Forcing Narcissus bulbs indoors during winter highlights the more fun part of gardening, the nurturing and anticipation. For very little work, you get a lot of beauty. Outdoors, there is some interest to be had in the winter garden. My conifers are green, while some shrubs have colourful stems, and some plants retain dried flowers. However, I miss the joy of watching green plants emerge, and the anticipation of unfurling buds.
These Narcissus bulbs were a present. The 3 bulbs were plump, and in good shape. To help keep them upright as they grow, I packed them tight together in the square glass container. I used the soil mixture that came with them, instead of pebbles.
The top picture shows them on day 9 after planting. They grow quickly, giving pleasure long before the outdoor bulbs will finish their cooling period. It’s satisfying to watch them extend, with more green tips appearing and thickening every day. I observe them several times a day, about as frequently as I study the first outside bulb of spring. It’s fascinating to watch the roots spread to anchor the bulbs, visible through the clear glass dish.
They are labelled as paperwhites, with the variety name ‘Pistachio’, but I can’t find a paperwhite with that name. However, there is a trumpet daffodil called ‘Pistachio’. I wonder if these bulbs will grow tall, and whether they will bloom in white, yellow or green? When they flower it will be easier to tell which type of Narcissus they are. The next picture shows them on day 13, with the first enlarged bud on the upper right.
Something’s green and growing and smells like spring.
Here is a followup of what the Narcissus bulbs looked like when they bloomed.
Do you force bulbs indoors during the winter? Which have you had the best success with?