Forcing Bulbs Indoors

Forcing bulbs is a fantastic way to add fragrance and colour indoors for the festive season. Follow our steps below for success.


The easiest bulb to force, paperwhites have tall, bright green foliage topped by white star shaped blooms with a strong perfumed fragrance.


Thick stalks of blooms range from pink to white and purple/blue and are very fragrant. These bulbs require a cooling period of about 12 weeks prior to blooming. Bulbs are purchased from October onwards to provide colour from January to March.
To cool bulbs, place them in a refrigerator. They are best stored in a paper bag in the crisper, away from fruits and vegetables. Note: papery skin of hyacinth bulbs can irritate skin; wash hands after handling. Once cooling period is finished, bulbs can be planted.

Bulbs can be planted in various ways:

bulbs in vase

Bulb Vase

These special vases have a fluted top that allows you to set the bulb atop the vase, with roots growing into the water below. Simply fill vase with water to neck of vase, and set bulb on top (water level should be just beneath base of bulb).
Hycainth potted


Bulbs can be planted into pots of any size. Choose shallow pots and fill with indoor potting soil, or decorative gravel.  Bulbs need only be nestled into the growing medium, so bottom 1/3 of bulb is beneath soil/gravel. Water bulbs well after planting. As growth starts to appear on bulbs, find a brightly lit but cooler space to display the plants for long lasting blooms. After blooming, bulbs are discarded.
NOTE: If you have a spare refrigerator with some extra space, Hyacinth can be potted up and pots placed into the fridge for their cooling period. After 12 weeks simply pull pots out and place in a brightly lit but cool space. Bulbs should start to push green growth and buds within a couple of weeks.