Force Crocus Bulbs in Winter

Edited by Robbi, Lynn

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Many of us are tired of the cold and the snow that winter holds long before it's time for that season to end.

Crocus flowers are the first to bloom in the spring after a cold winter when they have been planted outside. They herald the appearance of spring and as such, we look forward to seeing them peeking their heads through the snow when winter is nearly over.

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If you're tired of the winter and you just need a little glimpse of this harbinger of spring, here is a way to force crocus bulbs in the house during the winter. Now you can get a sneak preview and enjoy the crocus flowers far before spring arrives. Here is how you can accomplish that task.

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Materials List

  • Crocus bulbs
  • Clay pots, with drainage holes and saucers (buy a size that will accommodate about four bulbs)
  • Potting soil
  • Cold, dark place
  • Water
  • Hand shovel

Directions for Forcing Crocus Bulbs

  1. 1
    Make sure all of the pots are clean
    If you are reusing pots, sterilize them with a mild bleach solution. New pots will not need this.
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  2. 2
    Fill each pot with potting soil
    Come up to about 1 inch away from the top of the pots with the potting soil.
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  3. 3
    Plant bulbs evenly spaced in the pots, and about three to four inches down in the soil
    Make sure the narrow end of the bulb is pointed towards the surface. Cover them with soil.
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  4. 4
    Place the pots up to just below their rim in a container or sink of room temperature water
    Let the pots absorb enough water to make the soil wet.
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  5. 5
    Set the pots on their saucers and place them in a cool dark place that stays at a temperature of 35-45 degrees F
    This will allow the bulbs to form roots.
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  6. 6
    Check the bulbs once or twice a week and water them if necessary
    The soil should maintain an even moisture level.
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  7. 7
    Let the bulbs stay in the cool dark place for about 10 weeks
    Then place the pots in a warmer sunny area that stays at about 65 degrees F, like a sunny windowsill. It will take an additional four weeks for the blooms to appear.
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  8. 8
    Keep the crocus plants in the sunny location throughout their growth season, unless you plan to take them outside
    Clip any faded blooms off to keep your crocus blooming.
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  9. 9
    Fertilize about once a month to ensure the roots have the proper nutrients to feed the rest of the plant.
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  10. 10
    The plants' foliage will turn yellow at the end of their growth cycle
    This signals that the plants are going into their dormancy period. This is the time to transfer the bulbs to a cool, dry dark location such as a cellar or basement.
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  • Make sure the bulbs are healthy. If they look dry and shriveled, they will not sprout and bloom correctly.
  • Never reuse old pots without sterilizing them as explained above, because you could be passing on problems from old plants to the new plants.
  • Use natural rainwater for the best results with crocus bulbs and other plants. Tap water can slow the growth of plants. Research has proven this a fact.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please post in the comments section below.


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Article Info

Categories : Gardening

Recent edits by: Robbi

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