Thank You for Blooming

img_4627I’m feeling grateful toward this pot of forced tulip bulbs that has started to bloom despite being terribly mistreated this winter.

Forcing bulbs or branches is a fun way to bring spring color into your home while it’s still cold outside. I wasn’t planning to force bulbs this year, but while planting bulbs this fall, I put a bag of them on the shelf in the garage and promptly forgot about them. Round about January, I discovered the bag. Not wanting to pitch them, I decided to try forcing. So, I planted them in some soil and put the pot in a box back in the garage where I once again forgot about it. I remembered that there were bulbs in that box about three weeks ago and brought them into the house, first in the cool part of the basement, and then the sunny ledge in the kitchen, watered them a bit, and am being rewarded (most undeservedly) with pretty yellow blooms.

Generally, forced bulbs are planted in fall and put in a place cool (recommended temperatures are 35 to 50 F) for 10 to 14 weeks, then brought into a warmer place to bloom.  Well, my garage was a whole lot colder than 35 F during much of this long, harsh winter and those bulbs sat out there with and without soil about five months, so it’s a testament to the hardiness of bulbs that they bloomed at all. I can hardly wait until the outside bulbs start blooming!

4 Replies to “Thank You for Blooming”

  1. Forced bulbs are fun to study up close too. You can follow the unfurling of each petal closely, and enjoy the beauty of the blooms, even if they’re small. Yours were very accomodating. Aren’t unexpected blooms great? Do you think you might try planting them out later, or do you think they will be exhausted?

    Like you, I am eager to see the outside bulbs blooming.

  2. What has been really interesting about these bulbs is that the color of the petals changes. The photo shows them in their first color, a bright yellow, but they gradually go more apricot-orange. Really lovely. I’m not sure I dare push my luck any further, and everything I’ve read says it’s best not to plant out forced bulbs — they don’t usually bloom again.

  3. What a great spring splash on this dreary day! So, I just about “sponsored” an Easter lily at church yesterday, thinking I would plant it after it’s time in the holiday display. Are they “forced bulbs,” too, and thus not worth trying to recycle?

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