Bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses can all be brought into bloom earlier than normal. Since time spans from planting to blooming will differ from bulb to bulb, it’s important not to mix varieties in the same container. Also, only top-quality, good- sized bulbs should be used.
In a plastic or clay pot, plant your bulbs in a mixture of three parts garden loam, two parts peat moss and one part sand, leaving about 1’ of space at the top of the pot. The pointed ends of the bulbs should remain exposed. As a rule of thumb, sex tulips, sex daffodils, three hyacinths or 15 crocuses will fit a 6’ pot. Water the bulbs immediately after planting, and be sure that the soil stays moist afterward.
Once planted, your bulbs will need to be kept in a cool (35 to 48 degrees F), dark location for a minimum of 12 weeks (an unheated cellar works well). Remember to keep soil moist, since developing roots can dry out and die quickly.
As soon as the shoots reach 3’ or 4’ in height, move your pots into bright, indirect light for three or four days. Then, move the pots into direct sunlight until the flowers bloom, at which point they should be moved back to indirect light. You can extend blooming periods by keeping the roots moist and moving the pots to a cool spot at night.
For a continuous supply of flowers, try plating your bulbs at weekly intervals, bringing just a few pots at a time out of cold treatment. Enjoy!