The old becomes new: Traditional outdoor spring flowers get a jump start indoors in modern vases.
Begin by stacking a few rocks in the bottom of the vases. I chose to use bud vases and glass rocks for a sleek look. Place one bulb on top of the rocks in each vase. BE SURE THE POINTED END IS FACING UP.
Pour a SMALL amount of warm water into each vase. You want the water level to just barely touch the bottom of the bulb. If too much of the bulb is submerged in the water, it may start to rot.
After just two days some of the bulbs began sending out roots.
It was fun for my son and me to see the alien-looking tentacles reach down to the water. He had already learned a bit about the parts of plants in preschool, so he knew that the roots acted like little straws to bring the water up to the plant inside of the bulb.
As the roots take up the water, you will need to add tiny amounts of water back into the vase. Again, you don’t want to submerge the bulb in water or it might rot or mildew.
After three weeks, the bulbs sent up tall shoots that reached way beyond the mouths of the vases. Even the one little underachiever bulb that I thought might be a dud, eventually started growing!
Gladys Chardon says
My the leaves of my forced gladioli in water have now reached 60 cmts. when can I expect them to bloom.?Should I fertilize the water?
Shelly Stanley says
What happened to the glads?? Can you plant them in the ground??
Wish I saw this before I planted my bulbs. I will be doing this next year for sure.
Is there a follow-up to this post? If so, can you direct me to the link? If not, can you (please) publish more info about what to do when they outgrow the vase? We started ours today and I am not sure what comes next. Thanks so much for the inspiration and information!
Interesting method. I like doing unconventional things with plants and I can’t wait to try this out.
I also have some slightly old bulbs I’m not sure are dead, so this could be a good way to test them out.
Sara titus says
Felt like this ended at a cliff hanger.. with no return.
With the exception of a few, most bulbs (hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, etc) need a cold period of 12-16 weeks before they will grow. They require 35-45 degree temperatures. Just wanted people to be aware of this.
I want my glads to bloom inside! How do I accomplish this?
If your bulbs need a cold period before planting just pop them in the fridge for 3 months prior to doing this project. I store a lot of my saved flower seeds in the fridge for this very same reason. I am also curious about can they be planted once they are forced.
After the flowers have bloomed, how can I preserve the bulbs for use next year ? plant them in the ground or what ?
Yes, they can definitely be planted once they are forced! I have been doing it with great success for 4 years now because of this article. They can be planted at any time, but I usually wait until they have really started to outgrow the vase because I love watching them grow.
And P.S. I did not feel the need to refrigerate the bulbs. Just bought them, forced them, then planted them. I do it every year now the same way. And I just leave the bulbs in the ground, although I suppose you can dig them up to ensure their survival. I have had bulbs from previous years sprout up in mid to late summer. It’s always a wonderful surprise. I keep planting the new ones all in that same area so I know I’m watering the old bulbs at the same time.
P.P.S If you have a Dollar Tree near you, this is a great place to pick up everything you need for the project. The colored stones, tall cylindrical vases, and even the bulbs are in stock every season!
*(each spring, not every season, sorry!)
Just curious if they ever flowered — mine are nearly 3′ tall but I don’t see any blooms yet. Started them the week of March 22 and it’s April 27th now, so it’s been about 4 weeks. Do I need to add anything to the water???