Flowers and Fruits

Forcing Bulbs

Right before the holidays my work did a White Elephant gift exchange. By the time it was my turn I had a few gift options to steal, including a shark Snuggie and a fanny pack radio. Instead I stole the gift that was announced as “a bag of old garlic”. It was not a bag of old garlic. It was a bag of bulbs. Later, in talking with the gifter, I learned that in that paper lunch bag there were several paperwhite bulbs and one amaryllis bulb. We chatted about forcing bulbs, something I had never done before. I went home eager to try it out.

I put all five of the paperwhites in a wide, shallow, glass bowl. I put the single amaryllis is a deep glass vase. I put some pebbles at the bottom of the containers and set the bulbs on top. I filled the containers with just enough water so that the bulb’s root system (once developed) would be in water but so that the bulb itself was out of water. (If the bulb sits in water it can rot.) I put the containers in a sunny spot in the house and waited.

Almost instantly I started to see the roots develop.

roots of a paperwhite

Foliage started showing for all the bulbs within a week or two. And now here we are, two months later.



The bulbs are so beautiful and I love having the display on my coffee table – your eyes are naturally drawn to it as soon as you walk into the main room. I especially love the paperwhites with their abundance of green foliage and tiny white flowers. They make me excited for spring more and more each day!


2 thoughts on “Forcing Bulbs

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