Grow Spring Indoors: Easy Guide to Forcing Bulbs

Do you need to chase the winter blues away? How about bringing some spring indoors with my easy guide to forcing bulbs?

I have been doing this for years in my home. About mid-February, I begin to long for the spring season. I love it when you look outside, and everything begins to turn green. Maybe it is why I love shades of green so much.

Forcing bulbs to bloom indoors is my way of chasing the winter blues away. What better way than to replace winter blues with beautiful flowers? It always brings a smile to my face. Flowers seem to instantly lift my mood positively.

Here is my simple process of coaxing dormant beauties into early blooms. Why not fill your home with lovely fragrances and eye-catching flowers?

It is time to turn your living area into a springtime sanctuary with the beauty of forced bulbs. Let’s begin!

Below are some of the flowers that you can force bulbs to bloom:

  • Amaryllis – The flowers range from 4 to 10 inches in size and can be either single or double blooms. The most popular colors are red and white, flowers may also be pink, salmon, apricot, rose or deep burgundy.
  • Paperwhites – These flowers are a relative of daffodils and jonquils and are easy to grow indoors. They produce small, fragrant flowers on tall 12 to 18-inch stalks. 
  • Crocuses – These flowers come in purple, yellow, lavender, cream, and white. Over time, these carefree bulbs will naturalize and multiply to produce more flowers every year.
  • Daffodils – Classic spring flowers with cheerful yellow, orange, or white blooms. 
  • Grape Hyacinths – Small grape-like clusters of blue, purple, or white flowers. 
  • Hyacinths – Fragrant flowers in various colors, known for their intense scent. 
  • Tulips – Wide variety of colors and shapes, from single cups to fringed petals. 

So, what does this mean “chilling time or pre-chilling”?  This process is to place them in a cold place, between 35- and 45-degrees F. (2-7 C.) for 10 to 12 weeks (see chart above for specific flower bulb). It is where you place your bulbs in a brown paper bag with some soil. Then you place it some place cool like an unheated garage or shed. Some people will even use their refrigerator vegetable drawer.

My garage is the perfect place where I do the pre-chilling. Once your flower bulbs have been pre-chilled, you can start forcing bulbs indoors in either water or soil. I do not use the water method. I like to use the soil method.

Bulbs that require chilling time:

  • Crocuses – 8-10 weeks of chilling at 35-40°F (1-4°C).
  • Daffodils – 12-16 weeks of chilling at 35-40°F (1-4°C).
  • Grape Hyacinths – 8-10 weeks of chilling at 35-40°F (1-4°C).
  • Hyacinths – 10-12 weeks of chilling at 40-45°F (4-7°C).
  • Tulips – 12-16 weeks of chilling at 35-40°F (1-4°C).

It is important to start by selecting firm, healthy bulbs. You do not want unhealthy bulbs that may rot or are diseased to spread to other bulbs.

Selecting healthy bulbs to use.

Begin by placing some small gravel at the bottom of your pot or dish.

Adding gravel to a container to help with drainage.

Add light well-draining potting mix (you buy it in a bag).

Plant your bulbs leaving the top 1/3 exposed. The pointy tops of the bulbs should be out of the soil.

How to plant bulbs to force them to bloom.

Depending on the size of your vessel is how many bulbs to plant. I prefer to have three bulbs in a large soup tureen. In a larger vessel such as this concrete planter that has a circumference of 11″, you can place 5-7 bulbs. I have used six tulip bulbs.

Hyacinths are my favorite due to the fragrance scent that will fill a room. In a large vintage soup tureen (6.5″ opening), I would only use two bulbs. If you are using smaller Grape Hyacinths or Daffodils, you could fit five bulbs. Again, it will depend on circumference the vessel that you are using in the home.

You can dress up the top and around the bulbs with Spanish Moss in a color or use the natural color. Moss also looks beautiful covering the potting soil.


Adding pretty green Spanish Moss to a urn of bulbs to be forced to bloom.

Water the bulbs and keep the soil moist by not soggy. When the leaves begin to sprout, you can move the pot or vessel to a bright, warmer location. These types of flowers prefer bright, indirect light. Avoid putting this in direct sunlight. The temperature should be around 60°F or 15°C.

Spring Decorating Ideas How To Decorate With Plants and Flowers 1

Here are some White Hyacinths that I forced last year. My entire home had wonderful fragrance just from these two plants in the vintage soup tureen.

With a little planning and care, you can enjoy the reward of brighten your days and outwit old man winter by bring the spring indoors. Plus, the beauty of the burst of color and the incredible fragrances will definitely lift your spirit. So, let’s bring a little bit of spring indoors!


Enjoy the reward of brighten your days and lift your spirits all winter long. Now, choose your bulbs, gather your supplies, and get ready to witness the wonder of spring unfolding right inside your home! You may want to read this post Spring Decorating Ideas: How To Decorate With Plants and Flowers.

Be sure to share your experience with me. I love hearing from my readers.

Here are some key takeaways to remember from this guide:

  • Choose bulbs that are suitable for forcing, such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses.
  • Select firm and healthy bulbs that are free from blemishes or mold.
  • Provide a chilling period for the bulbs to simulate winter conditions.
  • Plant the bulbs in well-draining pots with a good quality potting mix.
  • Water the bulbs regularly, but avoid overwatering.
  • Place the potted bulbs in a cool, bright location away from direct sunlight.
  • Be patient and enjoy the rewarding experience of watching your bulbs sprout and bloom indoors!

With a little effort, you can enjoy the beauty of spring indoors throughout the winter and early spring. So why not give bulb forcing a try? You might be surprised at how easy and rewarding it is!


Tammy WLF Signature Logo

Similar Posts


  1. I adore the smell of Hyacinth. I wish I had bought bulbs some time ago, but I still need to. I will have to buy some down at the flower mart to enjoy. I typically do paperwhites, but I did not even do that this year! there are just not enough hours in the days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *