roots grow (not the surface of the soil).

Too many people water when they see the surface of the soil looks dry. Resist!

Some people put them in a bright spot when they begin to flower instead of direct sunshine, to prolong the bloom. That's your choice.

Cut off the flower stalk (unless you want to save seeds and grow them) and repeat the process for blooms the next Christmas.

Never pour water on the bulb and do not remove the papery covering.

The flower stalks can get very tall. Staking is always a good idea though I don't do it as you can see in this photo.

Show us photos of your first bloom!

Thumbnail by pirl
Shangshui, Henan, China(Zone 7b)

The narcissuses bloom in spring, but gardeners here like to see them bloom in winter by water force. Ways are like this: 1. Arrange the bulbs in a shallow dish or pot (attn: with no hole at bottom) with pebbles (little stones) around them. See picture above 2. Put certain amount of kind of warm water in the container. Change half of the water once a day. 3. Keep the container indoors. After 40 days or so, you will enjoy the sweet blooms.

Shangshui, Henan, China(Zone 7b)

Here is the water forced narcissus of mine. Unfortunately the other blooming picture was missing. It was a successful experience, seeing quite a few flower heads. What I did to it was refilling some warm water in it every day.

Thumbnail by Jianhua
Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

Pirl.. so you continue to water even after the flower has died back... straight through September? When you store them, do you keep them in the pot or take them out, laying them on newspaper or something?

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

Ohhhhh now I see!! Ty jianhua! At what point do you pot them up? What size pot would be needed?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Yes, continue feeding and watering until the time you put them into forced dormancy. They will awake from dormancy and show you new leaves when they're ready to grow but there's no need to wait for new growth when you want them to bloom by a specific time, like Christmas.

It's your choice - either leave them in their pots or remove them. Having 30 of them it's easier for me to leave them in their pots. You only have to change the soil every two to three years. Keep them between 45 degrees and 54 (hard, I know) but less than 42 can damage the internal bud and over 54 can initiate growth.

You can see one is sending up a new leaf in this shot, taken 11/14. Had I brought them inside a week or two earlier I'd have had more in bloom sooner than we did. It's still nice to have them at the end of their bloom cycle now when next week will bring Valentine flowers.

Thumbnail by pirl
Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

How long do the flowers typically last before they die back?

Now I know for sure some of the mistakes I made. Ty!!

Where do you suggest is the best/cheapest place to order them? I'd like to try it again next winter I think

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Each stalk of an amaryllis will give you four flowers and each lasts a few days so you'd get more than a week out of each stalk.

I haven't tried eflowers (in California, I think) but have had great success with the huge "jumbo" bulbs at Blooming Bulbs. This is a sampling of what I got from them. The typical can of spray paint is next to them so you can judge their size.

Thumbnail by pirl Thumbnail by pirl Thumbnail by pirl
Hanceville, AL(Zone 7a)

Thank you, Jianhua. Luciee {;^)

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

The one I had last year only had one stalk with one flower. My mistake then must have been too much sun (left in windowsill) for the first flower to die off after 24 hrs and produce no other flowers afterward, I think?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The size of the bulb and the amount of leaves are critical to more blooms. It's true that the huge bulbs give more stalks. Once you can see the color of the bud resume watering (from the bottom unless you're very fond of fungus gnats) and put it in a cooler window away from the sun.

Mine are all in full sun so we can see them as we sit at the kitchen table. Maybe next year I'll put a few in the cooler kitchen windows that face northeast to prolong bloom.

In summer they can be planted outside either in their pots or removed from their pots and they'll be happy. Just remember to feed them.

You can see the typical four blooms/buds per stem here:

Thumbnail by pirl
Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

Mine must have been younger than yours then as it also only had one bud, so not like the other buds died without a chance. I did know about the bulb size/leaf # vs # of stalks tho. Read that for every 3-5 leaves you have, means approx one new flower/stalk the next bloom season. Think I seen that in the plantfiles.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Good luck with your next try and if I can be of any help just Dmail me.

Nymph had so many flowers and it's probably our favorite of all.

Thumbnail by pirl
Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

They truely are beautiful pirl! I had the red one you posted earlier last year. I got it from americanmeadows.com last year on sale around thanksgiving time. I might have a pic of it bloomed on my dg blog, I don't recall though. I'll definitely let you know when I buy another one and dm you with any questions! Thanks for all the insight! My hubby and I have enjoyed all your photos!

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.
BACK TO TOP