Pot up bulbs for winter blooms
Their bright displays will be a joy to see
There’s a fun job you can easily do to ensure windowsills of colour in two to three months’ time, in the depths of winter when you’ll really appreciate it! You can try and time your bulb forcing for Christmas, but if nature decides to ruin your timings, mid-December or January will be ablaze with blooms – just as lovely!
Hyacinths can be prepared bulbs, in garden centres labelled as such, which have been cold-treated in advance by growers and won’t need as long in a cold, dark place. Untreated ones will work fine too, just keep them in the shed for longer. Otherwise you can pot up some gorgeous amaryllis, paperwhite daffs, iris, and even crocuses and anemones. So why not experiment with some new ones this year?
There are just a few things to note. Amaryllis don’t need a cold or dark spell, so you can bring them indoors as soon as you’ve potted them up. Most others do, though, so keep them in a dark place at up to 10C (50F) so they think its winter already, and once you see about 5cm (2in) of shoot growth, bring them indoors to start flowering early.
Being potted up here is a lovely hyacinth called ‘Woodstock’, slightly different from all the baby blue and white frilly varieties, in a superb deep purple-magenta colour – lovely for a bright splash of colour indoors in the cold season. Here’s a quick guide to potting it up.
Give hyacinths a cold, dark spell to flower well