How to Bring On Spring!(Forcing Indoor Blooms)

Forcing indoor blooms-red potted tulips in bloom in front of winter window scene.

Looking to learn how to bring spring sooner (indoors anyway) through forcing indoor blooms? It’s the end of January here in Alberta Canada, and below is a picture I took looking out my window this morning. I’m hungering for spring and so I figured this is the day I’m going to force some potted tulip bulbs that I’ve had in the fridge over winter to add some early spring to the indoors.

I have been looking forward to this project for a long time! Here are some great ideas for bringing on an early spring!(Forcing Indoor Blooms). Spring is coming (indoors anyways)!

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Forcing indoor blooms-snowy winter scene in back yard.

I want to share a couple of ways one can bring on spring early to the indoors with flower blooms. One way is with flowering branches. The first thing I did was cut off a few branches from my backyard flowering trees.

The best time to cut flowering branches from your yard is in February or March, although you can start as early as January in some areas. Ideally, you can cut them after your trees and branches have had at least six weeks of chilling. The buds on the branches will begin to bud early once you bring them into warmth and add water and a food source.

I then added flower food, and placed the branches in water with the flower food(this is an important step to your success-they need flower food!) They’ll be in a sunny spot in my house and I’ll change the water about once every 4-6 days.

Forcing indoor blooms-branches in a 
vase of water.

Bringing On Spring!(Forcing Indoor Blooms)

The second way is forcing tulips to bloom early. I purchased a couple of packages of tulip bulbs last fall and have been eagerly awaiting this day!

Forcing indoor blooms-two packages of McKenzie tulip bulbs; for red and pink tulips.

I took the tulip bulbs out of my refrigerator January 28/21. I had purchased them last fall at the end of September, and so they’ve been in cold storage for 4 months. I purchased McKenzie Pink Impression and McKenzie Red Impression tulip bulbs that came in packages of 20 each. They are supposed to reach a height of 22 inches.

While it may seem simple and straightforward to some people, which way to plant bulbs can be a bit confusing to others. 

When planting them, the pointy tip of the bulb goes up. If you’re not sure, just plant it on it’s side and it will find it’s way up. It’s all pretty easy, just make sure the bulbs aren’t touching one another. I squeezed them in because I want a beautiful, thick show of spring color!

I planted one smaller container for the kitchen table:

Forcing indoor blooms-tulip bulbs in a pot of soil.

Bringing On Spring!(Forcing Indoor Blooms)

And one large container for a big splash of spring color for the front living room window:

Forcing indoor blooms-tulip bulbs in a pot of soil.

I start planting the bulbs in the center of the container and then work my way outwards, in case I’m not sure if I have enough bulbs to fill up all the space. I can always leave space around the outer edge if I run out of bulbs. I then topped up the soil until just the tips of the bulbs were poking through the soil and watered them well:

Forcing indoor blooms-tulip bulbs in pot of soil indoors.

Bringing On Spring!(Forcing Indoor Blooms)

A couple of things to remember: you want to make sure your container has drain holes. Also, it’s best to use an all purpose potting soil, not soil from outdoors. If I had planted these earlier in soil and then kept them in cold storage, I would have planted the bulbs deeper. But because I’m forcing them to bloom quickly now, in a warm environment, I’ve planted them much more shallow.

Forcing indoor blooms-tulip bulbs in pot of soil.

I placed them in a sunny location and then waited….

Here they are 3 weeks later:

Forcing indoor blooms-large pot with tulip bulbs in soil and tulip leaves coming up.
Forcing indoor blooms-potted tulips coming up out of the soil.

Bringing On Spring!(Forcing Indoor Blooms)

Forcing indoor blooms-branches in a vase with white flowers.

And here they are almost 4 weeks later starting to bloom…..

Forcing indoor blooms-red potted tulips in bloom.

It brings me joy and a lot of pleasure watching the progress of flowers growing and blooming up close. You can do this any time of the year as long as you let tulip bulbs have a dormant period in a colder and darker environment of at least 4 months, depending on where you live.

Forcing indoor blooms-red potted tulips in bloom.

Bringing On Spring!(Forcing Indoor Blooms)

Forcing indoor blooms-white flowers on branches.

This flowering branch was taken from my apple tree:

Forcing indoor blooms-white flowers on a branch.
Forcing indoor blooms-red potted tulips in bloom in front of winter window scene.

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