Forcing Bulbs for Christmas Blooms and Gifts

Posted on Oct 5, 2012 by 2 Comments
Forcing Bulbs for Christmas Blooms and Gifts

Learning to force flower bulbs not only allows you to have a flowers all year long, if you time it right you can give some fabulous Christmas gifts without spending a lot of money.

It is pretty simple to do. About six weeks before you want the flowers to bloom gather all of your supplies.


  • Container
  • River rocks
  • Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs


  1. Put a layer of the stones one inch deep in the bottom of the container.
  2. Place the bulbs root side down on the rocks.
  3. Pour water just to the top of the rocks but don’t submerge them in it. The bulb should not touch the water. The roots will grow down to the water but if the bulb is sitting in water it will rot.
  4. Keep an eye on the water and refill it when you see the water is below the rocks.
  5. Soon the roots will grow and shoots will sprout out the top.
Tips for Success
  • Once the plants begin to bloom, keep them out of the sun. They will last much longer and since they won’t bloom again anyway it serves no purpose.
  • Water the blooming plants sparingly for best results.
  • Start a few bulbs every week so that you have some plants that are ready at Christmas, as well as having blooms all winter long.
  • You can find some cool looking vases and dishes made especially for forcing paperwhite bulbs at your local garden center.
  • There are many other bulbs that can be used for forcing. Crocus, amaryllis, and daffodil are a few of the most popular.

Be imaginative – you can grow crocus in a vintage tea cup, or amaryllis in an old crock. Keep it fun.

photo credit: Brianna Privet

Posted in: Food & Home
Marye Audet

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  • MomHomeGuide

    Great tutorial — I have always wanted to know how to force bulbs.

  • marye

    It’s a lot of fun and you can do many different kinds of bulbs.