Thursday, December 12, 2013

Do-It-Yourself Forced Bulbs - A Great Gift For Gardeners!

During the winter, gardeners often turn to indoor projects like houseplants and forced bulbs to feed their need to grow things.  Forced bulbs are easy and fun and make great gifts!  I have had the best success with Narcissus Paperwhites.  They grow and flower easily and have a sweet fragrance.  Also, Amaryllis are spectacular.  If you start bulbs in the middle of December they will bloom sometime in January.
 - purchase Amaryllis or Narcissus Paperwhites at your local garden center or online at Van Engelen
 - purchase some glass or ceramic containers at Home Depot, Hobby Lobby or Tai Pan Trading (waterproof, so they don't seep out the bottom)
 - purchase some gravel at a local stone supplier - American Stone in Salt Lake has a great variety of gravel
 - fill the containers two thirds with the gravel
 - place the bulbs flat side down on the gravel and then put more gravel around them to hold them in place
 - fill the containers with water to come halfway up the sides of the bulbs
 - keep the water at this level every day
 - add two ounces of vodka to the water every week to keep the foliage from growing too fast and flopping over
 - enjoy!
Gravel Choices for Forcing Bulbs

Creating a Container of Narcissus Paperwhites

Narcissus Paperwhites in Bloom!

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