Winter’s greatest luxury? Flowers in bloom. Forced bulb season is officially underway. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up 10 flowering bulbs—including snowy paperwhites, amaryllis, hyacinths, and tulips—to coax into early bloom by the time the holiday season arrives. (All of our choices will arrive pre-chilled and ready to flower.)
For tips about how to persuade bulbs to bloom indoors in winter, see Forced Bulbs: A Primer.
Tip: If an amaryllis bulb has started to sprout during the shipping process, don’t worry if the growth is a pale, ghostly white; it will turn green within a few days of exposure to sunlight.
Growing Instructions: Planted with a mix of tulip, hyacinth, and muscari, the cachepot should be placed in a warm, sunny spot in a cool room. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch (push aside the moss to test the dryness).
Growing Instructions: “Place bulb upright in bright or direct sunlight,” advises retailer Terrain, choosing a spot protected from cold drafts or hot air. “Bulb does not need to be watered to initiate growth; may rot if kept too wet.”
Growing Instructions: Place in indirect sun and water only if the vase or bowl is dried out completely.
Growing Instructions: “When potted up and grown on indoors, the bulbs in this collection will create a bright and cheerful display that can be used to dress the Christmas table. Once flowering has finished, they can be planted outside, where they will go on to flower year after year,” notes the retailer.
Growing Instructions: You can force bulbs in water (suspended in a vase) or in soil or stone (choose a container deep enough to accommodate at least one inch of root growth).
Growing Instructions: Plant bulbs six inches deep in soil or place them in a shallow bowl on top of a layer of pebbles. Keep roots moist but not soggy; flowers will bloom in four weeks.
Would you prefer to plant bulbs in the garden for spring flowers? See Your First Garden: What You Need to Know Before You Plant Bulbs. Read more:
- Bulbs & Tubers: A Field Guide
- DIY: Get Your Paperwhites Drunk for Better Blooms
- Daffodils: A Field Guide to Planting, Care & Design