Growing daffodils indoors on an ongoing basis is not usually a successful venture.
Yet, forcing them to bloom seasonally can be fun and adds a bright spot of color to the late winter and early spring months.
Forced daffodils also make a wonderful holiday gift, so if you have extra bulbs from your garden, you can make great use of them.
This article provides tips and advice to help you grow forced daffodils indoors.
Grow Daffodils Indoors In Water Or Soil
You can force daffodils to grow and bloom indoors using water or soil.
If you use water, you will need a specialized container called a forcing glass.
This container holds a single daffodil bulb in the correct position over the water so that its roots can access the water. As a result, the bulb remains dry and free of rot.
Change the water often to prevent rot. When the bulb sprouts roots, give it a teaspoonful of vodka to stunt its growth so that the stems do not become tall and leggy.
If you choose to use soil, use a shallow planter with drainage holes.
It should be big enough to accommodate the number of bulbs you wish to plant and deep enough to allow for a shallow layer of potting soil in the bottom, a layer of bulbs, and a thin layer of soil.
Expose the top third of the bulbs above the soil’s surface. Water lightly.
Tips For Growing Daffodils Indoors Successfully
1. Choose the right kinds of bulbs.
Some of the best types of daffodils for indoor planting are:
- Paperwhite Narcissus produces clusters of very sweetly scented white blooms and is the most effortless daffodil to grow indoors.
- Narcissi Erlicheer is a beautiful, double petaled daffodil that bears 8 flowers on each stem. It is a very fancy choice for indoor growing.
- Soleil d’Or is a vigorous bloomer that presents as many as twenty sweet-smelling, merry, bright yellow blooms with vibrant orange centers per stem.
These types of bulbs do not need to be pre-chilled.
If you cannot get these precise types, look for smaller varieties, as they are more likely to grow and bloom with limited space and resources. These types will need to be chilled.
2. Chill your daffodil bulbs.
After purchasing your bulbs in the fall, store them in a cool, dark place for 3-4 months. This could be in your root cellar, basement, or in the hydrator drawer of your refrigerator.
3. Group your bulbs for dramatic effect.
When forcing bulbs into soil, place several bulbs in each pot. They should be closely spaced, barely touching.
4. Use the right kind of soil.
A good, multipurpose potting soil will do fine. Bulb fiber is another excellent choice.
5. Water the right amount.
Water bulbs in the soil thoroughly as soon as you plant them. Allow excess water to run off and check frequently. Water lightly when the small amount of soil provided seems dry.
6. Provide plenty of light and warmth.
When forcing bulbs indoors, you must place them in a consistently warm setting to get natural sunlight.
Be careful, though. Avoid temperature extremes, keeping your daffodil container away from heat sources.
7. Set your forced daffodil bulb free.
After your forced bulb has finished blooming and its foliage has died back, remove it from the water or soil and allow it to dry.
Plant it outdoors in the garden or in a planter (with a bit of fertilizer) to have a chance to rejuvenate and reward you with pretty blooms in years to come.