Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Forcing Bulbs

So.... one of the things I did today was get some bulbs ready for the coming holiday season. I'll be forcing Amaryllis and Paperwhites; that is, I'll be "forcing" them to grow. If you've never forced bulbs before, it is very easy to do, but you need to get started this week, or your bulbs won't flower by Christmas. I use the kits that you can buy at Wal*Mart, Lowe's, or Home Depot - you could just buy the bulbs at a nursery or online and do it yourself.

I like the kits because they come with the coolest thing - a "coir disk." I think it's just dehydrated potting soil, but it's pretty awesome.

Place the disk of dirt in a bowl. Then add 4 cups of warm water. Look how cool that shot is; you see that extra little splatter of water falling - my new camera rocks. (Go ahead click the picture and it will enlarge)

See how much water it absorbs. It's kind of like those foam dinosaurs in a pill that you can put in the tub, except this dirt is way less disappointing. Didn't you always think those foam dinosaurs would grow like 20 feet and rip a hole in the bathroom ceiling, instead they grew like an inch and weren't very scary. Anyway, "coir disks" are way less disappointing. Then you just fill your potting vessels with the soil and let the nose (pointy end) of the amaryllis bulb just stick out.

With paperwhites, I prefer to force them in a vessel with rocks (no super cool "coir disk"). Use the rocks to form a base and then secure the bulbs with their noses pointing up (snooty little flowers) with smaller rocks on top. Add enough water to just touch the bottom of the bulb. (Travis prefers to watch me garden).

Keep your bulbs watered and in a warm room with plenty of indirect light and in about 6 to 8 weeks you should have some good looking plants.


Melinda_J said...

Looking forward to 6-8 weeks from now when we get to see the pictures of the flowers!!

oh, and that one picture is really cool with that water droplet mid air!

Ali b said...

Those are pretty cool!! I LOVE the green and red pots!! Hope you have a great weekend!