Forcing Bulbs Indoors

Forcing bulbs indoors allows you to enjoy tulips and daffodils on your sunny windowsill even in the middle of winter. It's all easier than you think. Find out how to force bulbs into bloom.

Spring-Flowering Bulbs

Spring-flowering bulbs can be brought into bloom early -- during the dark, cold days of winter -- by manipulating light and temperature for several weeks. It's easier than it sounds, but requires a little planning.

You can "force" bulbs indoors by chilling them in your refrigerator, then bringing them out where they'll grow in the warm sunshine of your window.

growing hyacinths, forcing hyacinth bulb indoors, hyacinth pictures

Choose bulbs that are labeled "good for forcing" or recommended for indoor growing.


Blue spikes of hyacinths make a beautiful choice for forcing indoors.

Cool hyacinth bulbs for several weeks before potting them in potting mix, or placing them in bulb vases. Whichever method you choose, you'll discover how to force hyacinths here.

Even if you didn't chill your hyacinth bulbs before winter, you're in luck. You can find them already chilled and ready to grow indoors. Just pot them up. Or if you like, set the bulbs on forcing vases filled with water.

It really couldn't be easier to enjoy these harbingers of spring in your house, well before the season arrives.

forcing bulbsw indoors

forcing hyacinth bulbs, forcing hyacinth, hyacinth vases

Bring on Spring!

Fortunately, you don't have to wait for spring to get the blooms. Many bulbs can be forced indoors for mid-winter flowers.

Forcing Bulbs Indoors

Want to learn how to force bulbs yourself? Fragrant hyacinths (shown at left) and crocuses are easy to force indoors. You'll get all the how-tos for forcing them here. And don't forget about the sunny trumpet-shaped blooms of daffodils.

Of all the spring-bloomers, tulips are my favorite. Triumph tulips are among the best for forcing and offer a huge range of magnificent colors.

No-Chill Bulbs

Fragrant paperwhites are a holiday favorite. They also happen to be super-easy to grow -- no chilling required.

Clusters of snowy, white flowers are held high on slender stems and sometimes need staking to stand up. Lovely paperwhites are native to warm, southern regions of Asia and they don't need to be chilled to promote blooms. Just pot them and they'll start growing right away. Get tips for forcing paperwhite narcissus here.

amaryllis bulbs, amaryllis flower


Perhaps the most spectacular are amaryllis bulbs. Their big, velvety trumpet blooms are easy to grow indoors.

Dependable holiday bloomers, you can easily bring them into bloom in time for Christmas. Give amaryllis bulbs a summer rest and you can repot them for another sensational show of flowers.

Green Thumb Tip

Flowering house plants need more light than most foliage plants. Plants that don't bloom usually aren't getting enough light.

Buying Tip

You can order flower bulbs online. Bulb delivery for crocus, tulips and other spring-blooming bulbs is a fast and easy way to grow your collection.