Winter Blues Blooms

With winter fast approaching many of us avid gardeners begin to get the colour blues. Meaning we miss our colourful gardens! But what if winter didn’t mean the end of blooming flowers of all colours? Enter the winter bulb.

Growing bulbs indoor is simple, easy, and amazingly rewarding. And during winter this is exactly what many of us need! A burst of colour during the longest days of the year.

Forcing Indoor Blooming Bulbs

The secret to forcing blooms indoors is all in the chill! Bulbs need chill time in order to bloom. Many bulbs are from cold weather regions and require this cold period in order to produce blooms. You can chill your bulbs in a refrigerator, (not one with apples and other fruits and they let off a gas which inhibits blooms from developing on bulbs).

Prepare your Bulbs

Pot up your bulbs in soil before you chill them. Here is the best way to pot them up.

  1. Soak the roots for a couple of hours.
  2. Plant in a container deep enough to have a couple inches below the bulbs and high enough to have the tops of the bulbs uncovered. Mix bone meal and bulb food below the roots. Use your favorite potting mix for containers.
  3. Fill till to the necks of the bulbs with the tops showing. Tamp down the soil.
  4. Water until all the soil is moist and allow to drain.
  5. Chill the entire container for the time needed depending on your bulbs. Keep the soil moist, but not wet.
  6. To wake up your bulbs, move them to a warm, not too warm spot with indirect light. As they grow you can move them to brighter and warmer areas of your home.

Chilling Times for Bulbs


  • Chill Time, None
  • Blooms, 6 – 8 Weeks


  • Chill Time, 12 – 15 Weeks
  • Blooms, 2 – 3 Weeks


  • Chill Time, 8 – 15 weeks
  • Blooms, 2 – 3 weeks


  • Chill Time, None
  • Blooms, 3 – 5 weeks


  • Chill Time, 15 weeks
  • Blooms, 2 weeks

Grape Hyacinth

  • Chill Time, 8 – 15 weeks
  • Blooms, 2 -3 weeks


  • Chill Time, 2 – 3 weeks
  • Blooms, 2 -3 weeks


  • Chill Time, 10 -16 weeks
  • Blooms, 2 – 3 weeks


  • Chill Time, 13 -15 weeks
  • Blooms, 2-3 weeks

Saving Bulbs & Reusing

After blooming you can remove your bulbs from their containers and store them for next year. Cut back the dead foliage, clean up the bulb and store in a mesh or paper bag in a cool dark place. Make sure they stay dry and don’t forget to label your bag!

Looked after, many bulbs will re-bloom for you year after year, often growing larger and producing more blooms each year!