If you would like to enjoy  some springtime in the winter, forcing bulbs can be a lot of fun.  It is even a great project for kids because it is so simple to do.

They also make great decorations or gifts for Christmas!

   (Any kind of bulb will work but may need to be refrigerated for weeks before forcing~

                 click here for a list of bulbs and how long they need to be kept cold before planting)
  • One of the easiest to choose is the paper white narcissus because they require no cold period to simulate winter.


Start with a pot that is at least three to four inches deep
fill it with dirt or glass marbles or stones.


  •   To use the glass stones instead of dirt,  set the bulbs down far enough into the stones to support them leaving a few inches below for roots.

  •   Next fill the pot with water just to the bottom of the bulbs.  A glass container that is clear is a great one to use for this since you can see the bulb, roots and flowers.  Try to have the water barely touch the bottom of the bulb to prevent rotting.

  • As soon as roots develop you can keep the water below the bulb.


  • Another way to plant the bulbs is to place the bulbs in potting soil that covers them just to the top so the pointy end of the bulb is sticking out a bit.

  • Either way you plant them, put them in sunshine in a cool room and wait until they are growing.web-j-002

  • When they start to grow a few inches, then you should move them to a bright location out of direct sunlight. That way they don’t get too tall and fall over.  ( There’s an article over at Horticulture magazine by Dorian Winslow that explains how to make paperwhites not grow so tall~ jump over there to see it!)


  • Stake them if they are a bit floppy or you can tie a ribbon around them to keep them standing together.  This is a nice touch if it’s a Christmas gift.


It usually takes anywhere from three to five weeks for flowers so you have to be thinking ahead.*


  • ~”The future is always beginning now.”  ~Mark Strand


  1. Thanks for the reminder to get busy and do this for the holidays. Luv the idea of using ribbon to keep them together and standing tall.

    I see you on Pinterest!

  2. Thanks for dropping by Donna! I will look for you too!