Many people are not aware they can grow bulbs indoors. Growing bulbs indoors is a simple and rewarding pastime. It can be soothing to watch them grow, and they provide an early reminder of the imminent arrival of spring. The addition of bulbs to your indoor space is easy if you have a sunny window or enough artificial light. Just fill a pot with soil, plant the bulb, water it, and place it in a sunny spot where it will get at least eight hours of light every day.
Amaryllis, hyacinths, and paperwhites are the most popular bulbs to grow indoors but you can also grow crocus, daffodils, iris, and tulips. In general, amaryllis and paperwhites do not need chilling but many of these bulbs require a period of chilling (12-13 weeks) either in the ground or in a refrigerator. Once you remove the bulb from cold treatment, the change in temperature is a signal for the bulb to produce flower stalks. This process takes around 3-4 weeks.
To successfully grow these bulbs indoors here are seven tips to help you out:
1. Use a clean pot of clay or plastic that is wide and 4 to 6 inches deep with one or more drainage holes in the bottom and a saucer to catch water.
2. Plant the bulbs in the pot with well-draining potting soil. Do not pack the soil around the bulb as it could damage the bulb and hinder growth.
3. It is alright to crowd the bulbs in the container. Plant them ½ inch apart.
4. Place your bulb in a location that gets plenty of sun and make sure it is watered regularly. Keep the soil moist but do not overwater as the bulb can develop root rot.
5. Since the plant will grow to the light make sure to rotate the plant so it grows straight.
6. You can place moss on top of the pot to help keep in moisture.
7. Hyacinths can also be grown indoors in water in specially designed hyacinth glasses. Hyacinth glasses are shaped like an hourglass which allows the bottom of the bulb to stay dry and the roots to be in the water. Amaryllis can also be grown in water and in recent years the bulbs have been dipped and coated in wax and you do not need to water them.